To create a simple birth plan, print this page and check off the elements that appeal to you -- then share your choices with your healthcare provider. Make sure a copy of the plan gets into your medical records, which will be available to staffers at your birthing site.
Remember that formulating a birth plan doesn't guarantee a seamless experience. No matter how you go about it, labor and childbirth call for a flexible attitude and a sense of adventure!
Be sure to ask if your birthing site limits the number of people who can be in the room with you.
Birthing bed -- Many birthing sites now have special beds that are designed for both labor and delivery. The back can be raised or lowered to support different laboring positions. Options (which vary from one setting to another and should be discussed with healthcare providers) may include:
Birthing chair -- Some birthing sites have these special chairs or stools, designed to support a woman in a squatting or sitting position. They allow women to benefit from gravity, and see more of the birth, but may cause increased tearing of the perineum (tissue between vagina and rectum)
All content here, including advice from doctors and other health professionals, should be considered as opinion only. Always seek the direct advice of your own doctor in connection with any questions or issues you may have regarding your own health or the health of others.