Things to Consider when Making your Birth Plan

Support Team:

-Who do you want present? Spouse? Doula? Family? Is there anyone you do NOT want present?

-Do I want to limit hospital staff? (ie: students/interns/ect)



-Will I wear my own clothes or the hospital gown?

-Would I like music, television, silence?

-Would I like the lights dimmed?

-Would I like the doors closed for the duration of my labor and delivery?



-Would I like to walk around? What medical equipment may impede this (IV, monitors) and what are my alternatives?

-Do I want reminders and assistance with changing positions while laboring- standing, dancing, shower, all fours, etc?

-Is there a birth ball available?

-Would I prefer to stay in bed?

-May I use the shower or tub in labor? Under what circumstances would these not be available?




-Would I like continuous or intermittent monitoring?

-Do I understand the procedure to use internal fetal monitoring?

-Do I want to limit vaginal exams? (no exams/as requested/etc)



-Do I want to eat and drink as desired?

-Does the hospital have policies regarding food, ice chips, clear fluids?

– Do I want an IV? Hep Lock?



-What are the possible positions I can birth in and which am I interested in? All fours, squatting, side lying, partner behind me?

-Would I like to avoid delivering flat on my back? Using stirrups?

-Do I want to be coached in my breathing and pushing? Only quiet encouragement? Push as I feel the urge?

– If I do NOT want to be coached and staff or family are doing so, would I like my partner or doula to ask them to stop?

-Do I want to push without time constraints so long as the baby is doing fine?

-How do I feel about episiotomies? Tearing?

-Would I like warm compresses, olive oil, or perineal massage while crowning?

-What are my options for postpartum bleeding? Nursing, pitocin, cytotec, ect?



– Would I like the baby to be placed immediately on my chest? Skin to skin?

-Do I want the cord clamped immediately or delayed? Who will cut the cord?

-Will I nurse? How soon after birth will I start?

-How do I feel about pacifiers? Supplemental bottles?

-Would I like to see a lactation consultant?


Newborn Needs:

-Do I want to delay the newborn exam/nursery visit?

-Will the pediatrician come to our room for the exam?

-What is the hospital policy about hours the baby must be in the nursery?

-Do I want the baby bathed? Postpone bathing? Will we bring our own soap? Bath in our room only?

-Do we want the antibiotic eye ointment?

-Do we want Vitamin K? Hepatitis B?

-Will we circumcise? In the hospital or elsewhere?


Situations to Discuss:

-If surgery is needed may my partner accompany me? Doula?  Wait in recovery room for me?

-Can the staff explain to us what is happening as they work?

-Can the staff stop speaking as our child is born so the baby can first hear a parent’s voice?

-If the baby must go to the nursery, may my partner accompany the baby and my doula stay with me?

-May I have immediate access to a breast pump if my baby is not able to nurse?

-Is “gentle cesarean” an option?


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