Having a birth plan can give you a few peace of mind both during your pregnancy and when you begin going into labor. While it’s important to remember that every labor and delivery experience is different – and that your plan may change at any moment – creating a universal birth plan is a good place to start. Ideally, your birth plan should contain what your goals are for the entire process: before labor. During labor, and after labor and delivery. We’ve outlined what things to consider each step.
Before Delivery Begins
When thinking about what kind of environment you’re looking for leading up to your labor, it’s imperative to first speak with your doctor to see what types of things are permitted in your chosen hospital. Once you’ve discussed the options, think about your preference for:
Who you want present during delivery
Whether you’d like to be in bed, walking around, sitting up, or in a tub during labor
If photos and video are acceptable and who should be responsible
Eating and drinking during active labor
Things you’d like to bring into the room, like music or personal items
During Labor and Delivery
In this section, you’ll highlight the way you’d like to give birth and whether you want certain types of medications or procedures, like:
Vacuum extraction or use of forceps
C-sections vs. vaginal delivery
After Labor and Delivery
For many parents, moments after delivery are planned less thoroughly than the actual labor and delivery itself. Consider things like:
Whether you want to hold the baby immediately after birth
Involvement of your partner
Cutting the cord
Banking cord blood
After you’ve created your birth plan, are willing to share with your doctor to talk through each request in detail. Remember that unexpected events can happen at any point during the birthing process, so it’s essential to be flexible. Don’t panic if changes are necessary; in the end, the most important part is cherishing the new addition to your family.
Visit Baptist’s Maternity Care page for more information, or find a physician by visiting our Find a Doctor page.