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Should you or shouldn't you write a birth plan?
Some people like to write a highly detailed birth plan to cover all eventualities, others don't bother writing one at all.
However when you have a baby, there are lots of important decisions to be made about the birth, and the real advantage making a birth plan is that it will focus your mind on these issues.
However on balance it is best to leave your birth plan in your hospital bag and not wave it under your midwife's nose. At my ante-natal class it was made pretty clear that midwives think people with rigid birth plans are an absolute pain.
And by the way they really laugh at people who bring an aromatherapist.
The best reason for creating a birth plan is that it will force you to think about all the issues that can arise during the birth of your baby.
There are a lot of choices to be made and trust me you won't have the mental capacity to make them whilst having contractions and guzzling Entonox.
Firstly, if you are the type who likes everything planned to the nth degree, you will find that the only thing you can be sure about when having a baby is that it won't go to plan - so you may be upset if it doesn't go exactly as you hoped.
Secondly, you are often advised to write statements such as "I only want an episiotomy/Caesarian/foetal monitoring etc. if necessary". Trust me this is ridiculous. No medical professional is going to administer unnecessary treatments.
In fact my experience of giving birth on the NHS is that they are pretty stingy with treatments and you will have to beg for anything more than gas and air and a bed.
Here is a free printable birth plan template for you to fill in. It's a one page summary, short and to the point.
Here are some more tips, helpful advice and free printables if you are expecting a baby.
About eParenting: eParenting was started by Jacqui O'Brien in 2004. At the time her kids were 1 and 4 and kept her nice and busy. Now they are teenagers and still keeping her pretty busy!