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IS A BIRTH PLAN IMPORTANT?


A birth plan communicates your wishes and goals for before, during and after labour and birth. It lets midwives, doctors and birth partners know your preferences and how you want to be cared during labour. Although it is difficult to plan for every eventuality, it's good to keep an open mind as circumstances can change on the day. Every journey is unique and this is your special day that you must have thought about in pregnancy.

HOW TO WRITE A BIRTH PLAN?

Try to keep it simple and easy to follow. You can use tittles, bullet points, pictures, highlighted text to make your birth plan. Focus on the important factors from start to finish of your care and get anybody involved to read it.

THINGS YOU SHOULD CONSIDER

You might not be able to plan your birth on the day but there are plenty of things you should consider and explore in your pregnancy.


☀️Birth Environment

Where you would like to give birth and how you would like the environment around you to be? For example dim lights, do you want to bring your own home comforts? What makes you relaxed? Candles, music, pillow from home?


☀️ My Care

In short tell them about you and how you feeling about your birth. Who do you want there? Are you happy for midwifes to listen in regularly? Do you want to be check for dilation? Would you allow student midwifes? Are you practicing hypnobirthing?


☀️Birth positions, comfort measures and equipment

Things you might like to have available to you during your labour and birth? You may want be active and walk around, have a birth ball or a water birth pool. Do you want any comfort measures like gas and air, or epidural. What position would you like to try to give birth in? In pregnancy you can try and explore different positions and see which ones suit you. Think open, upright and forward to make sure that baby has enough space and isn’t restricted.

☀️ Baby Delivery

How would you like to birth your baby? Do you want optimal cord clamping? Who cuts the cord? How do you want to deliver the placenta? Make sure you do your research and that all decisions that you make are right for you.

☀️When Plans Change

If you need an assisted delivery induction, forceps or ventouse, caesarean birth you may have specific wishes, such as ensuring your baby still has delayed cord clamping or that you still want music/hypnobirthing playing.

☀️Planned Caesarean Birth

Most teams will try to accommodate you with any wishes they can. It might be hard to have dim lighting but you can as for your affirmations to be hung up, music/hypnobirthing playing, to lower the drapes so you can see when your baby arrives. Discuss you wishes with the consultant so they help you and your special day.

Most importantly, you can change your mind and nothing is set in stone about your wishes for labour and birth at any time. Even if you birth-plan states your wishes you still will have to consent on the day, so always can say “yes” and “no”!

Have you written a birth plan? If not look at the resources section for one.

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