There are so many tools and birth planning resources that can help you create an informed birth plan, but the best tool you can use is your body. You are the only one that fully knows and understands what you and your baby need. A birth plan documents your birthing preferences for your birthing team. A good birth plan will include your preferences for labor and post-labor practices. A birth plan can come in the form of a written document, a bullet pointed list, or a chart plan. A well-organized birth plan can benefit both you and your birthing team for quick reference. The licensed midwives at the birth center can help you create your personalized birth plan.
The birthing experience is all-consuming and knowing that you’ve already laid out your preferences and communicated them to your team can help ease the mental stress. Your birth plan can help answer necessary questions your birthing team may have when you’re just a wee bit focused elsewhere. A birth plan also prepares you and your birthing team for any unforeseen emergencies that may arise, allowing you to consider your options in a calm environment and determine how you’d like any unplanned contingencies to be addressed.
If you are preparing for a natural childbirth, you may not think to include some of these preferences. In the case of unforeseen circumstances, it is good to have these preferences documented. When creating your birth plan, first start with a very basic introduction of your birth.
- How many other children do you have and how were they delivered?
- Preferred environment: accredited birth center, hospital, home birth
- Chosen birthing team: Father, Grandmother, other children, photographer, etc.
- Pain Management: natural pain relief techniques such as hypnotechniques, walking, medicine ball
- Considerations for my health and the health of the baby
- Preferred induction methods if necessary: walking, stimulation, etc.
- Induction methods you would prefer not to use: chemical methods, etc.
- Aspects you may want to include in your birth plan:
- Preferred movement and positions
- If an IV is needed, saline or heparin lock?
- Preferred food or beverage consumption
- Preferred lighting, sounds, temperature, privacy, etc.
- In considering my health and the health of the baby, we would like to delay chord clamping
- Newborn Care: breastfeeding, diapering, etc.
While most births are naturally successful without emergency intervention, there is a small chance that unexpected complications will arise. The licensed midwives here at the birth center are highly equipped and certified to handle the unforeseen emergency. It is very important to be prepared for this unknown situation. Make sure to include in your birth plan how you would like to respond to possible complications. While most of these instances are not “911” emergencies, having a personalized transfer-of-care plan established during your prenatal care which designates a specific collaborative physician and hospital can help reduce concerns and enhance your care in such a situation. For further information on hospital transfers, see our SCV BC FAQ.
And if you’re not sure of just what to include in your birth plan? Let the licensed midwives help guide your birth plan creation. Our years of experience will help identify the exact preferences that should be outlined in your birth plan. Check out our upcoming birthing classes to help further prepare for your natural childbirth.