It is always advisable to write a birth plan. Even if family and friends say that ‘no one paid attention to their birth plan’ or that ‘their birth plan went out of the window’, it is always a good idea to write down your preferred course for labour – otherwise, how can you expect your hopes for labour to actually happen?
Here are some things you should think about to help formulate your ideal birth:
1. Where do you want your baby to be born – hospital, birth centre, at home?
2. How do you feel about being induced/having your waters broken?
3. How do you feel about vaginal examinations?
4. Would you mind any students being present during your labour and birth?
5. Do you want to be active during labour, such as being able to walk around? (this may mean that you would not be able to have constant foetal heart monitoring)
6. What labour techniques do you want to use? Hypnobirthing, water birth, listening to music etc?
7. Do you know what pain relief you would/wouldn’t like?
8. Do you want your birthing partner to be with you for the whole experience or are there certain things you would prefer them not to be involved with?
9. How do you feel about medical intervention? Detail your list in order of preference.
10. How long do you want it to be until they cut the umbilical cord?
11. Do you want your partner to cut the umbilical cord?
12. How do you want to find out the sex of the baby – be told/see for yourself?
13. Do you want your baby delivered onto your stomach?
14. Do you want to do skin-to-skin contact straight away?
15. Do you want to try to breastfeed straight away?
16. Who do you want to get the baby dressed?
These are just some pointers that will help you decide what is right for you.
Be sure to write it down and attach it to your maternity notes. Make sure that your birthing partner knows where it is so that they can relay your preferences to your midwives.