This article is from the Birth Planning FAQ, by wnymph@FensEnde.com (Sabrina Cuddy) with numerous contributions by others.
Birth Plan for [mother] and [father]
Our goal is to have a totally natural birth, free from any medical
interventions. We have tried to prepare ourselves to achieve this
goal. However, we understand that complications do occur. We trust our
physician, [obstetrician], and [hospital] to help us deal with any
complications that may occur during the birth of our baby. If there is
a need for any deviation from this birth plan, we request that any
medications, procedures, or other interventions be discussed with us
prior to administration if at all possible.
Labor and Delivery
- It is important to us that we remain together at all times during
labor and delivery (vaginal or cesarean). We would like our labor
assistant, [doula], to be present at all times as well.
- We prefer than no pain relief medication be used. If requested or
recommended, we would like the pros and cons of any medications to
be discussed with us prior to administration.
- [mother] would like to be free to move around during labor and
delivery. She would like to try different positions, including
- We prefer that no episiotomy be performed. We would prefer if our
physician could attempt alternative methods (hot & cold compresses,
massage, different position for delivery, etc.) to preserve the
perineum. In the event that an episiotomy is necessary, we request
that a pressure episiotomy be performed as the baby's head is
crowning. We request that [mother] have the option of self-directed
pushing to help ease the baby out slowly and avoid tearing the
perineum. We prefer that a local anesthetic be used after delivery
to repair the perineum if necessary.
- We prefer intermittent external fetal monitoring. In the event that
continuous fetal monitoring is necessary, we would like the option
of using telemetry. We would like to avoid internal monitoring
unless there is a specific medical need for it.
- We prefer that no IV be administered. In the event that an IV is
necessary "just in case", we request that a heparin lock be used. If
continuous fluid administration is necessary, we request that the IV
be portable so [mother] can remain mobile.
- We prefer that the amniotic sac not be ruptured artificially. We
would like to keep the number of vaginal exams to a minimum and done
gently to avoid rupturing the amniotic sac.
- We prefer that labor be allowed to progress at a natural rate with
no artificial time constraints on any stage of labor. We prefer that
the labor not be artificially stimulated with pitocin, amniotomy,
stripping of membranes, etc.
- We prefer to wait for spontaneous placenta separation and delivery.
- We would like to have a mirror positioned so [mother] can view the
- We prefer that no enema be administered or any pubic shaving be
- [mother] would like the option of using the shower.
- We would like the option of listening to music.
- [mother] would like the option of having light food and drink during
- [mother] would like a private room with absolute non-separation. We
do not want the baby to spend any time in the nursery. We request
that all procedures and examinations be done in the LDR or in
[mother]'s room. We understand that there is an eye exam that must
be done in the nursery and that [mother] may be present.
- We would like to have the baby placed on [mother]'s abdomen
immediately after birth.
- [mother] plans to breastfeed the baby exclusively. Please do not
give any bottles, pacifiers, sugar water, or formula without prior
- We prefer that [mother] holds the baby rather than have it placed
under the heat lamps.
- We would like our daughter [daughter] (2 1/4 years) to be able to
visit her new brother or sister in the hospital.
- We prefer that the umbilical cord not be cut until after it stops
- We would like the option of [mother] and the baby being discharged
as soon as possible once it has been approved by [obstetrician] and
our pediatrician, [pediatrician].
- If the baby is a boy, we would like him circumcised by
- We would like to avoid a cesarean unless absolutely necessary. If
possible, we would like to participate in the decision process to
perform a cesarean.
- We prefer than an epidural be used and that [mother] be awake for
- We would like [father] and [doula] (our labor assistant) to be
- We would like the screen lowered at the time of delivery so we can
view the birth.
- We would like the baby's health to be judged on its own merits -
no special nursery care unless necessary.
- In the event that the baby is not healthy, we would like to be as
involved as possible with his or her care.
- We prefer that [mother] nurse the baby exclusively. If this is not
possible, we would like the baby to be fed expressed breast milk