Do I Even Need A Birth Plan?

February 21, 2022
by Alex Barr
Do I Even Need A Birth Plan?

Do I need a birth plan?

Some people will tell you

“no you can’t plan birth so don’t even try”

But, I will tell you

“yes! You can’t plan birth so you should try to understand, research, and make some choices ahead of time.”

I prefer to call it your “Birth Preferences” instead of a plan. A plan insinuates that you’ll be able to plan your birth and that isn’t possible.
But preferences insinuates that you’re deciding what you want best case scenario while also researching some of the choices that will be available to you.

Most people growing up never knowing much about birth, all the possibilities, all the choices you’ll be asked to make. 
Creating a birth preference sheet can help you take charge of your pregnancy, labor and birth!
When you decide these things ahead of time you have an opportunity to discuss them with your provider to see which things they support and recommend and which things they don’t!
It also allows you time to research your options and the risks or benefits of each decision.

A few things you could decide:

  • Ideal environment for birth (lighting, music, etc.)
  • What do you think you’ll need from your support team
  • Who do you want in the room during labor

A few things you could research for your birth preferences:

  • Different types of medical and non-medical pain management
  • Intermittent fetal monitoring vs. continuous monitoring
  • Induction methods
  • Caesarean plans 
  • Infant feeding choices 

The list of research topics is never-ending!
If it’s overwhelming you could hire a doula for your birth, take a childbirth class or even hire a doula just to help you with birth planning! (Yes a lot of doulas offer this service!)