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Crafting Your Birth Plan: A Guiding Light for Your Special Day

Updated: Oct 4, 2023

Relaxed and comfortable pregnancy lady with a blank birth plan and pencil.

Bringing a new life into the world is a momentous occasion, and every birth is unique. One way to ensure that your birthing experience aligns with your preferences and values is by creating a birth plan. As a doula, I've had the privilege of assisting families in crafting their birth plans and see what difference it can make! In this blog post, I'll guide you through the process of writing a birth plan that empowers you, your partner, and your healthcare team to work together in creating a safe and memorable birthing experience.

Start early. Begin your birth plan early in your pregnancy to allow ample time for research and decision-making. This will also give you time to discuss your preferences with your healthcare provider.

Education is key. Research various birthing options, interventions, and pain relief methods. Understand the pros and cons of each so you can make informed decisions.

Choose your birth setting - it can be a hospital, birthing centre or home. Your choice will influence the available options and routines. Consider making a plan B if things don't got according to your plan - for example if you are wishing to give birth at home or birth centre, have a plan B in case you will have to go to hospital. Having a Caesarean Birth Plan is a good idea too!

Your birth plan should reflect your unique wishes and values. Consider the following elements:

  • Your History: note any specific feelings you have, wether you want a hands on approach from your birth team and any special requirements about your disabilities, religious/cultural beliefs, etc.

  • Birth Environment: key points of what makes you feel safe and respected should be noted down - it might be the noise levels or the brightness of the space..

  • Labor and Delivery Preferences: include your preferred positions for labor, comfort measures, and any specific requests for monitoring.

  • Pain Management: detail your preferences for pain relief, whether it's natural methods, medication, or a combination.

  • Interventions: state your stance on interventions like augmentation of labour, monitoring, episiotomy, or assisted deliveries.

  • Hour of Power: specify how you would like your first hour after the baby is born to look and feel like.

It might sound a lot and hopefully you will not need some or most of this - and your birth will go smoothly start to finish. But in case something will need extra attention - you will know your wishes/preferences and your team will be ready to deliver them.

Make sure you communicate the birth plan with your midwife - schedule an appointment to discuss it. She can provide valuable insights and address any concerns, recommendations based on your medical history or current health. Be open to discussions and adjustments.

Remember that flexibility is key - labor and birth can be unpredictable. While a birth plan is a helpful guide, be open to changes if circumstances require it.

Create a visual Birth Plan - make your birth plan easy to read and understand. Consider using bullet points, headers, and visuals to convey your preferences clearly. Keep it short - no more than one page.

When the Plan is ready - distribute copies of your birth plan to your midwife, doula, and anyone else attending the birth. Keep a copy in your hospital bag. During labor, communicate your preferences with your birthing team. Your doula can be a valuable advocate, ensuring your wishes are respected.

Creating a birth plan is a wonderful way to take an active role in your birthing experience. Remember that it's not a rigid script but a flexible guide to help you and your healthcare team work together for a safe and positive birth. Trust in your instincts, stay informed, and embrace the beautiful journey ahead. As a doula, I'm here to support you every step of the way, ensuring your birth plan is a beacon of light guiding you to the birth you envision.Check out my Birth Plan workshop should you need further assistance.

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