You’ve been told you need a birth plan.
You sit down to write one.
What exactly do you write?
How do you know what belongs and what doesn’t? What information does it need? How much info is too much?
Were those some of the first questions that came to mind when you tried to write your birth plan? Well, here’s the perfect little guide to writing a birth plan that’ll make you feel great about your birth! Many thanks to NursingBirth.com for inspiring this post.
1. Keep it short.
Your plan should be one page at most. Ideally, you’re working with a caregiver (midwife, doctor, etc.) whose common practices are what you want anyway. If you’re starting to feel like your birthing requests are exceptions to their rules, you should consider finding a caregiver more aligned with your desired birth.
2. Be confident and clear.
This is YOUR birth, momma! Your ideal, dream birth. Don’t pull any punches and don’t be vague. Use specifics. For example, instead of writing, “I would prefer minimal electronic monitoring” try “I will allow 20 minutes of electronic monitoring and if there are no medical concerns I agree to 5 minutes of monitoring every hour thereafter.” Or, something as simple as, “Please do not yell at me while I’m pushing. I’ll ask for help if I need it.”
3. Include your fears and concerns.
Yes, your fears! Why? Because making sure they’re covered in the birth plan means you don’t have to worry about them during labor. For example, if your partner is diabetic and you’re afraid he’ll forget to monitor his blood sugar during labor, put it in your plan! Whatever it takes to put your mind more at ease.
4. Have your care provider sign off on your plan.
Don’t ever, ever forget – your care provider is your partner at your birth. Unless there’s an extreme medical emergency, they are not the final say or ultimate authority on what should happen during your labor. Talk to them about this plan and make sure they’re on your side. The last thing you want is to get into labor and watch them throw everything that’s important to you out the window.
5. Make it personal.
Again, mom, this is all about you – your greatest hopes and perhaps deepest fears about birth. If you don’t like needles, say so. If you want to delay the umbilical cord cutting, speak up! This document is all about you empowering yourself and easing your fears so you can be free and fearless during labor and birth!
NursingBirth.com has more great tips and some example birth plan statements here. You’ll also find a list of great links to more birth plan options.
OR, you can do a visual birth plan!
Spending a bit of time to do this extra research can help make this birth one of the most amazing experiences of your life.
Make it great, Mama!
Top Ten DOs for Writing Your Birth Plan: Tips From an L&D Nurse