What is a Birth Plan?

A birth plan is a written document where your wishes and needs for the time of your birth are clearly expressed. First and foremost, defining and refining them for yourself. Knowing your options ahead will help making your vision a reality, as well as strengthen your sense of control and calmness, even in a case of an unexpected shift. Having your partner involved in preparing it and aligned with your wishes will strengthen his/her sense of confidence and ability to fully support you in making your wishes come true.

Especially when you choose to give birth at a hospital, or need to go there, this situation naturally invites facing the challenges of the hospital’s protocols, procedures and interventions. By making your preferences known in a short and clear manner, preferably no longer than a page, you harness your birthing team on your side, prevent conflict and disappointment and above all,maintain the safety and well-being of you and your baby for a smooth and comfortable arrival.

The ones i have drafted following my clients requests normally include a paragraph to cover the patients interest. I always say dont make a birth plan into a WILL and be so stuck on it that it has to be followed word to word. Birth is an event, and sometimes interventions can save lives. Be sure to be informed yourselves so that when that time comes and you are faced with a decision to make, you know you are making an informed decision for yourself and your baby. If interventions are medically necessary, a doula can help support the mother emotionally so she can have a positive birth experience despite changes in her birth plan. She also can find ways to make it more natural in the midst of interventions.

When preparing your birth plan, You can formulate one from scratch, download a ready made or create one using Word. Personally i find the pictogram version to be more straightforward and easy to follow. There is no chance of any information on it to be missed even on the busiest shift in maternity

Have a healthy pregnancy and an empowered birth