A birth plan is a form that expectant mothers fill out prior to giving birth to their child in order to communicate their wishes to the midwives or doctors who will be taking care of them while they are giving birth to their child. This plan, usually part of your third trimester checklist, should provide the midwife and doctor(s) that will be caring for you as a patient with all of the basic information they will need to ensure the care you receive is in accordance with your wishes.
You can talk to your midwife or other healthcare providers about the procedures used during delivery as you inquire what your options are. Learning more about these options will help you determine what type of delivery and what types of treatment are available to you as a first-time expectant mother. You can write the actual birth plan yourself, or your midwife or other healthcare providers can help. This help can be especially helpful if this is your first child and you have never filled out a birth plan before.
The information requested by various hospitals will vary, however, most standard birth forms will request similar information. The following is some of the information you can expect to provide when filling out your birth plan:
Lots to think about! These are just some basics you will be asked to provide. Some forms may be more or less detailed based on the facility you are giving birth at or the form that you are filling out.
Equally important to talking to your healthcare providers is talking to your family who you want to be there, or who choose to be there during the actual birthing procedure. Inform your partner of all pertinent information which you have included in the birth plan so they understand how things will go during the procedure.
Keep in mind that the birth plan reflects your personal choices, however, it will be helpful for your partner to understand what you have chosen and why, so they are more comfortable assuming they will be present for your child's delivery.
In the end, be sure to make those closest to you including healthcare professionals and your partner aware of your desires. If they know then they can make the best decisions to help you have the birth experience you desire when you are in labor.