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Labor 101: How to Create a Fab Birth Plan

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Confused on what you should do for the big day? No worries … we have all that you need to know right here.

By Annie Friedman

If you’re pregnant, listen up! Creating a birth plan may be one of the most important things to do during your pregnancy. It’s important to outline what you want for the birth of your baby and to make sure those around you know your desires as well. A birth plan is a summary on how you would like your labor to be carried out. This may include where you would like to have your baby, who you would like to be by your side during the labor, what kind of atmosphere you want and your feelings on medicines and procedures during labor and delivery. While a birth plan is only a guideline for how you would like your baby to be delivered, it can be an extremely useful tool. Not only does a birth plan outline your requests, but it also helps you to become more informed about your options.

Creating a Birth Plan

It is suggested that you begin creating your birth plan in the early stages of pregnancy so you don’t become more stressed later on. You might want to keep a journal before writing your birth plan, so that you can become more in touch with your feelings about pregnancy.

The first thing you should include is where you want to deliver your baby. If you are considering a hospital, make sure you take into account any policies the hospital has that might impose on your birth plan.

Finally, if you are having a healthy pregnancy, giving birth at home may be an option you want to consider. However, it is important that you have health care professionals in your area that can come to your home to ensure a safe delivery.

Questions to Be Answered

Who will be there:

  • Who do you want with you?
  • Do you want a doctor, nurse, or midwife?

Atmosphere and location:

  • What kind of mobility options do you want? (Ability to walk or stay in bed?)
  • Do you want to be watched or left alone?
  • Do you want music or anything special to add to the atmosphere?
  • Do you want a water birth?

Medicines and events:

  • Do you want an epidural or other pain relief medication available, or do you want a natural childbirth?
  • If you need a cesarean, what are your preferences?

Post-natal:

  • Do you want to hold your baby right away or do you want it to be cleaned first?
  • Do you want to begin nursing right away?
  • What are your opinions on cord blood banking? * What would you like to do with the placenta?

Communicate Your Birth Plan

It is strongly recommended that you tell your health care professionals about your birthing plan since they will be actively involved in your pregnancy. Also, they may be able to point out any complications that may arise with your birth plan. Overall, you should think of your birth plan as a list of your desires, not a set of demands. Keep your wording positive (rather than negative) to avoid upsetting anyone. You may also want to consider having a health professional look over your plan to give you some additional feedback.

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