One of the aspects of pregnancy that lots of people talk about is creating a birth plan, but it gets put off until the very end for so many women. I was only able to find one sample birth plan that I liked. I wished my OB had provided some samples for me to work off of, but they didn’t talk about it with me at all. The one I based mine off of I ended up finding in the back of a book at one of the hospital classes we attended toward the end of our pregnancy with Claire.
When I made mine and showed it to my doctor, she said “Sure we can add that to your chart,” which I took to mean no one was going to read it and look it over to see what I might’ve missed, let alone help me stick to it. I took that opportunity to do tons more research, memorize my plan, talk it over with and share it with my husband, so that we could let nurses know what we wanted.
I remember being disappointed that my OB staff hadn’t looked it over or offered any feedback. We didn’t hire a doula, but I know that had we, she could’ve helped me form a birth plan, explained options, procedures, and terminology to me, as well as helped advocate for the plan once in the hospital.
I read a few books that helped me land on some aspects of this birth plan. I took an evidence-based approach to the numbers as far as timing and which inductions I’d be okay with. Everyone is different, and there are no special prizes for having one type of delivery over another. I wanted to do what I felt was most natural because that was what made me emotionally and mentally the most comfortable. But, obviously, safety first. Had there been any indication the baby was in distress or either of our lives were at risk, I wouldn’t have argued with anyone about interventions.
I used a version of this plan with both girls. I did modify it a bit after my first delivery based on my experiences, new evidence, and the different facility where we delivered to reflect some things I’d like to do differently before we had another.
Without further ado, here is my birth plan. Feel free to use this one either for yourself or as a sample for others!
- No inductions before 42w if at all possible. Regular appts ok, fluid monitoring at deepest vertical pocket, not just total volume.
- No pitocin! Foley induction ok at 41-42w.
- Membrane sweep only after 40-41 weeks ok.
- No oxytocins, prostaglandins, epidurals.
- Free to walk around and eat/drink as desired.
- C-section only if life-threatening to baby. Not progressing at 1-2 cm/hr isn’t sufficient reasoning.
- If water breaks first, free to stay home until labor begins, up to 24h if necessary.
- Labor at home as long as I’m comfortable even if contractions regularly 3-1-1.
- Labor in tub/on ball, free to move around. I’m totally open to and ok with a water birth if it happens, just hadn’t considered it before this!
- no IVs.
- No episiotomy, or forceps (try hands and knees first, other positions)— No vacuum 🤞🏻.
- No EFM unless there’s a concern, discuss first. Use Doppler instead of belt during active labor for comfort/movement.
- Cut cord AFTER it stops pulsating.
- Jason cut cord.
- Breastfeeding EXCLUSIVELY. No sugar water or formula supplements.
- Skin to skin for first 1-2h, NO interruptions. May do APGAR and measure while she’s on me, the rest can wait.
- No pitocin after delivery except in risk of hemorrhage.
- Delayed bath 24h+.
- Rooming-in at all times.
There you have it. Let me know if you have any questions about my shorthand, or anything on here in general, by commenting below! I’m really happy with how both birth experiences went, and I think I learned a lot after my first which made advocating for and sticking to my plan a lot easier the second time around.