A birth plan is a record of what you would like to happen during your labour and after the birth. It is useful for yourself, your partner, the midwife and other maternity carers. The birth plan lists what is important to you. We shall follow your birth plan as much as possible while you are in labour.
What is a birth plan?
A birth plan is a brief document which you can complete either online or on paper. The length of the document varies between a few lines and a maximum of two A4 pages, as the maternity carers should be able to read the document quickly. Around 34 weeks into your pregnancy we will schedule a longer appointment to allow a thorough discussion about the birth plan. If you wish we can schedule this appointment at an earlier time in your pregnancy. Please make us aware of this so that we can schedule for sufficient time.
Why write a birth plan?
- You are already thinking about the birth, and are better prepared.
- We as midwives are aware of what is important to you, what your ideas and wishes are and how you prefer others to interact with you.
- You and your partner can discuss the birth and each other’s expectations.
- Through a birth plan you are considering what is going to happen at the birth and the decisions made that day.
- You will have a record of your wishes and preferences at a time when you may not be able to express them clearly.
The plan may need to change
- At any point in time you may change your mind yourself.
- Also the birth may happen differently than you expected or wanted. This might mean not all your wishes can be carried out.
- The midwife may need to refer you to hospital to be under the care of a gynaecologist
- Surgical intervention might be necessary
- Your baby may be admitted for care at the gynaecology ward.
Think of a plan A but also consider plan B: what if during the birth additional medical care becomes necessary, what are your preferences in that case so that they may be carried out.