Birth Plan is a written plan for the time period between which the baby is born and the time right after the birth of the baby. Many things have to be decided before the process of giving birth; in the same way if the things to be done after the baby is born are thought about and the plan written down then those things become easier, and when the time comes decisions can be taken quickly.
By the 34th week of your pregnancy the doctor will tell you that ‘childbirth pains’ might start, then at that time you can also ask about Birth Plan.
What issues to include in the Birth Plan?
Your Birth Plan is completely your personal matter. What will be in the Birth Plan depends on what you want, such as:
- Your desires and wishes
- Your medical history
- The facilities available at the place where you are currently taking maternity services from
Your Birth Plan might include:
- Where you want to deliver your baby (home, family planning service center, or hospital)
- Whether you want to keep someone with you while giving birth, if yes then who
- Which posture (physical position) you want to give birth in (there are some options in this, the doctor will tell you about them, you should let your doctor know what you prefer)
- If you need any pain relief then do you have any preferences (for example: pethidine, epidural, gas or air)
- After the birth of the baby, do you want an injection for the placenta to come out quickly, or do you want it to come out normally
- If the birth process does not go as planned; then will you give delivery assisted by equipment, or will you go for cesarean section (C-section)
- If you decided to have someone with you while giving birth, then where will he/she stand, beside your head or somewhere else
- Whether they will place the baby on your lap before cleaning him/her
- Whether you will feed the baby breast milk or bottled milk
- Can trainee nurses or doctors be present there while giving birth
If you have any special requirements then you might also include those in this plan, such as:
- Whether you have any preferences about the food that will be given to you during the stay at the hospital
- If any religious rites will be performed after the baby is born
Many of the topics which are included in birth planning that have been discussed here still are not prevalent (commonly occurring) in our country. However they are needed. Although the capabilities and facilities of many health care centers are limited, the number of service seekers is very high; if there is some awareness and goodwill then it is possible to introduce many things.
Some advice about writing down your Birth Plan
For helping you to write down your Birth Plan our ‘Online Pregnancy Care Panel’ has multiple sections and a form is attached as well. Think properly while preparing your Birth Plan. Whatever comes to your mind, write it down just like that. From this writing an idea can also be made about the things that are important for you. But do not forget one thing, sometimes everything does not happen according to the plan, you must also be ready to give concessions (make compromises).
It is not that you have to write the entire plan in one go. By participating in prenatal care discussions, by reading books, or discussing with other mothers, the more you can get to know about the birth process, the more additions and changes you can make. Talk about your Birth Plan with the team of doctors and nurses who will be present during your delivery, in that way they will also get to know what you want. If your Birth Plan is with you in written form, then it will be even better.