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Making a Birth Plan

Overview

A birth plan lets you write down your vision of an ideal birth and share it with your support person, the hospital or birth center, and your doctor or midwife.

Your birth may not go as planned. But the process of making a plan can be a great way to get everyone on the same page about what you think you'd prefer.

Here are some ideas for making a birth plan.

  • Choose where you want to have your baby.

    It could be a hospital, a birthing center, or your home. The setting may depend on your level of risk for problems during delivery, and if you're working with a doctor or midwife.

  • List the comfort measures you want to try.

    Think breathing techniques, laboring in water, or trying different positions.

  • Include the medical treatments you prefer to have.

    Think about pain medicine you'd want, even if you don't think you'll need it. And think about your options if you end up needing a C-section.

  • Say how you want your baby to be cared for after delivery.
    • You might want your baby to stay in the room with you rather than in the nursery.
    • You might want to delay some tests so you can hold your baby and start breastfeeding right away.
  • List who you want to be there with you.

    Maybe you want family and friends in the room, or maybe you only want the baby's other parent or a support person like a doula.

As you think about your plan, give yourself permission to be flexible. It's hard to know what will happen. The most important thing is to make sure you and your baby are healthy and safe.

Credits

Current as of: February 23, 2022

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
Kirtly Jones MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology

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