Creating a Birth Plan – Preparing for Labor and Delivery
The birth of your baby is undeniably one of the biggest milestones of your life. You want nothing but the best for you and your little bundle of joy. That’s why creating a birth plan should be the first on your to-do list. By brainstorming birth plan ideas, you help organize your preferences, eliminate uneasiness, and ultimately better envision your big day. Research suggests that women who exhibit more confidence have easier birth experiences.
Not sure how to get started? Grab a journal and begin jotting down ideas. Creating a birth plan can be an ideal way to identify how you want your childbirth to go based on personal preferences and desires. Ideally, your birth plan should be about one page long and include details about the place of birth, who you want present, pain relief options, breastfeeding, etc.
If you’re working closely with an OB-GYN, a birth plan can be used as a guideline throughout labor and delivery to ensure you deliver your baby in the way that works best for you. Here are key factors that go into establishing a successful birth plan:
Decide who you want present at birth
If you want your husband or partner present in the delivery room, note this on your birth plan template. If you feel strongly about having certain people present or absent, note this as well. In some cases, hospital staff can help manage (and prevent) surprise visits from those you don’t want around during labor and delivery.
Creating a birth plan for pain relief
Add your preferred method of pain relief to your plan. Women who want near-painless births may opt for an epidural, while other women prefer to go the natural, unmedicated route. Ask your OB-GYN about different pain relief methods so you can choose the one that works best for you.
Note your preferred methods of relaxation
Think about amenities that can help you feel more relaxed and peaceful throughout labor and delivery. They may include your favorite music and certain types of lighting. Make your wishes known via your birth plan so your OB-GYN and hospital staff can be as accommodating as possible.
Share your birth plan with your OB-GYN
Discuss your plan with your OB-GYN as far in advance as possible so he or she can work with you on making sure it works. This allows your OB-GYN to provide feedback on your birth plan based on your health and on what your hospital can offer. Present your birth plan no later than six weeks before your scheduled due date so you and your doctor can make the necessary preparations.
Understand you must be flexible
While every mother hopes for a seamlessly easy birth, sometimes problems do arise. Keep in mind that your plan must be flexible since care providers are responsible for the health and safety of both you and your baby. For example, an emergency C-section can override your plan to give birth naturally without pain medication. Be prepared for a possible change, but keep in mind your physicians want nothing but the best for you and your new family.
Women’s Care believes that every woman is an individual with unique needs for her care throughout her pregnancy, labor, and delivery. We strive to make your pregnancy one of the most special and memorable times in your life. Contact us to schedule an appointment and to learn more about how WCF can care for you and your baby.
Schedule an appointment with an OB/GYN today at Women’s Care.