A birth plan is a document that tells your healthcare provider and delivery team your wishes and preferences for your childbirth and early postpartum period. The birth plan is not a legal contract but a written outline of your desires. It serves as an opportunity for the expectant parents to consider and communicate their ideal birth experience.
Because childbirth doesn’t always go as planned, it is important to remain flexible and know that the plan may need to change for you and your baby’s health and safety.
There are many tools and sample birth plans available online and on our website to help you create your birth plan.
Some things you may wish to consider include:
Who will attend your delivery
Methods and medications preferred for induction or augmentation of labor
Methods, techniques and medications preferred for pain management
Fetal monitoring preferences
Eating and drinking during labor
IV access or saline lock
Position for delivery
Cutting the umbilical cord
Cord blood banking
Any cultural or religious practices that you would like to incorporate
You may also like to consider care for yourself and baby after delivery. Some considerations include:
Medications for baby after the birth
Bathing the baby
It is a good idea to bring your birth plan to a prenatal visit during your third trimester to discuss your wishes with your doctor or midwife. And, if you have any questions, feel free to ask us at any of your prenatal visits!