Creating a Birth Plan
A birth plan is a clear, simple, one-page statement of an expectant mother's preferences for her upcoming birth experience. Paper copies of a birth plan can be added to an expectant mother's medical records, and sent to the birth center or hospital.
The birth plan should include the mother-to-be's name and due date, and other demographic data. The plan should include the expectant mother's preferences during the stages of labor and delivery, including:
* fetal monitoring
* labor induction
* the positions that the mother wants to be in while in labor
* medical procedures if needed during labor
* episiotomy choices
* pain relief techniques or anesthesia
* who should be allowed in the delivery room
* circumcision choices
Benefits of a birth plan
A birth plan can inform health care providers about an expectant mother's desires during labor and delivery. And a plan can help an expectant mother to feel confident and in control, as much as that is possible. A birth plan also can help her be part of the decision-making process, even if occasional unexpected events occur.
Sample birth plan
Here is a sample birth plan. This is not necessarily the best one for you, but it gives you an idea of the kinds of questions a doula may help you to answer in a birth plan.