Things to Consider When Writing Your Birth Plan
Writing a birth plan can sometimes feel a little overwhelming! Here we have compiled a concise list of topics most mothers wish to cover in their birth plan. If you need help researching topics or wording your birth plan, you can contact us for a Birth Plan Consultation!
The First Stage of Labor
Wear your own clothes or a hospital gown?
Can other family members and friends be present?
Do you want to allow students and trainees in or do you want to limit the number of people in your room?
Would you like to move freely during labor?
Would you like to be able to use the bath or shower?
Do you want an IV, Hep-Lock or to decline both unless it becomes medically necessary?
Would you like vaginal exams to be limited?
Food and Fluids:
Would you like to be able to eat and drink as much as desired?
Do you want continuous monitoring or would you prefer intermittent monitoring with a Doppler?
Do you prefer to be induced or to go into labor on your own?
If you are induced, would you want to try more natural methods before pitocin/cervadil/cytotec?
What are your feelings about having your waters broken?
Would you like to handle pain through natural means such as baths and showers?
Would you like coaching from the staff, your partner and/or doula, which may include guiding you to change positions, using a birth ball, massage, breathing, acupressure, visualization, and alternating hot and cold?
The Second Stage of Labor
Do you prefer directed pushing or spontaneous bearing down?
Do you want no time limit on pushing?
Do you want your choice of positions?
Do you want to be able to use the squatting bar?
Do you want to be on your back?
Do you wish to avoid stirrups?
Do you want an episiotomy or would you prefer a natural tear?
Would you like warm compresses on your perineum?
If you prefer an episiotomy, do you want a local anesthetic?
Third Stage of Labor (After Baby is Born)
Do you want you or your partner to cut the cord, not the doctor or nurse?
Do you want your baby placed on you immediately?
Do you prefer your baby to be cleaned up and checked out, then returned to you?
Do you want to delay cord clamping?
As soon as the baby is ready, do you want to try to breastfeed?
If you and your baby are separated, do you not want formula offered?
Do you want artificial nipples (bottles or pacifiers) to be offered?
Tips For Writing an Effective Birth Plan:
After you have figured out what you would like to have done/avoid, talk to your doctor to figure out what is already standard at your hospital. This will help you decide what you can easily eliminate from your birth plan. Remember; be short and concise in your birth plan. Doctors and nurses can be very busy and most will not spend more than a few minutes reading your desires. Keep the language in your birth plan positive.
Things to Consider When Writing Your Baby Care Plan
1. Do you want your baby placed on your chest immediately or for them to be cleaned off first?
2. Do you consent to artificial nipples to be used such as pacifiers or bottles of formula or sugar water? Or would you prefer to exclusively breastfeed?
3. Do you care if your baby is weighed, measured, and has all newborn exams done right after birth or would you like to wait an hour for bonding to take place first?
4. Do you want your baby to be bathed at the hospital? If yes, do you want to be the one to bathe them or have a nurse do it?
5. Will you be rooming in?
6. Are you banking the cord blood?
7. Do you want your baby to receive the vitamin K shot?
8. Do you want your baby to receive the Hep B shot?
9. Do you want to nurse your baby during any painful newborn procedures such as heel sticks and PKU?
10. Would you like eye ointment to be given? Delayed until after bonding? Not at all?
11. If you are having a boy, do you want him to be circumcised or keep him intact?
Tips For Writing an Effective Baby Care Plan:
After you have figured out what you would like to have done/avoid, talk to your doctor to figure out what is already standard at your hospital. This will help you decide what you can easily eliminate from your birth plan. Remember; be short and concise in your birth plan. Doctors and nurses can be very busy and most will not spend more than a few minutes reading your desires.