Documenting your birth plan is useful, as it helps your birth team understand what you are hoping to experience.
St John of God Mt Lawley Hospital Clinical Midwifery Specialist Shannon Scari provides insights into how to write a birth plan.
Questions to consider when writing a birth plan
Some questions that you may like to consider when writing your birth plan are:
- Who will be my birth partner?
- Do I want to use pain relief in labour?
- If so, do I have a preference for one pain relief over another?
- Would I like to use pharmacological methods for pain relief or would I prefer to try more holistic methods?
- Do I want to remain active during my labour?
- Would I like to utilise water in labour?
- What sort of environment would I like to create in my birth suite?
- Would I like music to be playing?
- Would I like to use aromatherapy?
- Would I like the lights dimmed?
Plan for all scenarios
When writing your birth plan consider different scenarios and how you would ideally like to proceed.
This will help to prepare you and your birth team.
Discuss your plan with your care team
While your care team hopes to support your birth plan, your safety and the safety of your baby are our first priorities.
We recommend discussing your birth plan with your obstetrician and midwives early, as it enables your team to consider all safe, realistic and possible options for you.
It is important to remember that your initial expectations may need to change depending on how your labour is progressing.
Your birth plan should be flexible, as a rigid birth plan may contribute to a sense of disappointment if your experience isn’t how you had planned.
If you haven’t already, we recommend participating in our antenatal education classes. These are hosted by our experienced midwives and provide great insights into topics such as labour, birth, breastfeeding and parenthood. We also encourage your support person to attend. To book, please visit MyAdmission.
Remember, your care team are here for you. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact your obstetrician or our Family Birthing Unit.