Make Birth Plan
The birth of your baby should be one of the most memorable, life-changing, and joyful experiences of your life. You will want to spend time thinking through the details of your hopes and desires for this special event. Starting with a journal, write down as many thoughts and plans for the upcoming birth as you can. Your journal will help you establish priorities and provide a list of ideas to help you create a birth plan. A birth plan is a document that lets your medical team know your preferences for things like how to manage labor pain. Keep in mind that you can’t control every aspect of labor and delivery, and you’ll need to stay flexible in case something comes up that requires your birth team to depart from your plan.
Your personal circumstances
Your birth plan is personal to you. It will depend not only on what you want, but also on your medical history, your circumstances and what is available at your maternity service. What may be safe and practical for one pregnant woman may not be a good idea for another.
You might be given a special form for your birth plan, or there may be room in your notes. It’s a good idea to keep a copy of your birth plan with you. The maternity team who care for you during labour will discuss it with you so they know what you want.
But it is important to remember that you need to be flexible and prepared to do things differently from your birth plan if complications arise with you or your baby, or if facilities such as a birth pool are not available. The maternity team will tell you what they advise in your particular circumstances. Don’t hesitate to ask questions if you need to.
Things to consider
You can find out more about the things you need to think about when you make your birth plan:
- Pain relief
- Where you can give birth
- Forceps or ventouse (intervention or instrumental delivery)
- Your baby after the birth
You can work out whether there is anything you feel strongly about and might wish to include. You and your partner can also think about what your birth partner can do to support you during labour.
Creating a birth plan can help you have a more positive birth experience, as well as those involved. Design your birth plan with a positive focus. Instead of making a list of what you don’t want, focus on what you do want. Use phrases like, “we hope to,” “we plan to,” or “we anticipate.” Try to avoid phrases like, “we don’t want” or “we want to avoid.”