Many expectant parents ask us about a birth plan – what should go on it, what shouldn’t. For most people, a birth plan is a good idea, when used as a communication tool. By this we mean, it communicates your preferences to your care providers in a clear, succinct fashion.
5 Things to Know about Birth Plans
For instance, if the most critical thing is that you get at least one hour of immediate, uninterrupted skin-to-skin time with your baby, make sure your birth plan clearly expresses that.
2. Share your plan with your doula.
She’ll inform you of routine and standard care procedures at your birth location – an important step. Many people download birth plans off the internet that include dozens if not hundreds of preferences that may not apply to her birth location but could come across as downright rude to your care providers. Your doula will also make recommendations or offer additional research suggestions. Since she’ll be at your side at your baby’s birth, it’s also important for her to know your wishes!
3. Discuss details with your partner.
In the moment of your baby’s birth is not a great time to find out that you and your partner disagree about a choice.
4. Review the plan with your care provider at a meeting before you go into labor.
Make sure they’re supportive of your choices or listen to their suggestions. You might get new information to help you moving forward.
5. Be brief, especially if you’re planning to give birth at a hospital.
Your L&D nurse might be caring for up to six birthing women while you’re in labor, and you might labor through one or more shift changes. A short and sweet birth plan is a great way to ensure everyone is on the same page, literally.
Finally, know that babies can be – and are – born without birth plans! While they are commonplace today, not everyone needs or wants one. It’s okay if you don’t, but we do strongly urge you to discuss your choices and preferences with your partner, doula and care provider.