Birth Plans: Taking a New Look at Birth Plans

Make your birth plan something that works for you, your birth attendant, and your place of birth. List your must-have items on your birth plan in order of importance to you. Discuss them on a regular basis with your doctor or midwife during your pregnancy. This will reduce misunderstandings during labor. Ask your doctor to put the items you've agreed on into your chart that will go to the hospital. If you've done your homework and found a person and place to fit your needs, why would your birth plan need more than a few items?

Be flexible. You may need to deviate from your ideal plan. Birth is too unpredictable to feel convinced in advance that you know how the labor and birth will go, especially in hospitals that have their own rules and procedures independent of your wants and needs.

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