When we wrote our birth plan for our first baby, my husband and I were surprised to realize how many things we hadn’t thought about before. Who was going to cut the cord? Did we want our newborn wiped off or just handed directly to me for skin-to-skin contact? Did we want to circumcise? Eek! Those questions hadn’t even crossed our minds yet, and we were so glad that we had a chance to research and consider our decisions before delivery.
A good birth plan can be a great way to communicate your wishes to your health care providers or doula. A birth plan is a written out description of what you would like your birth to look like and what procedures you desire to have or wish to avoid. It is a great exercise to help moms and dads-to-be consider decisions and details about their upcoming birth.
But I want to be clear about what a birth plan is NOT: It is a not a guarantee that your birth will go exactly as planned. It is not your ticket to an easy and perfect birth experience. Every birth is different and complications sometimes arise that change our well-crafted plans. So think about your birth plan as a well-thought out expression of your ideal wishes for your birth (and keep a big dose of flexibility right by your side!)
At my second child’s birth, one of our nurses actually loved how we structured our birth plan so much that she asked to keep a copy of it to use as a model for a birthing class she teaches. So, I wanted to share some ideas for you mamas-to-be to consider as you’re brainstorming.