Birth plans for natural childbirth
A birthplan is a tool to help you explore different issues surrounding labour, birth and the postpartum period. Birthplans can help you formulate ideas on what you would like or not like to happen. You may find it very helpful to work on your birth plan with your partner, so they can be part of the decision making process and be able to assist you in implementing your plan.
Working through it will help you become very clear about each part of the birth process, and what is most important to you and baby.
—This is not to be taken lightly, or rushed.
Get it signed by your Dr or Midwife
Keep it simple
Write it in a way that is not telling the hospital staff what to do.
When making decisions…
Things to consider putting in your birthplan
•Choice of birth place
•Clothing during labour (own or hospital gown)
•Activity during labour (walk, ball, shower, etc.)
•Eating and drinking in labour
•Will you allow medical students during labour
•Use of water
•Use of heat
•Visualization/ focal point
•Massage (light stroking, back, foot, counter pressure, etc.).
•Positions you’d like to use
Set the mood
Although this doesn’t need to be part of your official birthplan, you might want to consider what your optimal birthing environment is, especially since this has a huge effect on your ability to relax. Consider the following:
•Phone to be turned off
•Peace and quiet
•Positions during the second stage of labour
•Natural or managed 3rd stage of labour
•Would you rather have an Episiotomy or tears, but hopefully neither
For your baby
Immediate contact after birth
—Delayed Cutting of the baby’s cord after birth
—Baby’s first breastfeed
—Hepatitis B Immunization
—Rooming in with mother during the postpartum stay
—Newborn Screening Test
—Allow me time to bond with my baby.
—Do not wash the baby; he/she is already clean.
—When we are ready, weigh and measure the baby.
—Preferences if baby has complications
If you have a friend or family member coming to support you at the birth make sure they agree with your plan, or you may have to rethink whether you want them there or not.
Every person present during labour effects the labour, one way or another. Birth is not a spectator sport, so make sure everyone there will support you.
This list is by no means exhaustive. There are many other issues that can be considered. Use this list just as a guide. The complete course available on this site will help you explore all of these points in much more detail. This course will provide you with much more than a simple birth plan worksheet.
It will take you through all your choices and options by asking you questions and offering exercises. The course will also inform you about what happens during labour, so you can support your body’s labour, rather than stall it. Most of this involves learning relaxations skills and letting go of fear. You will learn how-to let go of your fears so you can have the birth you want.