Writing Your Birth Plan

Writing Your Birth Plan

Hello Mumma,

You may have envisioned your birth by now, with the hope to ensure your wishes and goals are communicated to your birth team & midwives on the big day. 
Considering the many stages and moving parts (or people) to your birth experience - this starts as soon as you call your midwife en-route to the hospital & first step foot into your birthing suite. 

Having a birth plan ensures that your preferences are succinctly communicated to your birth partner and medical team.
Keep in mind that things can change so it's best practice to have an open mind and have a plan that allows flexibility to change direction if needed.
We recommend keeping your birth plan simple, and to a maximum of 2 pages which will allow any new medical staff joining you on the day, the chance to absorb your wishes quickly (and less likely to miss your preferences). 


To be able to give more context, I have included my own birth plan which you can download as an example & a fillable blank template for you to download. 

- Birth Plan example

- Fillable/Editable Birth Plan template

 
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Birth Plan Statement

Your statement, should you wish to use one (very helpful if you are planning to use hypobirthing / calm birth or similar practices), should ideally mention 4 key statements
  • Your understanding of medical advice & how it should be delivered to you so that you can make informed decisions and provide consent 
  • Your understanding that for whatever decisions you make are your own responsibility (whether guided by medical staff or not)
  • Your understanding that your birth plan might change & that you will inform your providers if you want to make any changes
  • What your care provider should do, should they recommend deviations from the birth plan
Your birth team a quick snippet of you, your birth team and your estimated due date. 
Your birth summary outlines what you are trying to achieve and how the medical staff can help.
Have a look at my birth plan for more information on creating a statement, should you wish to have one. 

Your Birthing Environment

Now let's talk about a highly overlooked part of your labour experience, your environment!
There are lots of factors that can contribute to the level of ease you feel in a hospital setting, however many of these factors you are able to control.
By allowing yourself to feel safe, comfortable and relaxed, you can positively impact your birth experience. 
How can you positively engage all your senses in your birthing environment? Let's think about our senses;
  • What can we see?
  • What can we hear?
  • What can we taste?
  • What can we feel?
  • What can we smell?
You may want to have dim lights, you may want to have your own playlist playing, you may want energy boosting snacks and drinks, you may want your own comfy soft clothes to wear, use the shower or tub & you may want to have your own oil diffuser filling the room with your favourite smells. 
Have a think about your environment - what would make you feel the most comfortable and safe?

Monitoring

While monitoring is important, you do have a say as to what type of monitoring and how often. This includes vaginal checks and monitoring bub's heartbeat. 
It is worth mentioning your plans to be mobile / up and about, as this can determine the type of monitoring you wish to use. 
Most hospitals have wireless monitoring for bubs, which means you can be active, mobile, in the water (yes, you read that right!) without any interference from the midwives. 

 

Positions for Birth

This is a great guide for your midwives to be on board with you and to encourage you to keep moving according to your preferences. For example, you may not want to labour on your back as this can narrow your pelvis.
Any positions that encourage open, upright and forward positions will help baby engage and move down more freely. 

Pain Relief

Make your intentions known from the start as to what pain relief you are open to (if any) and how the medical staff should recommend other options.
As there are a lot of options out there, it is advisable to research or ask the Benefits, Risks and Alternatives should pain relief be considered.  

 

Second Stage

This is the pushing stage. Should you wish/not wish to be guided by the staff, this is the part of your birth plan to communicate this. 
What techniques will you be using (if any)? Do you want coached pushing? Do you want to try and avoid instrumental interventions (forceps / vacuum)? Where do you want baby as soon as bubs is born?

 

Breastfeeding

I personally completed a breastfeeding program from 7 months pregnant as I knew that I wanted to achieve a good start to my breastfeeding journey while in hospital - without the commonly used hospital techniques.
Whether you are wanting help or if you are wanting to let you and your baby find your own way - having a sentence or two in regards to your breastfeeding goals is imperative. 
Also just as important, should you wish not to breastfeed at all (and that is more than ok, Mumma!) - this is the section to communicate your wishes in. This helps ease any pushiness from the medical staff as they will be aware of your wishes from the very beginning.
Wishing you all the best and Good Luck for your newest arrival :) 
You, Mumma - are a rockstar!
Xx