What is a birth plan? A friendly, short and concise list of your wishes and needs during your labor and birth of your child.
Why do you need one? There are many options/choices in childbirth. If you don’t tell them what you want, they will assume their protocol will be just dandy.
So what are your choices/options? I know, it’s a daunting question. Everything is, so learn them. ( I promise I’ll make it easy for you.)
What do you need to know in order to write one? The first most important thing to know (In my humble opinion) is the difference between a medical solution and a routine intervention.
Some medical solutions and routine interventions are: IV/Hep lock, breaking bag of waters, continuous fetal monitoring, Pitosin during labor, Pain medication, more than two vaginal exams, Pitosin after birth, cord clamping and cutting, baby bath, eye ointment/vitamin K for baby.
Routine interventions tend to snow ball into medical solutions. Medical solutions solve problems. Problems can happen even if you are starting off without any interventions.
So, just because you say you don’t want pain medication doesn’t mean after 48 hours of labor and stuck at 5cm you need to feel bad if you change your mind. You opting for a medical solution (an epidural), just might save you from a cesarean down the line. Listing in your birth plan that you don’t want routine pitosin after the birth of the baby means, if I end up hemorrhaging you better believe that I want pitosin. But, if I am not, I don’t want it.
The second most important thing is, know why you want or don’t want something, and that you can change your mind at anytime.
This is your homework time. You need to know the pro and cons about what you want and don’t want.
Do not put in your birth plan that you don’t want your water broken if you don’t know why, because you will probably be asked. Why don’t you want an IV or even a Hep lock? If you can’t come up with an answer they probably will talk you into one.