In the final weeks of your pregnancy, you will have many things to do, to prepare for your birth. Did you write your birth plan? Do you need it? I will explain in this article the importance of a birth plan, how to write it, and what elements it should include for an easy, stress-free birth experience.
It is a summary of the mother’s wishes for her birth, it is set according to medical standards to lessen the stress of birth and labor. Moms usually list the wishes that protect their health and the health of their baby and that guarantee she is comfortable during labor. Very often these wishes would reflect having a natural vaginal birth with the least medical interventions possible.
It is essential to create a birth plan after the mom has enough information about labor and birth, after taking birthing classes. To reflect the knowledge she acquired, and to have the best effect on her health and the health of her baby.
You will need a supporting team to help you put a plan for your birth and to execute too. Make sure to pick an OBGYN that supports birth plans, and who can help you write and execute them. Get the help of a childbirth educator or a Doula, who can also accompany you during labor and birth. The maternity hospital is an important pillar in a successful birth plan. Mother and baby hospitals welcome birth plans and support them.
Steps of creating a birth plan
- Visit the maternity hospital and check their protocols for accompanying persons during labor, and other important details.
- Talk to your doctor and find out her thoughts on natural birth and whether she performs episiotomies and c-sections without a medical necessity.
- Agree with all parties involved then write the plan.
- Be flexible and be prepared for any change that might happen.
- Accompanying people
You can enlist the number of people you would like to be with you in the delivery room according to priority. In case the hospital will request to reduce the number for any reason, your plan should indicate who is the one person that you need to stay with.
You can request that you be allowed to move freely during labor and not to be hooked to monitors and IVs unless it is medically required.
- Pain management
You can request that you perform squats and other pain-relieving exercises, and get your lower back rubbed if there is no medical prohibition. You can enlist all pain management options you prefer whether they are natural or medicinal.
- Medical interventions
Women can request to have a 100% vaginal and natural birth, without an episiotomy or a c-section unless medically needed.
This point might be futile in a baby-friendly hospital since breastfeeding is fully supported. However, a mother can indicate her wish to breastfeed immediately after birth, and that she doesn’t want her baby to get any formula.
Your birth plan must be:
1- Short and clear.
2- Individual, you can’t borrow someone else’s plan.
3- Specific to the upcoming birth, it is not preferred to use a plan from a previous birth.
4- Contain nice words such as I prefer, I wish, instead of I refuse, and I forbid!
5- Indicating that your wishes can be ignored in case of a medical emergency.