Developing a birthing plan is an essential part of preparing for the arrival of your new child. Your birth team is available to help you develop this birthing plan. Sometimes a birth plan consists of nothing more than a conversation with your team. However, they can also be created as a group effort with your doctor, partner, or partners. Some people opt to write it down on a piece of paper simply. Others aim to type it out in a clear format, having it signed by the practitioner and inserted into your chart.
What Goes Into Creating A Birthing Plan
If you’re considering creating a birthing plan, copying one you found on the internet may be tempting. However, it’s generally best to take the time to create one that is suitable to your needs and concerns. Examples are a good reference, but they don’t indicate the specifics of your pregnancy or lifestyle. Copying one whole cloth can result in things being included that are irrelevant or that you don’t want. Consider the following when creating your birth plan:
- Philosophy of Birth – This part of the birth plan should include your preferred birthing styles. It needs to be succinct and to the point so your team can easily understand it. This includes whether you desire pain medication, a water birth, or avoiding a C-section. While the realities of your birth may necessitate changes, it gives a good baseline to start from.
- Preferred Birthing Environment – Labor is a highly stressful experience for many women. Understanding what will help keep you relaxed and improve your overall experience is important. You can ask for a specific light level, determine who’s allowed in the room, what kind of music you want playing, etc. It’s also important to note any coping mechanisms you intend to employ. These include breathing, water use, relaxation, positioning, etc.
- Backup Plan – This area covers everything you’ve included in your birthing plan and provides a ‘second-best option’ list. This is a reference guide for when things don’t go precisely as planned, and you want to ensure they know what you prefer next. It’s common for the birthing process to include unexpected twists and turns. If your best-case scenario doesn’t work out, you should know what to do.
These are just a few points that should be mentioned as part of your birthing plan. Working with your women’s health care provider can help discover things you might have missed.
Contact Your Women’s Healthcare Provider For Tips
Your provider has been helping women go through childbirth for their entire careers. They’ve seen any number of different lifestyles and approaches and may have good advice on how to proceed. Be sure you’re clear with them about what you want, and ask what they advise helping you achieve it. Together you can develop a birthing plan that meets your needs and can help bring a healthy child into the world.