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Birth plan/wish list

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

Anyone writing up a birth plan?  Care to share? 


I'm trying to write one up, point form.  I'm going to share it with my doula so she knows what I want.  I think i'll just go over it with my Dr at my next appt but I won't give her a copy as she might not be the dr on call when I deliver.  I will bring a copy with me to give the nurses.


so far all i got is:

Natural birth, no epidural etc.

Baby is handed to me right away for breastfeeding

Delay cord clamping (until cord quits pulsing) cut after placenta is delivered

Preserve placenta for encapsulation



post #2 of 12

I'm not writing a birth plan, but I always encourage my doula clients to write one, especially those giving birth in the hospital. I'm planning on going into more detail about how I want things to happen with my midwife over the next few visits. But, we are pretty much always on the same page, so I don't think I need to write it all out. 


Here is the sample birth plan I use with my clients who are planning a natural hospital birth:



Birth Plan for …


This birth plan is intended to express my preferences and desires immediately before, during, and after the birth of my baby. I understand that situations may arise such that my plan cannot be followed. However, barring a true emergency, I request that the medical staff keep me informed, and give me the time to consider my options fully before any decision is made.

I plan to be accompanied by my (partner/husband/doula) for the entirety of the labor and delivery period. I may have (family/other visitors) present at the hospital, but I request that they remain outside of the room until my baby is born, and I have had adequate time to initiate nursing.

First Stage of Labor


I plan to stay at home, accompanied by my (partner/ husband/ doula), for as long as possible. When I arrive at the hospital, the following things are important to me:


  • A quiet environment, dim lights, and as few interruptions during early labor as possible
  • Do NOT offer pain medication; I would like to have a non-medicated birth
  • As few medical interventions as possible; I would like to have time to consider all of my options before any decisions are made on behalf of myself or my unborn baby.
  • As few vaginal exams as possible
  • Fetal monitoring by doppler only, or if not possible, intermittent fetal monitoring
  • Freedom to move around room, change positions, and utilize the shower/ bath for pain management
  • I will utilize massage, cold/hot packs, position changes, movement, hydrotherapy, guided relaxation, acupressure, and music to manage my pain and discomfort during labor:



Second Stage Labor (Pushing)


During the pushing phase of labor, the following things are important to me:


  • Freedom to choose the position that feels right to me
  • If progress if being made during the pushing stage, I would like as much time as possible to get the baby out naturally, without interventions such as vacuum extraction, forceps or cesarean section
  • I would like to be able to spontaneously bear down during contractions
  • I prefer a tear to an episiotomy, but I would like my medical provider to do aid me in stretching the perineum with warm compresses, counter pressure and positioning, so that I may avoid tearing



After my baby is born, the following things are important to me:


  • Delay cutting the umbilical cord until it has stopped pulsating
  • I would like my baby immediately placed on my chest, so that I may begin to bond with him.
  • Any non-emergency procedures will be delayed until I have had time to bond with and begin nursing my baby
  • I plan to exclusively breastfeed; Please do NOT give my baby bottles or pacifiers
  • I would like to remain with my baby at all times; In the event of an emergency, either myself, my (partner, husband, doula), or a designated family member will accompany my baby at all times


In the event of an emergency, I would like to be informed of all of my options, and given adequate time (if possible) to consider these options without pressure from the medical staff.


Thank you for taking the time to read my birth plan and becoming familiar with the preferences that I have for the labor and birth of my baby.


X______________________________                                                            X______________________________

                             (Signature of Mother)                                                                                    (Signature of Doctor/Midwife)



Feel free to use/copy/borrow any or all of it. I like this one because it all fits on one page, which means the doctor *might* actually read all of it. winky.gif

post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 

Thank you, thank you, thank you!!  That is exactly what I need!!! :)

post #4 of 12

Of course! No problem. You'll want to edit it to reflect your actual wishes for your birth of course. But, this should be a good start!


ETA: I'd also encourage you to give a copy to your doctor, even if she might not be the one there when you are in labor. That way, she can take a look at your preferences and let you know if there is anything on your plan that goes against 'hospital protocol' ... not that you need to change your plan, but you can prepare yourself for putting up a little more of a fight, KWIM?


For example, if it is the hospital's protocol to take the baby away to the nursery for the pediatrician to do an exam, or to give him/her a bath, etc, then you'll have to make sure they know that you want to stay with the baby at all times. 

post #5 of 12

Thanks for sharing a birth plan template! I just had my hospital tour, and am very comfortable with their policies, but want to have something in writing and plan to give a copy to each doctor (I meet all the doctors at the practice I'm with before labor, though I have one "primary" OB). I'm definitely going to borrow and customize this if that's ok! :)

post #6 of 12

Thanks swelldoula! I like the idea of breaking it up into stages. I'm going to write mine out and share it with my MW at my next visit to get her feedback.

post #7 of 12

You're welcome! 


@FaithHopeLove - yes, please feel free to copy some or all of it. I just encourage you to go through and customize it for yourself because it's just a template, and you might not agree with everything on there. smile.gif

post #8 of 12

This was ours for DD, in case it's helpful.  It was well received by our OB and the nurses at the hospital - they appreciated it's simplicity.



Our Wishes for Childbirth


We fully understand that birth is unpredictable –

these are our wishes if everything goes well:


  • No pain medication – please do not offer me anything.  If I ask, please encourage me and offer other non-medication suggestions first.
  • I would prefer to be allowed to try changing position and other natural methods to avoid artificial induction if at all possible


  • I would like to be able to move around, and eat and drink as needed during labor


  • I do not want an IV unless I become dehydrated.  If necessary, I’d prefer a hep-lock so that I can remain mobile.


  • I would like to be hooked up to a fetal monitor as infrequently as possible so that I can remain mobile.


  • I would prefer not to have an episiotomy unless absolutely required for the baby's safety. 



For Baby:


  • I will hold baby immediately after delivery and breastfeed as soon as possible


  • Baby will be breastfed.  Please do not give baby anything by bottle (formula, water, or sugar water), and no pacifiers.


  • We have chosen to decline antibiotic eye ointment for the baby


  • We have chosen to decline the hepatitis B vaccine for the baby
post #9 of 12

Thanks ladies for sharing your birth plans/ birth wishlists!  I wasn't sure where to start and these have really helped me! My husband and I were planning on having a home-birth, but we just found out that our insurance won't cover it (and it would be a little over 6,000 out of pocket). Since I am still a full-time graduate student the expense was a little more then we felt comfortable handling. . . .SO, we are now looking at a hospital birth. We are planning on hiring a doula and we will still be using our midwife, but it is looking like it will be a lot more important to have a detailed birth plan.

post #10 of 12

I, personally, would stick with something simple and to the point.  I have a friend who is a L&D nurse and they understand what you're going for.   A bullet pointed list is much quicker and easier to read.  My birth plan for my son was fairly small, but I was in a great "baby-friendly" hospital.  A lot of what people request is standard practice, like putting baby immediately on mom. 

post #11 of 12

This is my fifth birth, and if (please Lord, no) I have to have a hospital birth this is my plan. I already know my hospital is "baby friendly" if you are not sure do some digging and find out.


1.Before labor, have a plan to help keep my heart open and in tune the babies "birth plan". I know I will need help in keeping my self talk positive! This is the most important thing to have prepared on your way to the hospital. You need your birth partners educated/involved in this process.

2.Stay home until contractions are rythmic, my water always breaks early (without contractions) and in the past I thought that meant you had to go to the hospital.

3.Call midwife.

4.When I get to labor and delivery, let them know I don't want interventions for pain. So pick a number for your pain chart and don't bother me with it.

5.Avoid cervical checks, as long as possible. Check out this link http://midwifethinking.com/2011/09/14/the-assessment-of-progress/ . It has been my experience that as my contractions are getting intense and everything is starting to gel,hearing the wrong number can really start the cortisal pumping (instead of oxytocin) and drag down your spirits.

6.No continuious monitoring, unless my midwife thinks it is neccessary.

7. Keep moving, work with the contractions (back to that plan for positive self talk). If I am suffering have DH help me use conterpressure, accupressure, hypnobabies script, pelvic tilts, squats or whatever else I have decided to employ.

8.Surrender to my babies unique birth journey.

9.We haven't decided who will catch baby (I am thinking of catching her myself)

10.Delayed cord cutting (all this has already been in my chart and the staff is on notice of my intentions for the new baby). Dh is great at managing these details.

11. Hold/Warm my child, see if baby is interested in the breast (all my other children started BFing right away)

12.Forget the world and fall in love with my baby.


post #12 of 12

Mamas, these are some great birth plans!


I am planning my 3rd birth at a freestanding birth center (slightly medicalized with CNMW's but very flexible). This time, I want to be a bit more specific even though they say they already do all of the things I typically request. But I haven't found that to be 100% true in the past, and want to cover my bases. 


What I am really interested in is an Emergency Birth Plan that I can have on hand just in case I am transferred from the birth center or I need to go directly to the hospital nearby (which is a completely different country/medical system.) What does an emergency birth plan look like?  For instance, I understand that waiting to clamp the cord even 45 seconds can make a difference in the case of an emergency c-section (with a preemie). How do these things translate on a birth plan?


I'm interested to read more! Great thoughts. :)

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