The birth of your baby will be a wonderful and exciting event.
You may have specific desires for how the birth of your baby will be handled.
You will communicate these desires by using a birth plan. Although you should begin thinking about your desires early in your pregnancy and discussing them with your health care provider, you should begin to put something down in writing around the beginning of your eighth month of pregnancy.
There are two things you should always keep in mind when it comes to birth plans. The first is that birth seldom goes according to plan.
While you should anticipate things that might happen and think about how you would like them handled, e.g. would you want spinal or epidural anesthesia for a Cesarean section, you cannot anticipate every eventuality.
Birth is a natural process, but there are sometimes medical issues which arise and must be addressed. Your care providers will do all they can to help you have the birth experience you hope for.
However, this brings us to the other thing you must remember, your health and the health of your baby are what matters most. If your original plans conflict with what is necessary to keep you and your baby safe and healthy, then health and safety must triumph.
Keeping those things in mind, what kinds of things might you want to include in your birthing plan? First consider who will be present in the room.
Do you want only your partner and doula? Or do you want other friends or family members to be present if possible?
How will you manage pain? Some women opt for an epidural injection. Others opt for a non-medicated birth, and prefer that their care providers not bring up pain medication unless they are specifically asked for it.
How active do you want to be during labor? Staying active will help your labor progress and help your baby move into the proper position for birth.
Do you want to walk in the hall ways, or would you prefer to stay in your room? If you plan to leave your room, you need to find out what kind of monitoring will be required; for example, is remote telemetry monitoring available? If you want a birthing ball to labor on, will you need to bring your own? Can you take a shower or labor in the bathtub? These are all things to consider.
These are just a few considerations to get you started on the task of developing your birth plan. Spend some time thinking and talking with your partner about the birth experience.
And keep our two most important points in mind: be flexible, and remember that a safe and healthy delivery is everyone’s goal.