Congratulations on your pregnancy – we do hope it is all going smoothly! Make sure you take some time for yourself in amongst the family visits, doctor appointments and baby prep. During your downtime, it might be worth thinking about your birth plan. If you want to put one together you might be a bit stuck on where to start, here is a quick guide to get you started.
The various trips to the hospital for scans and your medical records will mean all of your details are in the system somewhere. However, if you feel like you need some information right at your fingertips you can put some details into your birth plan.
These details can be things like…
- Allergies – you know them of course but for the sake of other people in the room having them to hand might be a good idea, especially if they are for types of medications.
- Placenta and Umbilical cord – what you choose to do with the after birth is worth noting somewhere. If you plan to donate it or keep it you need to let your doctors know or if you are going to have it privately stored you will need to have the details of what will happen with that somewhere safe.
- Pain Management – how much you want, what kinds and when you would like to be offered it are all good things to note down. Chat with your doctor and midwife about the options available to you.
Whatever you want to be in your plan, even if it is tiny, note it down.
This is your day and if there are people you need or, on the flip side, if there is absolutely someone you don’t want there, having this list on hand for your birth partner to be in charge of will go some way to ensuring the smooth running of the day.
It is also wise to add the contact details of important people. Doctor, midwife and or doula, birth partner, emergency contacts etc just for peace of mind. It’ll be one less thing to worry about if everything is in one place.
To a certain extent and facilities notwithstanding, you can have a say in your birthing suits environment. This is somewhat easier if you are having a home birth but you can always ask for lights to be dimmed, access to a yoga ball or birth pool, and music and you can tell people how you want to be communicated with.
There may have to be compromises along the way but the conversation is of course worth having.
Do I need one?
At the end of the day, the choice to have a birth plan or not is entirely yours. It isn’t a formal document more a piece of mind thing for you, your birth partner and your doctor and midwife to a degree.
Furthermore, you can include as little or as much as you want. It can be a full list of dos and don’ts or simply a list of things for your partner to remember on the day. You don’t even have to design the thing yourself if you aren’t feeling creative, there are dozens of templates online. Make it as easy as possible for yourself.