Most of the clients we work with are excited, but unsure about how to proceed when creating their birth plan. We like to remind expectant mothers that a birth plan contains your birth preferences. A birth plan states how you want your birth to proceed if mom and baby are healthy.
Here are a few things to consider as you put together your own birth plan:
1- Talk to your care provider beforehand about your plan– If they are not supportive, or repeat “comforting phrases” you may want to walk away. Having a care provider that supports YOUR vision of your birth is key to having a positive birthing experience.
2- Your preference on Induction– The decision of whether or not to induce your labor will be in your hands, and there are many important factors to consider. Your Doula can help make sense of these options for you, but can also make sure these preferences are made clear to your provider before and during your birth. Your Doula will be your biggest advocate in making sure your healthy birth proceeds as planned.
3- Delayed Cord Clamping– Make sure your birth team knows if you want to delay cord clamping during your birth.
4- Monitoring– Are you wanting intermittent monitoring, a water-proof monitor, or fetal Doppler Monitoring? Your Doula can help you explore these options.
5- Mother Directed Pushing– Are you planning to follow your body as it directs you how to best push your baby out? If you are going un-medicated, it is easier to listen to the natural rhythm of your birthing body and your birth team can help guide you through this.
6- Skin to skin after birth– Having your baby on your chest right after birth can make a difference in how your baby responds to life once they are here.
Remember, go over the birth plan you created with your Doula and your care provider beforehand. It’s important to make sure you are on the same page about your birth plan before you get to the hospital. Take 3 copies to the hospital in your hospital bag to ensure everyone has a copy that might need one, including your doula!