Why write a birth plan?
Think of a birth plan as a roadmap for a trip: This is where you want to go, and how you want to get there. You understand that there might be bumps and detours along the way, but at least you have the Idea of your destination: a safe, healthy birth.
What should my Birth Plan include?
Your birth plan should include your ideal birth, your preferences in staffing, support people, pain management, monitoring, movement/positioning, management of the pushing stage, and aftercare for you and your baby.
How long should my Birth Plan be?
Your birth plan should not take more than two pages. Page one should cover labor and delivery, and page two should cover infant care.
Should my care provider see my Birth Plan ahead of time?
YES! Not showing your care provider your Birth Plan would be like hiring a tour bus for a long distance road trip, and then refusing to give the driver the map. If possible, take your proposed birth plan in at least a month before your due date, discuss it with your care provider, and get them to sign at least one copy. You should take two copies with you to the hospital, one for your chart (signed by your care provider!), and one for your partner. Your doula should also have a copy, as should your care provider.
Links to some online Birth Plans:
There are thousands of online tools for creating your Birth Plan, just Google “birth plan online.” These are the top few links that came up when we did. You can use one of these to roadmap your Birth Plan, or ask your doula to help you write one.