The birth plan: how to prepare it

Do you know the birth plan? Do you know what it’s for? It is a document, which you can fill out during pregnancy, in which you can indicate what you want to be done and not done during your labor and delivery.

To draw up the birth plan , it will help you answer the question ” how would I like my labor and delivery to be ?” and you can answer this question on your own, together with your partner or your midwife or doula.

The suggestion is to prepare it calmly, after being informed for all 9 months of pregnancy.

The birth plan is to all intents and purposes a document. The WHO, in a document drawn up in 1985, stated that:

“ A woman who is pregnant and about to give birth has the right to be informed about the type of assistance offered to her and to make her own assessments, but also to plan it with the medical-obstetric team. Women have the right to express their wishes regarding assistance in labour, childbirth and hospitalisation, refusing medical and/or obstetric procedures carried out as a “routine” or “protocol”.

Details for completing the birth plan

  1. The pregnancy must be physiological.
  2. Your partner must agree with what is written in the birth plan.
  3. You can change your mind.

Sample birth plan

Here is an example that you can modify, print and present to your birth center on the day of your birth or at the end of the expected birth date when you have the first check-up in the ward.

It must be delivered to the midwives and they will put it in the folder so as to be available to all. Make double copies so you have one for yourself.

Document content:

To the Head of obstetric and gynecological hospitalization Dr. ______________
To the midwives of the _________ hospital ward of _____________

My due date is ___/___/____ and we chose to deliver at your hospital. Surely you will understand the importance this event has for me and my family. During the period of pregnancy we have matured some requests. These are very important to us, in order to be able to live the birth of our child peacefully and consciously. We are aware that if there is a real need to intervene, we will not hesitate to follow the medical indications.

  • I would like my husband to be there throughout the labor, even if it happens at night.
  • I wish I had the ability to move and walk as I
    pleased. In case of continuous monitoring I would like to be explained why I have to keep it for the entire time of labor and delivery.
  • I wish I could eat and drink during labor.
  • I wish I could take a shower or labor in the tub.
  • I don’t want to undergo enemas.
  • I don’t want to be shaved.
  • I do not want the waters to be artificially broken. Sac rupture occurs spontaneously at any time during labor. Breaking the bag means, increasing the risk of infections.
  • I don’t want labor to be rushed. I rather want to be left alone in intimacy with my husband, in soft light so that I can relax and increase the production of oxytocin naturally.
  • I would like the labor to take place in a serene atmosphere, with few people. A coming and going of people, students, volunteers, doctors, slow down the labor.
  • I would like internal visits to be reduced to the bare minimum.
  • If an emergency caesarean is needed, I want you to explain why first. I want it to be placed on my chest as soon as possible.
  • I do not want the episiotomy to be done but to tear me where necessary.
  • I want the midwife to follow my positions, helping me to reduce the perception of pain from contractions with massage and heat.
  • I don’t want to have to give birth on the delivery table.
  • I don’t want to push on command.
  • I wish I was free to scream.
  • I would like the baby to be placed on my chest as soon as it is born.
  • I would like to wait for the umbilical cord to stop pulsing before clamping and for the second clamping to have already taken place.
  • I want to spend the two hours following the birth with my baby so the bath, the measurement and the first prophylaxis can wait.
  • I want to breastfeed my baby immediately or if I decide to stop breastfeeding I want my wish to be respected.
  • I don’t want to give my child a bottle and a pacifier.

Confident that these requests will be accepted, we thank all the staff who will follow us in this event that is so important for us.

Place, date and signature

Read approved and signed by the father of the unborn child

Kathryn Barlow is an OB/GYN doctor, which is the medical specialty that deals with the care of women's reproductive health, including pregnancy and childbirth.

Obstetricians provide care to women during pregnancy, labor, and delivery, while gynecologists focus on the health of the female reproductive system, including the ovaries, uterus, vagina, and breasts. OB/GYN doctors are trained to provide medical and surgical care for a wide range of conditions related to women's reproductive health.

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