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Do I need a birth plan?

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3 November 2021|2 min read

It’s not uncommon for expectant mothers to feel like their transition into motherhood needs to be selfless. Shockingly, that’s not actually true. It’s natural to have wants and whims – and even birth plans. 

We reached out to Midwife Tori Srour and asked her the question – does everyone need a birth plan?  And, according to her  - it’s the first thing you should have on your baby hospital bag checklist

“I don't really like to call them birth plans, though, because no birth ever goes to plan, but you should have a birth guide. Creating one is a great way to research and reflect on what's important to you,” says Tori. 

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Creating a birth plan is a great way to research and reflect on what's important to you.

What to include? 

Tori believes that by the time you get to the hospital, it’s important you’re able to focus 100% on birthing. A detailed plan that can be quickly handed to the midwife on duty may help you stay in the right headspace. 

Here’s some examples of birth plan items you may want to include. 

How would you like the environment to look and sound?

Do you want the room to be dimly lit? Do you want music to be played? Is it important for people to speak softly in the birth room? These are all great directives to include. 

Would you like questions directed to your partner?

Some of the questions are small, like vaccination status or DOBs. Others are bigger. For example, if you want (or would rather not have):

  • a student in the room
  • examinations to check dilation and dilation updates
  • your waters to be broken
  • continuous or intermittent fetal monitoring.

When your partner knows what you want, and you consent to them answering questions, you’re more likely to be able to focus completely on birthing. 

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It may be a good idea to look into the post-birth process as part of creating your plan.

Do you want pain relief? 

Tori also suggests that you include on your birth guide what sort of pain relief you want and when you want it. This is so your midwives may help make that happen when it needs to. 

What about after the birth?

It may be a good idea to look into the post-birth process as part of creating your plan.

Consider things such as:

If all of these wishes are communicated clearly, you may find it easier to relax and enjoy your first moments with bub. 

Lastly, consider your emergency plan 

No one wants to think about this but creating an emergency plan is really important. 

They may help in situations such as if you need to have an emergency caesarean or if your baby is separated from you for any reason. 

An emergency plan could outline your consent for things like formula, dummies, IV access and more.

As scary as that seems to talk about it, it's good to have it just because you know if wherever your baby goes, your thoughts and your wishes are still there,” says Tori.

Of course, sometimes things may go wrong, and elements may go out of the window. But a clear birth plan is a great place to start. 

If you have any questions or concerns about creating a birth plan, be sure to speak to your medical practitioner. 

Related:

Tori Srour is a Northern Rivers based midwife who is passionate about empowering and educating women so they can walk away from their birth physically safe and emotionally well.

Reviewed by the healthylife Advisory Board September 2021.

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This article is for informational purposes only and does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Any information published on this website or by this brand is not intended as a substitute for medical advice. If you have any concerns or questions about your health you should consult with a health professional.