Whether you’re in your first trimester, you’re nearing the end of your pregnancy or you’re somewhere in the middle, it’s never too early or too late to create the birthing plan you want. While some people don’t know what a birthing plan is or perhaps don’t see the point, even having a simple, basic birth plan is better than nothing at all. Really, it’s a way to make sure you have the labor experience you want. Every hospital, birthing center and midwife have their own standards, as does every parent and expecting parent. The best way to make sure you have the experience you’re looking for is to communicate your wishes.
There are so many different ways you can create a birthing plan. And even if it might seem overwhelming and like you might not know where to begin, there are a few simple things you can focus on to get started. Here’s what you need to know about creating a birth plan.
What is a Birth Plan?
The first thing that you should know when creating a birth plan is exactly what that means. Essentially, a birth plan is a plan that goes over your whole structure of labor and delivery, noting your preferences for any processes, even if you already have arrangements made for them. This is just in case anything gets lost in the mix, as childbirth can sometimes be a hectic process.
Work With Your Birthing Team
When you want to start making your birth plan, one of the best ways to begin is by working with your birthing team. Whether that means you’re forming your plan with a midwife, doula, OB-GYN or another health professional, those individuals may even have templates for you to work with, or a plan in place to formulate an entire birth plan together. They may even bring up the idea if you haven’t already.
Include Your Primary Support Person
Whether your primary support person is your partner, parent, sister, doula or friend, their part in the plan should be clear. Even if they happen to be the person helping you formulate your plan, discussing exactly what role they will play in the process and any specific things you want them to do can be helpful in the moment and as you prepare.
One of the details included in your birth plan should be your method of pain management. While some expectant mothers would rather go the route of the epidural, some would prefer to go into labor completely unmedicated. While you should lay out your plans for medication, other methods of pain management could also be of use. Mention any stretches, yoga or movements you want to do during labor, especially ones that have been recommended by your birthing team.
While the place you’re giving birth might be common knowledge, if there happen to be any additional details that would make it a better environment for you to relax and have the best experience possible, you should make note of that in your birth plan. If you have a playlist you want to play, clothing you want to wear or even snacks you’d like to have, you can make a note of it in your birthing plan.
Birth Process Details
When it comes to the actual birthing process, if there are any details you want to make a note of before you go in, you should put them in your plan. If you have any positions you’d like to try, medications that don’t agree with you or even a particular person you’d like to cut the cord, those are all things worth marking down.
Your birthing plan is all about the process or labor, but what happens after the baby is born? All of those things that happen after birth should be accounted for in your birth plan, too. Everything from skin to skin contact, afterbirth and your personal needs can be accounted for in your birthing plan to make the process go by even easier. Especially once your baby is born, you’ll likely find yourself a bit fixated, so having your plans laid out before you can be abundantly helpful.
Planning Your Birth Experience
Creating a birth plan is all about detailing the childbirth experience you want to have. Each birth plan is unique, and yours is no different. When you work with your birth team and support systems, consider all the details and take the time to lay everything out, you’ll make the perfect plan for you and your baby.