Preparing a birth plan is great way to be proactive and avoid any miscommunications and unwanted stress on your big day. Of course you won’t be able to control everything that happens, but a birthing plan will give you the opportunity to outline your personal wishes and preferences for your labor and delivery. Typically a birth plan is a one-page clear and flexible list of preferences that should be provided to everyone who will be directly involved in your birth.
So where do you get started? The best thing to do is to find out all the routine policies for your specific birthing environment. Knowing what to expect will help you determine which policies you would like included and excluded in your birth. Research what alternatives are available for the policies you would like to avoid. Don’t wait until the last minute! It is important to have a well thought out plan, so allow yourself enough time to think everything over.
The Baby Center article, Birth plan: Your expectations and preferences, advises you to answer the following questions in your birth plan:
Who do you want present? Make a list of the people you would like to be present in your room. Do you want children or siblings present? Make special note of whom you would like present for the entirety of your birthing experience.
What is your preferred method of pain management? This is especially important if you are planning on a natural birth. Document which labor props you would like in your room (birthing ball, squatting bar, birthing tub, birthing stool, etc.).
How do you want to push? Some moms prefer to be coached and instructed when to bear down and others prefer to follow the body’s natural urges and push only when you feel like you need to.
What happens if your labor stalls? Think about if you want your medical team to break your amniotic sac or augment your labor with medication such as pitocin.
Which labor position do you prefer? Think if you want to squat, semi-sit, lay on your side, etc.
If need be, what are your preferences for a C-section? Would you want your guests to leave the room? Do you want to have a clear plastic drape so your view is not obstructed? Do you want your baby placed on your chest immediately after?
There are plenty of other scenarios you can address in your birth plan. Every womens’ birth plan will be different. You can also check out this chart to use as a reference while creating your plan.
Another way to successfully prepare for the birth of your baby is to qualify for a free breast pump through your insurance. Qualifying with Aeroflow Breastpumps is quick and easy; simply complete our Qualify Through Insurance form and let our Breastpump Specialists take care of the rest.