A birth plan is a simple, clear, 1-2 page statement of an expectant mother's preferences for her labor and birth experience.
Copies of a birth plan can be added to an expectant mother's medical records and brought to the hospital or birth center. It can be used by those acting as labor support and shared with the nurse or staff caring for the new mother.
The birth plan should include:
This flexible plan should indicate the expectant mother's preferences or desires during the stages and phases of labor as well as delivery and postpartum. Remember that one plan does not fit all and each woman’s labor and birth is unique.
Considerations may include:
A birth plan lets healthcare providers and staff know the expectant mother’s wishes during labor, delivery, and postpartum. Such a plan can help the expectant mother feel confident and in control as much as possible. A plan also can help her be part of the decision-making process, even if unexpected events occur. It is important to remember that this plan needs to be flexible to accommodate the unexpected.
Did you know Cleveland Clinic offers wellness and educational programs that can help you prepare for labor, delivery and a healthy first year for your baby?
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This information is provided by the Cleveland Clinic and is not intended to replace the medical advice of your doctor or healthcare provider. Please consult your healthcare provider for advice about a specific medical condition.