What to think about when creating a birth plan

Making a birth plan helps you think through your preferences and convey them to your birth team. Many birth plans are shared verbally with a partner or doctor, while others are printed up, signed by your practitioner, and placed in your chart (although these are not legally binding documents).

While it may be tempting to take a pre-written birth plan from a friend or the internet, it is ideal to create your own. While examples can help you get started, duplicating them verbatim can lead to you incorporating items you don’t want or need.

Use these subjects as a starting point and add new ideas as you go.

Your Birth Philosophy

This doesn’t have to be a three-page essay on why you choose your childbirth class or doula, but rather a brief statement that lets anybody involved in your birth know your key concerns. If you want to avoid painkillers, say so upfront. Also, if you want an epidural fast or want to avoid a C-section, say so.

Labour Surroundings

Labour is stressful, and your environment can alter your mood. It’s helpful to note what might make you feel more at ease in case those around you can make an adjustment that helps you. This can include the space’s decor, whether or not music is played, and whether or not there are too many people in the room. Your coping strategies (positioning, breathing, relaxation, water consumption) and what you would need to do them can also be noted.

Foetal Tracking

Can foetal monitoring be done with a stethoscope or a fetoscope? Can you utilise intermittent monitoring if the baby is doing well with labour and you aren’t at increased risk from treatments like Pitocin or pain medications? Before you go into labour, check with your practitioner and the hospital about their rules. Explain your monitoring preferences.

Analgesics

This is where you can express your preferences for pain management. Note that your wishes may or may not correspond with the birthing facility’s policies. You can also discuss if you want your support person to stay with you during the epidural or whether you prefer an epidural to IV medicine or another option.

Plan B

If only our “best-laid birth plans” always went as planned. Of course not. Use this section of your birth plan to outline what you want to happen if your first choices aren’t available due to an emergency. Who should you bring? Who should tell your family what? Will your doula accompany you to the hospital? If you feel as though something went wrong and it wasn’t something usual, then you may want to contact Birth injury solicitors

Caring For Your Baby

Once your wonderful baby is born, you’ll have additional choices to make. Do you need to hold your baby now? Do you want to be touched? Do you want to seek any specific testing after birth? Do you want your baby in your room? Consider organising a “room in” so your infant can spend the night with you (if your birthplace allows it). Alternately, you can place your child in nursery.

Baby Feeding

Most women start breastfeeding right away. One hour after birth, skin-to-skin contact and latching are linked to less breastfeeding issues later. As a result, you may know that nursing is difficult for you, or that you dislike it. Create a birth plan. Considerations: Do you want your kid to come to you to nurse? Do you have specific needs if you don’t plan to breastfeed? Do you want your child to have a pacifier?

The birth plans are neither scripts or legal papers. It’s good to know your preferences, but also to be flexible

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