What is a birth plan?
A birth plan is a document you create which highlights your preferences for before, during, and after childbirth. You probably wouldn’t want to be making decisions during the throes of contractions, which is why it’s a good idea to create a birth plan well ahead of your due date and discuss it with your doctor or midwife. It provides an opportunity to think about different options because, as you know, things don’t always go according to plan.
Why should you make one?
Can birth plans change? Absolutely. Can you control every aspect of labor and delivery? No way. But it’s still a good idea to go into labor with a printed document of your wishes, so that you and your medical team are on the same page. A clear, well-written birth plan can remind your healthcare provider what your preferences are, as well as inform new team members about your wishes during labor.
What does a birth plan cover?
- The labor process: this includes your birth environment, important reminders, and all the essentials you’ll want to bring with you.
- Induction preferences: even if you expect to let the birth process proceed naturally, sometimes induction is necessary. Be sure to research your induction options and discuss them with your doctor. If you have a preference for one, inform your doctor and ensure it’s clear on your birth plan.
- The moments after: welcome your new baby into the world exactly as you want.
How do I create a birth plan?
There are a number of birth plan templates available online, but this one from mybirthplan.com is our favorite. It was created collaboratively by medical professionals and the women who became mothers in their care. It’s the most comprehensive and clear birth plan template you’ll find anywhere; it covers all the important aspects of preparing for labor, the labor process itself, and the moments after.
If you have questions about labor induction options, be sure to discuss them with your doctor.