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How To Write A Birth Plan

Writing Your Birth Plan

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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.

How To Write A Birth Plan + Free Printable Birth Plan Template

The Pros Of Writing A Birth Plan

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.

The Cons Of Writing A Birth Plan

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.

What To Include In Your Birth Plan

  1. Remember to talk to the other people involved in the birth too. You may want your partner, a friend or your Mum present at a Caesarian, but they may not feel the same!
  2. If you want your parent/sister/brother/best friend etc. to look after your other children when you go into hospital, make sure that they know about it, and don't just assume that they will guess that they are expected to help.
  3. You need to think about what type of pain relief options during birth that you want to consider using.
  4. If you want any particular equipment such as a birthing stool or ball, check whether the hospital will provide it or whether you need to bring it with you. Not all hospitals have a birthing pool, for example, and you may have to book into a hospital quite a long distance away or opt for a home birth and hire your own if you are planning a water birth.
  5. You can refuse to have students present, but do remember there is a real shortage of midwives and they can only learn by being present at births.
  6. And finally, expect everything in your plan to change!

Free Printable Birth Plan Template

Here is a free printable birth plan template for you to fill in. It's a one page summary, short and to the point.

Free printable Birth Plan

Your Free Printable Birth Plan Template

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