Creating a Birth Plan

Updated: Oct 30, 2020

Now that I'm over halfway through my pregnancy, I'm looking ahead towards what the rest of my pregnancy holds. At the very end, obviously, there will be a birth. And for that, I want to have a plan.

Having a birth plan makes me feel more assured that my wishes for my birthing experience will be honored as much as possible. If there is a medical emergency, I realize that I may not be able to have everything done in the exact ways I had hoped. I am open to adjustments where necessary, but having a general guide for what I want during labor and delivery will help to ensure that my husband, my midwife, the nursing staff, and I are all on the same page.

Your practitioner may ask you to fill out a birth plan before your due date, so if you're creating one yourself, you might need to use their forms. However, you still might find some ideas in mine that you'd like to include. It'll at least get you thinking.

(Ideas for what to include in my birth plan came from:

and .

Birthing Environment:

  • Only one birthing partner to accompany me: my husband

  • Practitioner: midwife

  • Eating/drinking as needed (as cleared by my midwife)

  • Free movement around the room as desired

  • Access to a laboring tub

  • Dim/soft lighting

  • No photos or video

  • No students/residents/interns present

  • No one notified until after the birth

Labor & Delivery:

  • Various laboring positions as desired (squatting, all fours, standing, etc.)

  • Wear my own clothes

  • My partner present at all times

  • Deep breathing and relaxation practices through contractions

  • No enema or shaving

  • No membrane sweeping or rupturing the membranes medically

  • Minimal checks for dilation (as few as possible)

  • No IV or catheter

  • No induction or augmentation of labor (mechanically nor medicinally)

  • No episiotomy

  • No vacuum extraction/forceps

  • Pushing according to my body's signals, without time limits (unless the baby is at risk)

  • Local anesthesia for stitching, if necessary

Natural vs. C-Section Preference:

  • Natural, unmedicated birth is ideal (no epidural or other pain meds)

  • C-section as emergency option only, if all other options have been exhausted

  • If an emergency c-section is necessary: my partner to remain with me at all times, and to breastfeed in the recovery room

Newborn Care:

  • Immediate skin-to-skin contact, before weighing, cleaning, or eye drops given

  • Delayed cord clamping (cut once it stops pulsating)

  • Baby's father does not wish to cut the cord

  • Breastfeeding as soon as possible, within the first hour

  • No visitors while in the hospital

  • Baby's medical exam given in my presence

  • No formula given to baby, just breastmilk

  • Baby's first bath given in my presence

  • My partner will sleep in my room


  • Stool softeners/laxatives as needed

  • Leave the hospital as soon as allowed

  • If the baby is sent to the NICU: visitation and holding her as much as possible, and breastfeeding (or providing pumped breastmilk)

So there you have it! An outline of my birth plan. I hope making your own makes you feel excited, empowered, and ready for the amazing experience of bringing a new life into the world.

Find out how my birth ACTUALLY went here: My Birth Story - What Happens When The Best Laid Plans Don't Go To Plan.

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