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What Should You Include in a Birth Plan?

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends that physicians support a more individualized approach to labor management. This means that more in-depth birth plans will presumptively be more common place among expecting mothers. Birth plans can be short and sweet or more detailed. However you want to plan out your pregnancy, it’s a good idea to develop a birth plan that meets your needs during this special time.

What is a Birth Plan?

A birth plan is essentially a list of preferences that outline what you want during pre-birth, labor and delivery as well as right after you have given birth. It is a document that provides scenarios for the best birth experience for the parents to be. It’s important to note that, like many other types of plans, birth plans have a tendency to change based on updated information, practitioner preferences and other items that may conflict. Now that you have a general idea of what a birth plan is, you now need to know what to include in a birth plan.

What Should You Include in Your Birth Plan?

Preferences Before Birth

Think about what you want the atmosphere to feel and look like before giving birth. Some obvious items would be to include who you want to be in the delivery room. Other than your partner, you may want to include other children, friends, family or your doula, if you have one. You may also want to identify some snacks or drink preferences. Some other items to think about include:

Preferences During Birth

Decisions for ‘during birth’ are a bit more serious in nature and include how you want to manage labor, its pain and delivery preferences. Here is where you would describe your preferences for vaginal or cesarean section, depending on any unexpected complications. Other items you may want to include are:

Preferences for Newborn Care

You may have specific instructions for how to care for your baby once you have given birth. Share your thoughts and expectations on how you and your newborn want to be cared for during your recovery.

Review Your Birth Plan with Your Doctor

Creating your birth plan is a great accomplishment for the preparation of the birth of your child. Once completed, be sure to review it with whoever will be with you in the delivery room and, especially, the physician who will be delivering your baby and coaching you through the pregnancy. Together, you can walk through every aspect of your birth plan and adjust as necessary.

If you are expecting or want to review your birth plan with an OB-GYN, Christopher Quinsey, MD, has delivered over 3,600 newborns over the past 20 years in Central Florida.

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*This blog is for general informational purposes only. Christopher K. Quinsey MD, P.A. does not distribute medical advice through this blog. As such, this blog does not constitute a patient-client relationship between the reader and Christopher K. Quinsey MD, P.A.

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