Free Birth Preferences Plan!
Updated: Mar 28, 2022
Birth plan or not to birth plan?! That is what a TON of parents ask themselves. And I hear the same thing all the time.. "They just ignore them anyway!" "I used one with my first and everything went sideways." "My OB told me not to bother." "I don't need a birth plan as long as the baby and I come out healthy." But let me tell you why I LOVE birth preferences / birth plans - whatever ya wanna call it. Because it puts the power in YOUR hands. I think that knowledge is one of the most powerful things during childbirth and creating a birth plan indirectly or directly pushes you to seek out more knowledge. Why do you want to delay cord clamping? For how long? Would you feel better knowing your baby got the erythromycin eye ointment or do you think things will be better without? Are you SUPER excited about having a slimy baby, vernix and all, placed on your naked chest, or do you have sensory issues and would prefer they were wiped off first? Knowing your preferences affirms your personal beliefs, goals, and comforts. It allows you to anticipate and visualize your birth. You don't have to be a 'crunchy' parent to utilize a birth plan. Writing down that you 100% want an epidural and would like to be told when to push is still absolutely valid, those things don't determine how good your birth will be, the point is that you've written down what YOU want. In birth plans I also like to write the plan B, or worst case scenario... why? Because the more you are prepared for something, -hopefully- the less traumatic it will be.
Plan B's can include what to do if you need a cesarean, if there is a hemorrhage, who goes with the baby if they need to go to the NICU, etc. "Healthy parent, healthy baby" shouldn't stop at physically safe. The goal for birth should be to walk away satisfied and happy knowing everyone did as much as they could to give you the birth you want, with as little mental and physical trauma as possible. Keep scrolling for the download and to see my tips on how to make sure your birth plan is respected.
So, how can you make sure your birth team is aware and willing to cooperate with your birth plan? TALK about your birth plan with everyone involved - your doctor, midwife, spouse, doula, and any other support people before your birth. Set expectations of what you want, and roles you want people to fulfill. If your health care provider is unwilling to even listen to your birth plan, it may be time to find a new care provider. SHORT BUT SWEET. Make your birth plan as detailed and as many pages as you want, but from speaking with many other birth workers and parents, care providers are more willing to read and more likely to take in your information if it is point form and easy to see the specific points.
HIRE a doula! They are on your side no matter what (or should be) and their sole job is to try and make your birthy dreams come true. They will help advocate for your wishes to be followed and help you feel confident in your decisions.
KNOW what you want. Visualize it, memorize it, feel it, speak it into existence. The more you believe in something, the more willing you will be to stick up for it and make sure it happens. INFORM yourself. This goes along with knowing what you want... but in order to know what you want you need to first know the options. I offer birth planning sessions where we talk about what you want from your birth and give you information about the options so that you can choose what is right for you. After all of these virtual face to face sessions each client will receive a completed and filled out digital PDF of the birth plan for them to print off. All doula clients receive this service free of charge as well.
Don't need me? No worries!! Below is the free PDF download for you to be able to fill it out yourself and photocopy to distribute to your birth team. Make sure to print an extra few copies for nurses and your door!
If you'd like access to this editable version in canva you can follow the etsy link here to purchase! There is a ready made template for ease of fonts, colours, circle choices and text boxes so you can get right down to business, and a blank version where you can completely customize everything! Happy birthing <3 Mykayla
The download is a .zip file. To open a mac, double click. On a windows computer right click and choose unpack or decompress.