Why You Need to Create a Birth Plan

Why You Need to Create a Birth Plan

Creating a birth plan is becoming a more popular option for many women. Once unheard of, birth plans are now common. A birth plan is a formal document that you create letting your obstetrician or midwife know what kind of birth experience you would like to have. Birth plans can include information such as whether or not you want to receive pain medication, whether you want your husband to cut the umbilical cord, whether or not you plan to breastfeed and want immediate skin-to-skin contact with the baby, and much more.

There are many great reasons why you should create a birth plan. Here are just a few of them:

It Helps You to Prepare Mentally for What's Ahead

Labor and delivery can be scary prospects. There is a great deal of pain involved, and though most deliveries are without complication, any number of things can go wrong. By creating a birth plan, you can mentally work through all the aspects of your labor and delivery and prepare for what's ahead.

Though everything may not go the way you hope, you will benefit from having worked through the possibilities in your mind and will feel more calm and confident when the unexpected does arise.

It Will Put You at Ease for Your Delivery

By making choices for your own labor and delivery, instead of passively accepting whatever may happen or whatever choices doctors may make for you, will make you feel more in control of what is going to happen, which will help to put you at ease. Labor and delivery can be very stressful, and the more emotionally distraught you feel, the harder the process will be. By creating a birth plan, you can feel more at ease, making the whole experience go a bit smoother.

It Conveys Your Wishes to Your Caregivers

Not every birth is the same, but doctors and other health professionals have a standard protocol they will follow in the absence of your direction. By creating a birth plan, you let your caregivers know what kind of birth experience you want to have. For example, if you want a natural childbirth, they will know not to offer you medications and will be able to offer you tools for relaxation and to coach you through your coping techniques.

Not everything is likely to go as you planned. In fact, it's almost guaranteed to not go as you planned. However, by making a birth plan, you can let your doctor know what kind of experience you would like to have, and he can work with you to create an overall experience that meets your expectations, even if the unexpected happens.

It Helps You to Make Arrangements

Once you have thought through everything you hope to happen during your labor and delivery, you can start to put together all the items you will need. Making a birth plan helps you to gather everything you need for your overnight bag, such as a birthing ball if you plan natural labor, healthy drinks or snacks, a massage roller to help with contractions, and so on. By making a birth plan, you will be prepared not just mentally, but physically, as well.

Not sure where to get started with a birth plan? Here's a birth plan worksheet (http://www.babycenter.com/calculators-birthplan) that can help you put one together easily.

Did you create a birth plan for your labor and delivery? Tell us how it helped you in the comments!

About the Author:

Alexis Bonari writes for one of the largest open databases of college funding opportunities. Specific topics like nursing college grants are described in detail to provide multiple resources for students.


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