During pregnancy, it’s natural to begin thinking about the birth of your child. Giving careful consideration as to your birth plan can reduce stress and help give you a sense of control throughout labor and delivery.
What is a Birth Plan?
A birth plan is a one- or two-page summary of your preferences for childbirth. When considering your plans for the day, it is helpful to begin by speaking with your OBGYN. Your obstetrician will be able to walk you through your options, as well as their typical process for labor and delivery. By asking your questions ahead of time, you and your partner will be able to have a
clearer understanding of the day your child will be born.
Considerations for Your Birth Plan
There is no such thing as a typical birth plan, but your obstetrician may be able to provide you with a template or a list of things to consider. Some areas you may want to address in your birth plan include:
Labor Support – Consider listing out who you do or don’t want present during labor and delivery. The list may include your significant other, children, other family members or friends.
Stress Reducers – During childbirth, managing your stress and comfort will be important. Objects from home, such as pictures or a pillow, dimmed lighting or music may help you relax.
Pain Control – There are several medical and natural pain control options you may choose to employ. Some women prefer a medication or epidural to control pain, while others opt for hydrotherapy, warm compresses and massage.
Meeting Your Baby – At the time of birth, consider whether your partner would like to catch the baby or cut the umbilical cord. Is skin-to- skin contact or immediate breastfeeding important to you? Discuss the possibilities and any questions regarding your first moments with your OBGYN.
The Back-Up Plan
When developing your birth plan, it is important to remember that there is no such thing as a “normal” birth. While sharing your preferences with your obstetrician can ensure open communication and reduce misunderstandings, some things will likely not go according to plan. Keep in mind your options and preferences for complications or an emergency situation. If your OBGYN is aware of your priorities, it can help when adjustments need to be made.
Call our office to discuss your birth plan.