A birth plan is a written document that helps a woman expresses her desires for labor and delivery. It does not guarantee that nothing unexpected will happen, but creates a plan for all involved to make this the experience that the mother feels will be the best for herself and the baby. You will share what you write with the birth team that helps in labor and delivery. When you write your birth plan let it reflect some of your personality, what your hopes and plans are, how you feel about the birth. Your birth plan strategy is not just a laundry list of what you want but is a way for everyone to work together.
Before you start writing your birth plan you will have probably read a lot about childbirth and the experiences others have had in delivery. You should put the things that are most important to you about the birth at the top of the list, or underline them or use a highlighter. Once you have a satisfactory list, type it or write it neatly. An example of things to include would be a wish to avoid drugs, and an epistemology or you may say that you wish to be able to walk during labor. Sometimes we do not get all we want, but if, for example your number one priority is to not be separated from your baby after birth, and that happens, you have had a successful birth.
Whether you are a first time parent, or this is a second or third pregnancy, you probably have some idea about what you want from the delivery experience. The birth plan strategy is the place that you can write that you want a natural birth, with minimal or no drugs. You may also specify that you do want medication, and which ones are acceptable. When you make these decisions before labor begins, you do so with a clear mind. The written birth plan speaks for you when you are too busy to speak during contractions. Always be aware that a delivery can go in unexpected directions, and make it clear that you understand this. The birth team is not your opponent, you will want to be certain that they understand that you know that they will do their best for you, but sometimes things are different than what you planned.A good time to write your birth plan written is around the second trimester of your pregnancy, so that you are ready just in case you have early labor. There are a lot of questions to consider. The written birth plan strategy allows you to state that you want your partner by your side, or not. It speaks for you when you cannot speak yourself. It reduces the possibility of forgetting something that is very important to you. When you focus on the issues that are important to you, even if your labor goes a totally different route than you planned, you can still feel good about the labor and delivery if attention is given to the things that you feel are important.
The concept of a written birth plan has come out of the natural childbirth movement, but it is in no way limited to mothers seeking natural childbirth. It is a place to specify who is included in the labor room, what procedures are okay. If it is not a first pregnancy, and you were not satisfied with your first child birth experience, write a birth plan for this pregnancy. Are you planning to have a C Section? A birth plan is still useful. You can specify that your partner or coach may be with you during the delivery. If you would like you may request that your new baby be placed immediately on your chest, or stay in the room. The birth plan allows you to clarify for yourself what you are expecting from your birth experience.
Your birth plan is not a legal document, and if things go wrong and there are unexpected issues, it may be that it will not be followed. By writing a birth plan you know what is important to you and your unborn child.
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