Making a birth plan

Making a birth plan

A birth plan is a statement of your birthing preferences. It's a way for you to describe what is most important to you. It is also the beginning of a discussion with your health care provider about choices.

You and your partner or labor companion already have an idea about what would make for a good birth experience. There are things you may want or not want done. However, each labor is unique, and no one knows what will happen. Talking about what is important to you now will help you make decisions in labor. Talk about your preferences for a Cesarean birth, too.

Write down your preferences and discuss them with your health care provider. If possible, have your partner or labor companion come with you. After that discussion write up your birth plan.

Have your birth plan fit on one side of a sheet of paper. That way all of it can be easily seen. Using bullet points and phrases will make it easier to read

You can use the birth plan worksheet to help you think about what you may want to include in your birth plan.

Special care

Some babies need additional care right after they are born. They are taken to a special care nursery. Consider having an item in your birth plan about who goes with your baby if this care is needed.

Source: Allina Health Patient Education, Beginnings: Pregnancy, Birth and Beyond, eighth edition, ob-ah-90026
First Published: 10/04/2002
Last Reviewed: 12/06/2021