How to Create a Birth Plan

Kami Team

November 15, 2021

Woman writing a birth plan

A birth plan is a way for you to specify to your healthcare team what you would like to happen during your labour. Your midwife may be able to help when writing one, and by discussing a birth plan with them, it may offer more of a chance for you to ask questions and find out more about what happens in labour. It also provides an opportunity for the midwife to get to know you and your priorities better. 

While you don't have to create a birth plan, it’s a great way to get you thinking about, and possibly discussing some things in depth with your partner, family and friends that you may not have previously considered.  

What should I include in my birth plan? 

It’s important to remember that this plan is personal to you. It should focus on what you want, your medical history, your circumstances and what is available at your maternity service. You can download a birth plan template from the NHS to fill in and save. Here are some things to consider when writing your plan: 

Your midwife may advise against some of your preferences, especially if you’re high risk or experience a medical emergency during labour and delivery. 

C-Sections

If you’re having a planned caesarean section (C-section) there are some things you can add to your birth plan, such as:

  • Choosing to be awake during the procedure
  • Having clear drapes set up so you can watch as your baby emerges
  • Having one arm left free of monitors and IVs so you can hold your baby
  • Choosing to breastfeed as soon as possible

Even if you know you don't want a medical induction or C-section, it's important to prepare for unexpected events by listing your preferences regarding those processes, as, sometimes things don’t go as planned during pregnancy and labour. You should be flexible and prepared to do things that might be different from your initial plan. Remember that you can change your mind about your wishes for labour at any time, even while you’re giving birth. 

Final thoughts from Kami:

Some people choose not to make a birth plan. If the thought of one makes you feel anxious or overwhelmed, or if you feel like having a written document will make it harder for you to be flexible in the moment or possibly be disappointed if something happens differently, talk to your midwife  about other ways you can feel prepared without a written birth plan. Putting together a birth plan ahead of time though might help you feel more prepared for labour and delivery and empower you to express your preferences.

Kami is a trusted intelligent companion for modern parents, empowering them with specialist, personalised information and tools to make well-informed decisions along their parental journey. Kami provides instant, trusted answers to parents' urgent questions, access to vetted health and wellness experts via tele-consultation, as well as appropriately timed conversations between line managers and employees on parental leave, allowing employers to better support their parent employees return back to work.

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