A birth plan is a document written by you that outlines your choices and preferences during labor, delivery, and postpartum. It helps to communicate with nurses and health practitioners what you would want to happen in emergencies and regular routines.
So why should you have a birth plan? Is it absolutely necessary?
Well let us give you all the details and you can decide for yourself.
In this post will we let you know
-why you should write a birth plan
-is it necessary to write one?
-is it worth it? Will anybody even care?
-and finally, how to write one, with a handy free printable!
So let’s get to it!
Why you Should Write a Birth Plan
A birth plan helps to let nurses and practitioners know what you would like to happen during labor and delivery. This enables them to follow your preferences without disrupting you during the labor process.
You will probably not be wanting to answer lots of questions during contractions, so having a set birth plan can give you a bit more slack and rest time.
Having one also enables you to prepare everything in case emergencies do occur and prepare you to make well and informed choices.
Even if you do not bring your birth plan, writing and composing a plan helps you make all the tough choices beforehand. Sharing your birth plan with your spouse, midwife, or doula, helps them be aware of your choices and preferences.
Please take note that emergencies do happen, and nurses and doctors do what is best for you and the baby. This might mean they break a few of your “rules”. Please write your birth plan by keeping in mind that not everything might go to plan. But as long as you and baby are healthy in the end, it will be worth the changes.
Do you Need to Write a Birth Plan?
In general, it is a good idea to write a birth plan to gather all of your choices and preferences on one piece of paper.
It also helps others realize what you would like to happen during your stay and in emergency situations.
If you are choosing your birthing place or have a good midwife, they will naturally ask you questions to know what you would like to happen. Most midwives and doulas also advocate for the most natural birth as possible and won’t intervene if not necessary for your or your baby’s safety and well-being.
Doctors and nurses deliver thousands and thousands of babies each year. Standards of care and practices differ from hospital to hospital. Having a birth plan will enable you to get the most quality care while you are in the hospital.
So should you write a birth plan?
That is totally up to you.
If you are scared or on edge about writing one as you do not know what to include, do not fret. There are thousands of online templates, as well as a FREE one already located at the end of this post 😉
Fill out our printable template within a few minutes and you are set to go on your delivery day!
Will my Plan be Read and Followed?
Women who write and bring birth plans are often labeled as “high-maintenance” and “difficult” by hospital staff. However, this is due to a few factors.
- Women overcomplicate it, making it difficult to read with too many wishes and choices.
- Written in a demanding and rude manner
- Seen as inflexible. If the plan is not followed to a “t”, women will be disappointed and upset.
If you choose to write a one, make sure to ALWAYS consider that birth is unpredictable and your choices might not be followed. Put your life and the life of your baby over your birth plan and having a natural birth.
Putting a phrase that declares your safety and the safety and health of your baby before your choices give the nurses and doctors a bit more slack and they will feel more comfortable with your choices.
My Experience, was it Worth it?
I learned about birth plans while getting myself ready for labor and didn’t feel it was necessary. I knew what I wanted, and I thought that was enough.
My midwife later suggested I write a simple and straight-forward birth plan and bring it to a meeting with her. We then went through the birth plan together and discussed my choices.
This helped her know what I would like to happen and my preferences in case something went not according to plan.
I forgot to bring my birth plan to the hospital, however, because I wrote it and my husband and midwife were aware of my choices, they were able to advocate for me when things went astray.
If I did not have a midwife or there was a possibility she wouldn’t make it, a birth plan would be a lifesaver and comfort in knowing that the nurses are aware of my preferences and choices.
While your husband may know what you would prefer to have happened, they might be so full of adrenaline and shock they might not properly communicate to the hospital staff well. Handing a paper over seems so much easier for them, right?
So, learn from my mistakes, bring your birth plan!
How to Write a Birth Plan
Secret Tip: Keep it SIMPLE! For your sake and the enjoyability of the nurses and doctors, having a simple and clear plan will be more likely to be read and followed.
Writing your own, might seem overwhelming and difficult, so we simply made one for you!
Enter your email below and have the password for the birth plan sent right to your inbox! Printing it and completing it will set you up for the best hospital care possible.
However, if you want to go all out and write your own birth plan, there are tons of templates online you can follow!
This one is very visual, simple, and you can customize it to your needs!
So all in all, how are you feeling about birth plans? Are you writing yours or do you not see it necessary? If you used one in previous labors, what was your experience like? Did it help you in any way?
Let me know in the comments below!
Until next time,