Writing a Birth Plan is a great way to communicate your preferences and priorities to your birthing team. You are able to specify, in writing, all of the options to consider before, during, and after birth. The process of putting together the elements of your plan will give you many options to consider, and it is a great time to begin researching (if you haven’t already) all of the pros and cons of interventions offered and the different situations that may arise.
As you are writing your Birth Plan, be sure to include options for a change in plans if necessary – language such as “if possible…” or “unless medically necessary…” or “I/we prefer…” can often be helpful. Always be sure to plan for the unexpected, and don’t hesitate to look into the options available at your birthplace.
It is always a good idea to keep your Birth Plan short and simple – anything longer than one page will take longer for everyone to read, and will not be as easy to navigate should a change in plans arise. Be sure to discuss your plans with your primary caregiver, and bring extra copies for everyone on your birth team (Doctor/OB/Midwife, Doula, nurses, etc)
Want to learn more about creating a birth plan? Check out a Your Birth Experience class, or buy a YBE Parent Guide!
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Check out the “Online Resources” page for worksheets, sample birth plans, and even an editable “Visual Birth Plan” document with simple graphics!