Making Your Birth Plan

By Krista Gray, IBCLC. Last updated July 29, 2017.

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iStock_000014079658XSmallPlanning and preparing for the type of birth you want to have are important steps in achieving your birth goals.  Having a birth plan is an important part of this process.  Making your birth plan and having it written down so that you can talk about and share it with your doctor, midwife, doula, and nurses at delivery can help ensure you are able to clearly communicate your wishes and desires so that during labor your expectations are clearly understood.  Below are some important do’s and don’ts when writing a birth plan:

  • Limit to one page
  • Only include things that are not standard practice – you don’t want it to be too long
  • Clearly communicate your birth expectations and desires
  • Include what you want to happen in a “Plan B” scenario…IF this happens, THEN x, y, and z are my wishes…
  • Bold or highlight key points you want to stand out
  • Share your birth plan with your doctor(s)/midwife BEFORE your birth
  • Make sure doula has a copy (if you have a doula)
  • Take with you to hospital/birth center and share with nurses when you arrive (consider having a small basket ready that includes some fresh fruit, chocolate, etc. along with your birth plan as a kind gesture to the nurses who will be in your labor and delivery room)

Click here to see a sample birth plan.