How to Write Your Birth Planby Your Baby Club
Your birth plan is a record of your wishes and instructions for care before, during and after labour. You don't have to create one, but they are helpful to give you some peace of mind knowing you have a ‘plan’ in place. Discussing your birth plan with your midwife, gives you the opportunity to ask any questions and find out what to expect during labour.
It’s also an opportunity for your midwife to get to know you, help understand your feelings and your priorities during labour, and allows your birthing partner to know what you want too. Let’s face it, you’re going to be too occupied pushing a human out to ensure your labour is as close to your plan as it can be.
Your birth plan is also personal to you. Every birth is different, and every mum-to-be is different, so this will be a clear indication of your wishes. It will include details of your medical history, your current circumstances (i.e., consultant-led, whether you’re a single parent-to-be) and have noted down what is available at your maternity service that you’d like to utilise.
It’s worth noting, these plans aren’t set in stone, you are able to change your mind at any time. You will need to stay relatively flexible however, if complications arise with you or your baby, or if certain facilities aren't available to you at the time of birth. Writing a birth plan gives you the opportunity to consider all the difference scenarios your labour and birth may cover and in doing so, gives you confidence to make the right decision for your circumstances
What To Include:
- Where and how you want to give birth.
- Desired pain relief options.
- Use of forceps or ventouse (intervention or instrumental delivery).
- Your choice for/against a caesarean section.
- · Your baby after the birth (skin to skin, delayed cord clamping, cord blood banking, placental use).
You can also use this opportunity to think about what your birth partner can do to support you throughout labour, whether that’s coaching you through hypnobirthing, keeping you cool, or DJ'ing your labour playlist.
Your midwife might give you a form to fill in, or you can provide your own. It's a good idea to always keep a copy of your birth plan with you and have additional copies for your birth partner handy too. We’ve put together a plan for you in the next few pages for you to print out and fill in to take with you.