HOW TO create a birth plan that feels right
Ok so you have almost made it to the finish line and your sweet lil one will soon be in your arms. Labor and delivery can feel intimidating especially if this is your first pregnancy and I found having a customized birth plans eases some of the uncertainty. A birth plan is an outline of your preferences during your labor and delivery. For example, your birth plan may include who you want with you during labor, whether you want pain meds, or if you want the lights dimmed. You can include anything you think will make your labor and birth more comfortable for you.
Labor and delivery can be unpredictable and being flexible with change is important. Keep in mind, though, that a birth plan is not set in stone because you cannot predict everything that may occur that day. You or your doctors may need to make changes to the plan once your labor begins. So try to stay flexible if something unexpected happens.
Although it's tempting to include many details in a birth plan, try to keep it short so it's easy for everyone to read.
The basics: List your name, your doctor's name and contact information, where you plan to give birth, and who you’re planning to have there with you.
Atmosphere: Think about what will help you feel most comfortable. Would you like the lights dimmed? Do you want your room as quiet as possible or would you prefer soft music? Would you like a support person to take photos or video of your labor or birth?
Labor preferences: Include any preferences you have for your labor. For example, do you want to walk around freely? Do you want to use a birthing stool, ball, or chair? Would you like to take a warm shower or bath?
Pain meds:Pain management during labor is an important consideration. You may not plan to have an epidural, but you could change your mind during labor. Or you may know that you definitely want to have an epidural if possible. As you're defining your birth plan, ask your doctor about your options for pain relief as well as any questions you have about them. These could include breathing or massage.
Delivery preferences: There are many options to consider for your baby's birth. If you're planning on a vaginal birth, would you prefer not to have an episiotomy unless it’s medically necessary? Do you want a mirror to see your baby's birth? Would you like your partner to cut the umbilical cord? Do you want your baby placed on your chest right after delivery?
If you need a C-section, who would you like with you in the delivery room?
Feeding and Care in the hospital: Once your baby's born, you’ll need to think about feeding and care. For example, do you want to breastfeed right after delivery? Or are you thinking about bottle feeding or combining bottle feeding with nursing? Would you like your baby in the hospital room with you at all times, or would you prefer your baby stay in the nursery sometimes? Is it OK for the medical staff to offer your baby a pacifier or sugar water? If your baby is a boy, would you like them circumcised at the hospital?