Feb 22 , 2021
When you’re expecting, you do loads of planning. What clothes to purchase, the color motif of your baby room, your plans on work when your baby finally comes out, even some baby names! But one thing we encourage you to set aside time for and give some thought is properly laying out a preferred birth plan.
What exactly is a birth plan?
A birth plan is a simple documentation of the different set-ups you’d like done during and after delivery. With your preferences in mind, it’s important to also take into consideration what your hospital and doctor can accommodate, or generally what can be feasible.
It’s simply your ideal birthing scenario. Having a birth plan ready avoids conflict with those who will be helping during your delivery and with your practitioner. It isn’t exactly a binding contract, it’s just good to have everything detailed before everything takes place since you won’t exactly have the time and all the mental energy to make decisions when you’re already experiencing labor pains.
Your Birth Plan Checklist
1. Your different requests and preferences before birth
These requests would include details such as the following:
- Who you would like to have present in the room during labor and/or at delivery. Taking into consideration COVID-19 protocols.
- Materials you would like available (ex. Exercise ball, birthing tub, music, food)
- If you are comfortable with having photos and videos taken
- Birthing positions you would like done
2. For during labor and delivery
You detail here how you would like to manage labor pains and labor procedures you wish to avoid. These include:
- Type of birth you wish to have:
- Whether you wish to have an epidural or any sort of pain medication (also alternatives if any)
- Use of an IV or catheter
- External and internal electronic fetal monitoring
- The use of oxytocin to instigate contractions
- Your doctor’s recommendation on episiotomies and natural tearing
- Possible intervention needed when it comes to assisting in the birth of your child like vacuum extraction or forceps
3. Vaginal vs. C-Section birth preferences
Even if you don’t prefer certain procedures like C-sections, it’s important that you still list down your preferences. Meaning, what precautions you want respected when it comes to such procedures in case your delivery does not go to plan and said procedures must be done in order to keep you and your baby safe.
4. Newborn Care requests
This section of your birth plan details the post-delivery care you wish to have for both you and your baby. Here are some possibilities to consider:
- Holding baby immediately after birth
- Plans on breastfeeding if you want to do it immediately or not
- Having your partner catch your baby upon delivery
- Having your partner cut the umbilical cord
- Postponing certain procedures like weighing the baby or administering eye drops until after you have held him/her
- Special requests around your placenta
You can also customize your birth plan by only detailing those you are mainly concerned about. As mentioned, birth plans are not required documents but are sure to come in handy. We also recommend that you talk over all your preferences with your doctor to set grounds on expectation setting and feasibility and so you can explore other options and services should you have non-negotiable, No Compromise requirements.
Start creating your own birth plan using our printable checklist!