a baby is in your future, youíve likely been planning ahead
ó stocking up on diapers, newborn clothes and blankets, as
well as considering how youíll name your new little one. But
before the baby is born, you should make a plan leading up to
the very moment of birth," says Jana Brand, OB-GYN nurse
practitioner at Mayo Clinic Health System. "This is known
as a birth plan, and itís an important piece of two-way
covers a few frequently asked questions about birth plans and
some considerations to help you design a plan best meets your
Why is a
birth plan necessary?
plan is a way for you to communicate your wishes to those
caring for you during your labor and after the birth of your
baby. Every birth is a unique experience. Creating a birth
plan empowers you to become informed of all your options
during labor. At the same time, itís a tool to let the team
caring for you know about your preferences.
need to write my own birth plan?
have to create your birth plan from scratch. Many hospitals
have a standard form or booklet that you can complete at your
convenience. Itís recommended to review your birth plan with
your provider during your pregnancy. Find out if the location
at which you are delivering can accommodate your wishes. For
example, if your pregnancy is high risk, your provider may
advise against certain things on your birth plan. Itís a
good idea to have this conversation before you arrive at the
needs to be included in the birth plan?
you may have in your mind how you want your babyís birth to
be, your choices may not be heard effectively if you donít
have a birth plan. Who do you want present in the delivery
room? Do you want to be offered medication for pain
management? If so, what type of medication? Do you want a
natural birth and to use alternative measures for comfort? Do
you want to freely move around during labor? Do you want to
use hydrotherapy? Do you want your baby continuously
monitored? These are just a few items that can be included in
your birth plan.
baby is born, how do I indicate my preferences?
plan does not end with the delivery of your new baby. The care
team will want to know how you want your baby to be cared for
in the hospital. For example, explaining who will be cutting
the umbilical cord, changing the babyís first diaper and
giving the baby his or her first bath. In addition, the birth
plan can indicate how you wish to feed your baby. Identifying
breast milk or formula as a nutritional preference is also a
very important item for your birth plan. Religious or cultural
preferences should be included in your plan as well.
the ultimate goal during delivery is to have a healthy mom and
a healthy baby. Your birth plan can help communicate your
preferences to the care team during one of the most exciting
times of your life," Brand says.