Coronavirus, Pregnancy, and Breastfeeding: A Message for Patients from ACOG

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How to Write a Birth Plan

How to write a birth plan

No matter how many pregnancies and deliveries you have been through, if any at all, it is important to go into each birth with a plan. This plan can help provide a framework during what can often be an overwhelming time.

With all of the emotions that come during childbirth, both for the mother and all of those involved, it can be challenging to think clearly about the functional steps that need to take place. Having a birth plan written out and carefully planned in advance can help to ensure that none of the finer details get lost in the chaos. The ideal birth plan should be short and as clear as possible so as not to be open to any misinterpretation.

If you aren’t sure how to write a birth plan, follow these simple steps:

1. Identify the stakeholders

This essentially outlines everyone who should be in the delivery room, including the mother and the partner, the baby’s name if it has been picked, all medical personnel including the obstetrician and midwife. It is also acceptable to list who should be allowed in the room and who should not be so that the room fits the vision of the parents and does not become overly hectic.

2. Labor and pain relief

This is the section of the plan that should outline whether or not an epidural should be used and at what point it should be administered. It also outlines the mother’s outlook on other forms of pain relief during delivery such as

3. Delivery and back-up

This section is important for outlining what the back-up plan should be in the event there are any complications during pregnancy, such as in the event a C-section is needed. Other factors addressed in this section are considerations such as cord clamping, cord blood donation, and so on.

4. Newborn care

In this section, it is important to outline the exact care you want your child to receive after birth. This includes outlining matters such as feeding preferences, vaccinations, medications, medical screenings, and pacifier usage. Having a set plan guarantees that your newborn is receiving the care that you and your partner prefer for your child.

5. Postpartum care

In this section, it is important to outline what you as the mother would prefer for your personal medications and care following delivery. Specify what pain medications do or don’t work for you and if there are certain laxatives or stool softeners you prefer.

Importance of a Birth Plan

There are many factors to consider when outlining a birth plan. When doing so, it is important that all of the stakeholders are on the same page and that the medical team is consulted to ensure that all care being administered is in the best interest for the newborn’s short and long-term health. While having a plan is always beneficial, it is advised to maintain a degree of flexibility. Like all major life occurrences, it can be expected that some details will change on the fly.

About City of Oaks Midwifery

At City of Oaks Midwifery, our goal is to help patients in Raleigh and the greater Triangle area achieve the birth that they desire. We believe in watchful waiting and non-intervention in normal birth process, but work in collaboration with other members of the health care team as needed to provide optimal health care for both the mother and her baby. To schedule an appointment with one of our certified nurse-midwives, call (919) 351-8253.

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