Thinking about your birth and what you would like is a great way to prepare. A birth plan is a used to highlight what you would like to ideally happen in your birth. It can be used by your maternity team to see your wishes without having to ask you all the questions. It is not set in stone and should be flexible. Remember each birth is different. Things to consider:
WHO you want at your birth with you – Who will be your birth partner/s and if you are happy for students being present at the birth?
WHERE you want to give birth – The choices you have about where to give birth will depend on where you live and whether you have any health problems. Possible places include: in hospital, in a midwife-led unit or at home.
BIRTH POSITIONS – Positions you would like to consider during labour, staying mobile, being upright, position for the birth of your baby.
PAIN RELIEF– What pain relief you would like to consider and use: breathing techniques, water, tens, massage and medical pain relief. If you would like to use a pool for labour and birth.
DELIVERY of your baby – Would you like your baby delivered directly onto you, or would you prefer your baby to be wrapped in a towel before being handed to you or your partner?
PLACENTA - How you would like to deliver the placenta? An ‘active’ third stage; with an injection to deliver the placenta OR a ‘physiological’ third stage; where you deliver the placenta naturally.
THE SEX OF YOUR BABY - Do you wish you birth partner to be the first to tell you?
DELAYED CORD CLAMPING of the placenta at birth – If possible do you want to wait to clamp the cord after birth?
CUTTING THE CORD – would you like your birth partner to cut the umbilical cord?
FEEDING YOUR BABY - do you wish to breastfeed or bottle-feed your baby?
VITAMIN K – would you like your baby to have vitamin K after birth and how it is to be administered?
A comprehensive Birth Plan from NHS choices can be downloaded here