A birthplan is your opportunity to make your wishes known to family, friends, and hospital staff about your birth experience. Do you want certain people there? Do you want certain procedures avoided if possible? The birthplan is a written expression of how you want things to go.
It's a good idea to make the birthplan well in advance so that in the labor and delivery process you can concentrate on yourself and the baby. Experts advise keeping it short - one page, if possible.
Elements of the birthplan can include:
- where you want to give birth (home, hospital)
- who you want with you (family, adopting parents, doula)
- pain relief (natural, epidural, etc.)
- whether you want to be induced if past your due date
- whether you want an episiotomy as a matter of course
- whether you want to watch in a mirror, have someone recording, etc.
- type of anesthesia if a cesarean becomes necessary
- who you want to catch the baby, cut the cord, etc. and any other wishes you may have surrounding the birth.
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