Creating a Birth Plan For a Vaginal Delivery

Before writing your birth plan, you should talk with your healthcare provider regarding the available options and gather information about the offerings of the hospital or birthing centre and your insurance plan.

This knowledge can influence your decisions and what you include in your plan. Remember, don’t hesitate to ask questions, as your healthcare provider and the hospital team are dedicated to ensuring you have the best possible experience.

When crafting your birth plan, it is recommended to keep it concise and easily readable. Instead of a lengthy and overly detailed checklist, aim for a plan that spans one or two pages at most.

Below, we have provided a list of fundamental details that expectant mothers often include in a birth plan for a vaginal birth. These can serve as prompts to guide you as you write your own plan.

Background Details

  1. Your name

  2. Your baby’s due date

  3. The doctor, midwife, doula, and paediatrician’s contact details

  4. Where you would like to give birth (e.g., in a hospital or a birthing centre)

  5. The hospital or birthing centre’s address and contact details

  6. The name and contact details of your birth partner or support person who’ll be with you during labour and delivery.

  7. Any important medical issues that healthcare providers should know about

During Delivery

  1. Whom would you prefer to have by your side during labour and delivery? (e.g., partner, mother, best friend, or children)
  2. What positions do you envision for yourself during labour? (e.g., lying down, sitting, or being able to move around)
  3. Would you be open to inducing labour if there is no progress in dilation?
  4. Are you interested in pain relief medication, such as an epidural?
  5. If the hospital where you plan to give birth is a teaching hospital, would you be comfortable with students observing or assisting during your labour and delivery?
  6. Are there any specific comfort measures you want to try, such as breathing or relaxation techniques, changing positions, receiving a massage, having dimmed lights, or playing soothing music?
  7. Would you like to spend part of your early labour in a water tub or utilize birthing equipment such as a stool, ball, or chair?
  8. What are your preferences for staying hydrated during labour? Options may include water, ice chips, or an IV drip.
  9. Do you prefer to wear your own clothes instead of the hospital-provided gown?

When Giving Birth

  1. If hospital policy permits, do you wish to have your chosen birth partner present in the delivery room?
  2. Regarding the possibility of perineum tearing, would you prefer to take the chance or opt for an episiotomy?
  3. If a cesarean section becomes necessary, what anaesthesia option do you prefer?
  4. Where would you like your birth partner to be positioned during the delivery? Additionally, would you like your partner to document the birth through filming or photography if allowed?

After the Delivery

  1. Would you like immediate skin-to-skin contact with your baby, or would you prefer that your partner holds the baby first?
  2. Before any medical procedures are performed on your baby, would you like to discuss them?
  3. Do you always want your baby to be with you, or are you open to your baby spending some time in the nursery?
  4. Do you plan to breastfeed your baby, and would you like the assistance of a lactation consultant?
  5. Are there any cultural or traditional rituals you would like to have performed shortly after giving birth?
  6. Who would you prefer to cut the umbilical cord?
  7. Have you made any decisions regarding banking or donating your baby’s cord blood?
  8. What are your preferences for your baby’s first bath?

Cesarean Section Birth Plan

While your birth plan for a vaginal birth may cover your preferences for anaesthesia in the event of an unplanned cesarean, there are instances where you already know that you will have a cesarean delivery.

In such cases, you can utilize the aforementioned questions as a foundation. Still, it would be beneficial to include additional elements specific to your cesarean birth plan, such as the following:

  1. Who would you like to be with you in the operating room

  2. Whether you would like hospital staff to document the types of incisions in your abdomen and uterus in your medical history will be important to know for future pregnancies.

  3. Your preferences for breastfeeding. If you and your baby are doing well, you’ll most likely be able to start nursing soon after delivery.

  4. Your preferences for post-surgery pain relief


After completing your birth plan, reviewing it with your healthcare provider is important. Keep in mind that your preferences may be influenced by various factors, including:

  1. Recommendations from your healthcare provider: These recommendations are designed to minimize risks based on your medical situation.
  2. Policies of the hospital or birthing center: The facility where you plan to give birth may have specific policies and guidelines that could impact certain aspects of your birth plan.
  3. Feasibility and available facilities: Consider any constraints or limitations on what is feasible at the hospital or birthing centre.
  4. Emergencies during labour or delivery: In unforeseen emergencies, your medical team may need to adjust the plan to prioritize your and your baby’s health and well-being. Flexibility is crucial in such cases.