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What is a Birth Plan

Even though there's no way you can control every aspect of labor and delivery,writing a birth plan gives you an opportunity to think about and discuss with your partner and your healthcare practitioner how -- ideally -- you'd like your baby's birth to be handled. . The reason for creating a birth plan is so that everyone understands your hopes and desires for labor and birth. This is not a contract, but a statement of your preferences.

When to prepare a birth plan

Although a birth plan can be written at any time in pregnancy, it is best to write it in the third trimester because then you would have looked at all the various issues of childbirth and labour more closely. Whenever you write the plan, your midwife will discuss and sign the birth plan sometime between week 32-34.

Important to Remember

The way you want to have your labour and childbirth depends not just on your birth plan but also on your medical condition and what is available in the hospital. You can change it anytime you want if something you wrote before does not make sense anymore. Keep a copy of the birth plan with you and use it once you are admitted in the hospital. It is best to be flexible at all times so that you and the baby are not at risk at any point.

What all does a birth plan outline?

A birth plan might address some of the following issues: :

  • What type of environment would you prefer? You could have dim lights, music, cushions, bean bag, birth pool etc. If you are planning to use bean bags, birth pool etc., it is best to check with the hospital if these facilities are available.
  • Do you want mobility or do you wish to be confined to a bed?
  • Use the tub or shower?
  • Do you want pain relievers ?
    If Yes, State your preferences for type of pain relievers you want?
  • What are your feelings about assisted delivery (using forceps or ventouse)?
  • Would you prefer an episiotomy as opposed to tearing naturally?
  • Would you want your birth partner to cut the umbilical cord?
  • Would you like the baby to be delivered straight onto your abdomen or cleaned before being handed over to you?

Learn about the changes taking place in mother's body and the growing baby.
  Week 5-8 Week 9-12
Week 13-16 Week 17-20
Week 21-24 Week 25-28
Week 29-32 Week 33-36
Understand how pregnancy can impact your lifestyle.
How does alcohol affect your baby's development?
Changes in skin during pregnancy
How safe is it to color your hair during pregnancy?
Learning about children’s behaviour
- contributed by Early Childhood Australia

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