Writing a birth plan can help you feel more prepared and empowered as your due date approaches. A birth plan lays out your wishes for labor, delivery, postpartum, and newborn care. Even if you don’t end up sticking to the plan, it is a valuable tool for educating yourself and making informed decisions during labor and delivery.
When writing a birth plan, begin with listing the names and contact information for the key people involved in your delivery. This could include:
If there are people you don’t want to be involved in the delivery, you can identify them as well.
Include a section with important information on your medical history. List any medications you are taking, any conditions you are being treated for, and information on past pregnancies and deliveries.
Put where you want to give birth in writing. If you are being seen by an obstetrician or certified nurse-midwife (CNM), that will most likely be at the hospital or birthing center they work with. But you should also put down in writing the type of atmosphere or environment you want to deliver your baby into. Note if you want certain music or guided meditations to be played. Or if you want the room to be as quiet as possible, make sure that’s clear.
Make sure you include your preferences for pain management. That means whether or not you want an epidural and any pain management techniques you want to use. If you have had trouble with pain management during previous deliveries, make sure you make a note of that.
If you have discussed or explored different birthing positions with a care provider, note your preferences when writing your birth plan. Make sure you are educated on how to use these positions and any props you will be using. If you end up getting an epidural, you may need a contingency plan because you may not have the leg strength for squatting or sitting.
When writing a birth plan, you may also want to include:
In your birth plan, let healthcare providers know what kind of medications do and do not work for you. This includes pain medications, stool softeners, and laxatives.
Be clear about what kind of care you want your baby to receive. For instance, if you want to hold the baby skin-to-skin immediately after delivery, make a note of this. Include details on:
Of course, you should find a pediatrician to discuss these things with before you deliver so you are prepared to make these decisions.
The physicians, nurses, and medical staff at Kernodle OB/GYN offer a comprehensive list of gynecological and obstetric services to the women in Burlington and Mebane, NC. If you have questions about how your hormones are affecting your health, call us at (336) 538-2367 to make an appointment.
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