Planning for childbirth is becoming as common as planning a wedding. Birth options have recently improved and a lot of hospitals are becoming what is called baby-friendly. Women are empowering themselves and taking advantage of their options.
A birth plan starts with education. Knowing what happens to your body during labor and educating yourself on hospital policies are the most important parts of a birth plan.
What you add to your birth plan depends on your vision for your birth. Some expectant parents opt to deliver in birth centers or at home with a midwife while some go for the traditional hospital setting. If you are delivering in a hospital you can make some adjustments to make it feel more like home.
How will you labor? Hospitals and birthing centers offer a variety of tools to help labor progress such as peanut balls, squat bars, and birthing tubs. Do you envision yourself moving around the room, dancing through contractions, walking the hospital hallways or resting during labor?
Don’t forget to consider who you want present. Talk to your partner about inviting in-laws or including older children in the birth. It’s best to think about who will make you most comfortable. Do you want to hire a doula to support you during labor? What about a birth photographer? Ask your provider about hospital policies before making your decision, but always remember that you can change your mind!
It’s never too early or too late to make choices about your birth. Planning early will give you more time to explore more options. A birth plan is not set in stone, but it gives your provider and nurses an idea of your birth goals.
Expectant parents have planned everything from rules for visitors to hiring a glam squad. What is something you have planned for your birth or wish you had planned?