There are so many factors in childbirth that sometimes it's difficult to keep track of your preferences without writing them down. Creating a birth plan is an opportunity for you and your partner to decide how you want your birth experience to proceed. It's also a good way to get your partner's input about important decisions regarding birthing methods and medical interventions before you're actually in labor.
Writing a birth plan lets you identify the issues that concern you most, and prepares you for discussing them with your health-care provider or birth attendant. Sharing your birth plan with those involved in your birth experience will greatly improve your dialogue.
Be sure to give a copy of your birth plan to your partner, your labor support people, your health-care provider/birth attendant, your childbirth educator, and your birthing center or hospital nursing and admissions staff.
Your birth plan will be unique and tailored to your own preferences. Below are some questions that can help you craft a plan that covers major areas of concern. Use this list to help you decide on your preferences, then put together the first draft of your birth plan.
Remember that it helps to keep a birth plan short. Hospital staff can be notorious for not reading birth plans, so make sure your partner knows your wishes. You'll have peace of mind if you've agreed on the major issues before your first contraction.
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.