Birth Plan: The Best Guide To Creating a Birth Plan
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For numerous women, having a birth plan is crucial as it guides their preferences and wishes during and after giving birth.
The birth plan delineates the individual’s preferences concerning the hospital environment, medical decisions, and the immediate care of their newborn. By offering clear instructions, the birth plan serves as a valuable reference for the medical team, alleviating anxieties during active labour and enabling the woman to focus on the birthing process.
Childbirth is an ever-changing process, and a birth plan should be viewed as a flexible guide or checklist. It is completely acceptable to modify your preferences in consultation with your healthcare provider at any point.
Maintaining a flexible mindset and preparing for unexpected circumstances is crucial. One mother shared her story of not regretting that her labour experience deviated from her birth plan, highlighting the importance of adaptability during childbirth.
Creating a Birth Plan For a Vaginal Delivery
Your baby’s due date
The doctor, midwife, doula, and paediatrician’s contact details
Where you would like to give birth (e.g., in a hospital or a birthing centre)
The hospital or birthing centre’s address and contact details
The name and contact details of your birth partner or support person who’ll be with you during labour and delivery.
Any important medical issues that healthcare providers should know about
- Whom would you prefer to have by your side during labour and delivery? (e.g., partner, mother, best friend, or children)
- What positions do you envision for yourself during labour? (e.g., lying down, sitting, or being able to move around)
- Would you be open to inducing labour if there is no progress in dilation?
- Are you interested in pain relief medication, such as an epidural?
- 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?
- 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?
- 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?
- What are your preferences for staying hydrated during labour? Options may include water, ice chips, or an IV drip.
- Do you prefer to wear your own clothes instead of the hospital-provided gown?
When Giving Birth
- If hospital policy permits, do you wish to have your chosen birth partner present in the delivery room?
- Regarding the possibility of perineum tearing, would you prefer to take the chance or opt for an episiotomy?
- If a cesarean section becomes necessary, what anaesthesia option do you prefer?
- 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
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:
Who would you like to be with you in the operating room
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.
Your preferences for breastfeeding. If you and your baby are doing well, you’ll most likely be able to start nursing soon after delivery.
Your preferences for post-surgery pain relief