Why You Need a Birth Plan
posted by Maria Oneida, MD | June 6, 2018
Pregnancy is a long-term process, and one of the most important things a soon-to-be mother can do is create a birth plan. Your birth plan includes your preferences for how you want to deliver your baby and helps encourage positive communication between you and your caregivers.
Why are they important?
A birth plan is a great way to ensure everyone on your care team is on the same page when the time comes for you to give birth. Creating your birth plan can also help you learn more about your birthing options.
Generally, there are three primary areas covered by a birth plan:
How do I start?
You don’t have to create your birth plan from scratch; there are many standard templates out there—both at hospitals and online. It’s smart to go over this with a few people closely involved in the process, including your doctor or care provider, who can help with any medical areas that require specific attention.
What should I include?
Here are several important areas to include in the birth plan:
It’s important to remember to be flexible when creating a birth plan. In some cases, your medical needs might limit parts of your birth plan. Talk with your doctor to understand the reasons behind these limitations and learn if factors in your pregnancy might prevent certain choices being available to you.
Your doctor can offer further recommendations when it comes to creating a birth plan.
I practice the full range of family medicine including obstetrics, pediatrics, adolescent medicine, adult medicine and some orthopedics. I also perform colposcopy, cryotherapy and vasectomies. Due to the volume of deliveries we do, my practice has evolved to be more centered on women and children’s medicine, although I enjoy all aspects of family medicine.
“The importance of a birth plan.” The Mayo Clinic. https://mayoclinichealthsystem.org/hometown-health/speaking-of-health/the-importance-of-a-birth-plan
“Birth Plans.” KidsHealth.org. https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/birth-plans.html
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a medical professional. You should always consult your doctor before making decisions about your health.
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