3 Steps for Making a Birth Plan
Step 1: Define your wishes regarding the birth
Step 2: Write out your birth plan
Step 3: Communicate your birth plan
The birth plan trend is slowly gaining ground in the USA. This document lists the couple’s wishes regarding the course of the birth. For example, if you do not want an oxytocin infusion, you can indicate this in a document.
You can also indicate if you want to listen to music during birth, etc.
Writing a birth plan means thinking about all aspects of the birth, planning this important event, and exchanging with the health professionals who follow your pregnancy.
This document is also meant to be discussed with the team that will follow your pregnancy / take care of your delivery: they must be able to express themselves on what is possible, risky, etc.
All the answers to help you write your birth plan in this post.
1. Define your wishes regarding childbirth
Here are a few tips for developing your birth plan:
Start with your list of questions, and then look for the answers: your choices will follow. These are the choices you will make in the birth plan.
There are templates for birth plans, but it is best to write the first version without being influenced by them: you can consult them later to refine yours.
Make choices in all aspects:
Medical support: by whom? Midwife, obstetrician, etc.
The place of delivery: at home? At the hospital?
The medical procedures for the mother and the child:
The hospital stay.
The return home, etc.
Good to know: have you thought about the birth center? This is an autonomous structure that, under the exclusive responsibility of midwives, welcomes pregnant women with a personalized approach to pregnancy monitoring until their delivery. It offers women with no known risk factors a physiological, less medicalized birth while being adjacent to a health care facility, which guarantees better safety in case of complications.
2. Put your birth plan in writing
In the introduction, explain your approach and why you have chosen to write a birth plan.
In the first part, write down your wishes for a natural birth, and then, in the second part, plan for exceptional cases, especially in the case of a cesarean section.
In the last part, you can express your wishes about the after-birth.
Once written, discuss it with the team that follows you to get the first opinion and then modify it if necessary.
Once finished, the birth plan must be signed by the doctor and yourself to show that it is a moral contract between you and the health care team.
Make a one-page summary of the birth plan so that you can place it in the medical record.
Be careful with the wording you use:
They can betray a lack of confidence in the health professionals or even be aggressive: consequently, your requests will not be well received.
Please do not give any orders either: it is better to try to formulate your requests in a respectful and benevolent way for everyone.
Leave room for dialogue.
Note: the birth plan is not mandatory. Not having one does not mean you do not have specific requirements for your birth. In any case, you can ask all your questions and express your wishes to the medical team following you.
3. Communicate your birth plan
Some medical teams have integrated the birth plan into their practice.
If you have chosen to be accompanied by a Doula, she will be able to help you draw up the plan.
Present your plan during the pregnancy if you already know the person you see will be present on the birthday or can take over. Otherwise, show your birth plan as soon as the midwife has been introduced to you on arrival at the maternity ward.
If a point in the plan jeopardizes your safety or that of your child on the big day, it will probably not be respected: do not hesitate to ask for explanations afterward.