No matter how prepared you feel for your impending labor, it can’t hurt to have a plan in place. Childbirth is largely controlled by Mother Nature, but you can control a few factors. You will find hundreds of different checklists online and in pregnancy books, but you can create your own birth plan just by considering these questions and discussing them with your doctor:
- Where are you planning to give birth? Home or hospital?
- What pushing positions do you want to consider?
- What pain medication options are you considering?
- How long will you want to wait to be induced if you pass your due date?
- How long should you wait into your contractions before going to the hospital?
- Who is your support team in the delivery room?
- How do you want to handle an episiotomy if you are at risk to tear?
- What is your emergency plan if the baby were to be taken to the NICU or nursery for observation?
- Are there any religious beliefs that might affect your medical care that you should make the nursing staff aware of?
- Do you want to breastfeed right away or have skin-to-skin contact with your baby?
- Do you want the nursery staff to check with you before giving the baby a bottle or pacifier?
Over the next few months, we’ll go in-depth to each point on a birth plan and discuss what options exist for expectant moms, with advice from real moms on what they considered in making their birth plan decisions.