Your Quickie Birth Plan

Giving birth rarely goes as expected, but writing a birth plan can get you focused on how -- ideally -- you'd like your delivery to go.

Labor and delivery, like so many aspects of having kids, rarely go as planned. But giving birth is a big deal -- okay, probably the biggest deal of your life, to date -- and many mamas-to-be want at least some control over how things go. (Hoping to do this drug-free? Know you want to get the epidural curbside at the hospital? Want to make sure you get that baby in your arms as soon as possible after the birth?)

Of course you understand that all plans and preferences may go completely out the window once things are really under way. But still, thinking about your birth, discussing it with your partner and ob-gyn or midwife, and writing a few things down in advance will ease your anxiety level and help you address your biggest concerns -- well before you're in there pushing.

We've highlighted a few of the most common labor and delivery stipulations women have -- and we've kept things simple. Just fill out our PDF and print it out. Keep a copy for yourself and your partner, and give one to you doctor so you can all have a brief, focused conversation about how you hope your labor and delivery will go. (How does it work? When you open the PDF, click once on the "Select Text" button in the upper left-hand corner. After filling in the basics at the beginning of the document, you can edit text to suit your preferences on each of the specifics.)

You’ve made clear your wishes for the birth you hope to have—Rosie Pope shares a few other don’t-miss details.

Good luck! You'll do great.

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