As adults, we’ve had years of experience planning for dentist appointments, work trips and family obligations. We plan our days, weeks, months and years. Why not plan your birth? Especially if it’s your first pregnancy, creating this plan can feel like a daunting task without a clear starting point. Here’s everything to include in your birth plan and how to customize it for each pregnancy:
Let’s start with defining a birth plan. This plan is heavily focused on the labor and delivery part of your pregnancy. It can help communicate your wishes, goals and preferences to your care team. As What to Expect explains, a birth plan also factors in what’s practical, what’s feasible and what is available from your practitioner and hospital or birthing center.
Kids Health outlines three key questions to be answered in a birth plan:
What do you want to happen in case of unexpected events? While it’s important to make a plan for a normal labor and delivery, unexpected complications can occur. No one wants something to go wrong, but it’s better to have a plan for it in advance. One unexpected event is the need for a cesarean section (C-section). Your birth plan should cover your wishes in the event that you need that procedure.
Beyond those three guiding questions, a birth plan can contain more detail about your preferences. The American Pregnancy Association gives expectant mothers some ideas of considerations while making a birth plan:
A birth plan can be a way to feel more comfortable with your pregnancy as you prepare for labor and delivery. If you need guidance in creating a birth plan or want to discuss available resources, your healthcare provider is here to help! Schedule an appointment and get the answers and support you’re looking for.