A New Mom’s Guide to Making a Birth Plan

Every new mom gets inquisitive at some point in their pregnancy. Most women like talking with other women who have already been through labor and delivery. This type of advice can be both helpful and harmful, especially when delivery stories are told with all of the gory details left in. No, thank you!

While talking with friends and family can sometimes include many uncomfortable truths, not all pregnancy experiences are the same. Birthing experiences may not always be terrible. In fact, there is another side to pregnancy that is not only beautiful but also empowering. Filter through all of the scary stories by planning a positive birthing experience ahead of time.

Take time to plan out the details of the birthing experience for positive and memorable moments. Having a birth plan allows an expectant mother to plan out the birthing experience well before the due date arrives. Some of the preferences in a birth plan may include a preferred birthing procedure, pain relief, a doctor’s training and recommendations, the regulations and logistics of the birth center or hospital, or when to start breastfeeding.

A proper birth plan will allow time for a critical thinking process and eventually make informed decisions.



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Proper Research for a Birth Plan

Seek Antenatal Care

Antenatal care is helpful insight provided by a healthcare professional during pregnancy. Your midwife could offer you some classes at the hospital or health center near you. They can help you with your preventative healthcare birth plan.

Ask Advice from Friends and Family

Enquire more information from other women who have delivered their child or children at the hospital or birth center you have chosen to go to. If a home birth is being considered, speak to moms and dads who have been through that experience. Ask questions that will help determine if it was easy or hard to get the medical attention they needed at home.

Consult with Your Partner

Also, it is important that you have time to talk with your birth partner about the plans. This communication is key to helping your birth partner understand your labor and birth preferences. Remember to include your partner as you create a birth plan together. It will help foster a healthy relationship transitioning to new parenthood.

Before the baby is born it is also helpful to discuss with your partner how you would both like to decorate the baby’s room. Decisions like what color the room should be or which affordable baby swing you should add to the room will be a lot easier to plan before the baby arrives.

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What to Include in Your Birth Plan

Positions for Labor and Delivery

Be sure to include the positions you plan to use during labor and delivery. Clearly specify your birthing preferences so that it will be easier for your caretakers to understand your needs.

Pain Relief Preference

In a birth plan, state the kinds of pain relief you would like administered to you during labor and delivery.  If there are more than 2 pain meds available at the time of delivery, a birth plan can help explain your preferred to use of medication.

Alternatively, you could also plan that you would like to have a water massage as medical pain relief. If there is any kind of pain relief method you would not want to use, write it down too.

Speeding Up the Labor and Delivery Process

In case your labor slows down and becomes a longer experience than expected, plan ahead to decide to hasten the labor process by use of interventions from a midwife or health practitioner

Labor Equipment

Most hospitals and birth centers nowadays have equipment expectant moms can use during labor and delivery such as bean bags, birth balls, wall bars etc. Some women though prefer to bring their equipment from home.

Placenta Delivery

Most moms that give birth in the hospital often receive an injection that is meant to speed up the delivery of the placenta. However, some prefer not to have the injection and instead prefer to deliver the placenta naturally with no drugs. If you want this, write it down in your birth plan.

Cutting the Umbilical Cord

In some cases, a mom may have a very strong preference when it comes to who cuts the umbilical cord. In most cases, a mom will want the baby’s dad to cut it. If this is what you want to state it in your birth plan.

Unforeseen Complications

You ought to write down what you would like to be done if your baby develops some complications and must be moved to the special care baby unit. If you would like to be the one to care for him or her until his or her health is better, state it in your plan.

Before delivery, a copy of the birth plan made by the mother to be ought to be put in her file and given to her birth coach, and the hospital or birth center in which she plans to have her little one.







Natalie MicheleAbout the Author:

Natalie Michele is a consultant for pregnancy and beyond. You can visit her blog at Maternityathome to read more and to get in touch with her.