Establishing a Birth Plan
Congratulations! You are now embarking on the wonderful journey of pregnancy! Throughout the process, you will be asked often what your birth plans are: When? Where? How? BE PREPARED!!! Establishing a written birth plan ahead of time will greatly simplify the birth process and will ensure that everyone will be on the same page in your ideal birth situation. The purpose of the birth plan is to provide additional clarity to your caregivers and birth supporters so that your wishes can be followed through. Below is a sample Birth Plan to guide you along the way:
1. Who are the caregivers?
2. What do you expect from your caregivers?
3. Place/Location of birth?
4. What position do you want to give birth in (squatting, lying down, birthing chair)?
5. Which tests do you want to be performed (ultrasound, fetal monitoring, amniocentesis)?
6. Which surgical procedures do you/or don’t you want (induction, episiotomy, c-section, scraping of membranes)?
7. Which drugs, if any?
8. Which drugs do you want/or not want to be administered to your baby (Hep-B vaccine, antibiotic cream)?
9. If additional blood is needed, do you want it from a blood bank or do you have a donor?
10. What testing/procedures do you want or refuse for your baby (PKU, platelet count, Vit K shot, circumcision)?
11. Who will be with you at your birth?
12. Who will be with your other children, or will they be with you at the birth?
13. Do you want videotaping or pictures?
14. Specify any wishes if complications arise:
15. Do you want the baby lain on your chest immediately?
16. Do you want to wait for the cord to stop pulsating before it is cut?
17. Will you breastfeed? Do you need support?
18. Names of people you want to be contacted after the birth (names and phone #s)
19. Additional comments:
Make this plan available to your birth provider and supporters prior to the birth so that confusion can be minimized and your wishes can be honored. Listen to your body and have the type of birth you want!!