Coming up to your third trimester, you’ll start feeling the need to nest and get ready for labour. Part of this is consulting with your medical team and/or midwife as to what kind of birthing experience you want to have. Creating a birth plan is a good way to visualise yourself going through the birthing process, but things don’t always go to plan. So how can you make a birth plan with your own preferences in mind that’s also flexible enough to keep you and baby safe?
What is a birth plan?
It is a written document that explains your wishes regarding the type of birth you want to your midwife and/or doctor. It should contain three key items:
- The type of birth you want to have
- What you want to happen before and immediately after the birth
- And what you want to avoid
Keep your options open
If you’re unsure about certain procedures or practices, ask your midwife. They are there to guide you through this process and explain your options to you.
It’s important to be clear about any previous medical procedures you may have undergone, especially if they relate to previous births. This could affect the type of birth you have and even the outcome of that birth, so it’s important to be open.
Where can you research?
- Your antenatal classes will tell you a lot about different births, and you may even chat with other mothers who have gone through something similar to what you’re looking for. Make sure you talk to a few different women about different types of birth or even the same type of birth to get good information.
- Talk to your birth partner about their role in facilitating your birth. How can they help you in the process?
- If you’re having a planned caesarean you should still write a birth plan and make certain wishes known to the doctors. You may want to have skin to skin contact directly after birth for example. This can be made possible through a gentle caesarean process. For more on c-sections read here.
Keep in mind
Who will look after the siblings?
Plan in advance who will come to mind older siblings, if any. Make sure they expect the call near your due date and can come at a moment’s notice!
Pack your bag
Don’t forget to have your bag packed and ready to go and don’t skimp on anything either. You could be kept in hospital for longer than you think, so include any items you think you might need. For more on what should be in your hospital bag read here.