It’s normal as first-time parents to be completely unsure of what you want to put in your birth plan. You may feel like it’s impossible to plan for something that you do not have any idea about. How will labour feel? What will I want? What will my partner want? Where will I feel like being? Will I want to be touched?
You’ve been told everyone is different, birth is unpredictable, you might not like things you normally enjoy.
Oh, and if that doesn’t make it complicated enough, you’re told to think of it as hopes or goals, “Write a birth wish list.” they say. “Birth is unpredictable.” they remind you.
So how in the world are you supposed to formulate a plan?
My number one tip for birth planning: Take a childbirth preparation class of some kind before you write your birth plan. We offer custom private and group prenatal classes for your convenience.
Writing a birth plan is hard! I have a few questions I like to go through to make it a little bit easier for couples that feel unsure of what they may want on the big day.
Where do you want to give birth? Where would you prefer to spend early labor?
Who do you feel like must to be at your birth? Who would you prefer was not present? Do you want professional support such a birth doula? Would you prefer to work with your family doctor, an obstetrician, or a midwife?
What things would you like to be sure are with you when you give birth? Your favorite pillow, your iPhone, a diffuser, music, candles, access to a tub or shower, your dog?
What are your top priorities for your birth experience? Everyone wants a healthy baby and to be healthy themselves but do you have other goals for your birth? Do you want to have a specific experience, feel a certain way after?
How will you cope with the intensity of birth? What helps you manage pain currently? What kinds of things do you do to relax? Massage, hypnosis, baths, showers, meditation, essential oil.
Noting these things will become an excellent foundation for you birth “plan”. You can also download our basic birth plan and other helpful handouts.
If you’d like personalised assistance with birth planning, you can contact our office to schedule a planning session with one of our labour and birth doulas. We’d be happy to help you prepare a well thought out birth plan that will be positively received by your entire birth team.