How to Write a Birth Plan

(Along with some birth photos from my favorite bloggers)

I was on the fence about having my birth preferences written out, but I've decided after my experience with Dr. Jerk that I definitely want to have my birth preferences with me.

Although I realize that every birth is different and that I cannot dictate how it goes, writing out my birth preferences really helped me to better understand the labor and delivery process and the decisions I may have to make during it.

I feel like I can now make more informed choices about my labor and delivery. Although your nurse and/or doctor are trained to get informed consent, I'm not sure how 'with it' I will be during labor and delivery and preferred to do my research ahead of time.

While I was researching options for my birth preferences online, I came across these amazing how to posts written by a labor & delivery nurse. I highly recommend reading both of her posts:

Writing Your Birth Plan: Tips from an L&D Nurse, Part I

Top Ten Do's for Writing Your Birth Plan: Tips from an L&D Nurse, Part II

 Some of the main things she talks about are:
  • wording choice (using assertive language)
  • keeping it short, but still including important information
  • remaining flexible
  • personalizing and understanding your plan/preferences

I also really like a few points made on this site:

A birth plan will NOT:

1. Change your health care provider's style of practice, personality or protocols
2. Script the nature of your labor.
3. Insure you have a satisfying labor.

Although NursingBirth advocates choosing the right birth attendant as the most important factor, I feel that it is too late for me to change practices at this point. I must face the reality that I may have Dr. Jerk or Dr. Fluttery Eyes for the birth of my child. And you never know what kind of nurse you may get.

While I wish I could turn back time and do more research before choosing my obstetrician, hindsight is 20/20 and I can only move forward and hope for the best! Who knows, when the chips are down, maybe Dr. Jerk will be the best attending physician ever...or maybe I'll get one of the many great doctors or midwives at my practice. Only time will tell!



    1. I had a really, really bad first experience. The only good part was Zachy. I even broke a lot of blood vessels in my face and eyes!! Things have changed a lot even from 8 years ago. Ask if they do anything to your uterus after you deliver. My Doc was doing something to it...sort of like a painful (external) uterus massage. I don't know if they all do this but I've hardly had any bleeding since delivery b/c of it. That was NOT the case when they didn't do this.

      Sorry if that's TMI but it's one of those things people never talk about that I wish I had known!

    2. Uteran massage is something that should be done right after birth. It helps the uterus contract back to it's normal size quicker and stop the bleeding. It's not the most comfortable thing, but you'll have beautiful Violet to help keep your mind off of the discomfort. One other thing that they don't tell you is as you nurse the first few weeks, you will have mild contractions. This is also due to your uterus contracting back to it's former size. Lauren, if you have any questions at all, I have no problem trying to help you understand. Good luck!

    3. I think a birth plan is a great idea. You're right that it can't alter the style of practice your doctor has, but it can lead attendants in the direction that you'd like to go. I'm a doula and always recommend a birth plan for my clients. Its mostly a tool for the parents and nurses who are, lets face it, the ones who are really dealing with the labor. The doctor usually doesn't show up until the end anyway. Best best best of luck with the rest of you pregnancy. And just a side note - its never too late to change care providers. Well... maybe 39 weeks is a little late. But you know what I mean! xo

    4. Thanks for featuring my pic and blog...I've been meaning to say that but I have been too lazy to comment. Also thanks for the info on Ohdeedoh.



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