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Birth Plan

What is a Birth Plan?

A birth plan is a written outline of your preferences for when you are in labor and giving birth. This plan lets your birthing team know your wishes to obtain a common goal: the safest possible delivery for you and your baby. Keep in mind that having a birth plan does not guarantee that your labor and delivery will go according to that plan. In creating your plan, you're likely to have choices in who will assist, the atmosphere and procedures you have access to during your labor, and guidelines for after birth. Birth plans can help you organize your thoughts. Having these preferences set beforehand may help bring peace of mind and manage expectations. 

What Questions Does a Birth Plan Answer?


What are your wishes during a normal labor and delivery?

Think about the environment in which you want to have you and your baby, who you want to have there, any religious or cultural traditions, and what birthing positions you plan to use.


How are you hoping for your baby to be treated immediately after and for the first few days after birth?

Skin to skin, feeding and sleep preferences, immunizations, and medical interventions, and postpartum recovery.


What do you want to happen in the case of unexpected events?

Your birth plan should probably cover your wishes in the event that your labor takes an unexpected turn. You might also want to think about other possible complications.

When to Write a Birth Plan

While there’s no ideal time for creating a birth plan—it can be drafted at any point in pregnancy at your convenience.

Can I Change My Birth Plan Once I’m in Labor?

The short answer is yes. Birth plans are exactly that, plans, and you absolutely have the right to change your mind at any point—even in the middle of labor and delivery.

Birth Plan Tips

Pregnant Woman and Partner

Make your birth plan read like a list of requests or best-case scenarios, not like a set of demands. Phrases such as "(I or we) would prefer" and "if medically necessary" will help your health care provider and caregivers know that you understand that they might have to change the plan.

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