When I created my birth plan for my first birth, I looked at several examples online and in books to get an idea of the type of information that could be included. I used a website to make ours (that appears to have changed to a different site now) but I know there are many sites that you can easily find by googling. In one quick search, I found a customizable birth plan at Earth Mama Angel Baby, for instance.
What I liked about the online plan was it gave me lots of options to choose from, some that I may not have thought of before. The downside is that some don’t let you add your own categories and/or line items within categories. What I did was used the default plan with the options selected and then copied and pasted it all into a Word document so I could add what I needed to or reword things as if I didn’t care for their default wording and needed a better explanation.
There are books written to just about writing your birth plan if you want to really get in depth. Many of the childbirth prep books I read at least had a chapter about creating a birth plan though so I don’t know if a whole book devoted to it is really necessary. But, there is that option for learning more about birth plans if you think you would be interested in that.
What I remember being reiterated over and over again was to keep it short, one page, as busy doctors and nurses are most likely not going to take the time to peruse more than that. I used bolded sub headings for each section so it was easy to find the information that might be needed and it broke up the material and made it more readable. In my childbirth class, it was suggested that a separate newborn care sheet be printed up and maybe even placed in the bassinet that the baby will be occupying eventually if you are in the hospital as a separate nurse will be attending to the baby that was not necessarily there for your birth.
Have your birth plan ready ahead of time to show your care provider and, if you are having a hospital birth, it would be a good idea to even have your doctor sign it ahead of time. It just gives it that little extra bit of authority when you show it to the hospital staff.
To see a copy of my birth plan for my last birth, I have a guest post at Fine and Fair where I have it as well as my thoughts on it after the birth.
Also writing about birth plans this week:
- Musing Mommy shares her experience with birth plans and being asked to write one a little out of the ordinary.
- In preparation for her second birth, That Mama Gretchen shares and reevaluates her first birth plan. Chime in with your birth plan thoughts and links – she’d love to hear from you!