Writing a “Birth Preference” Sheet
Many women talk about having a “birth plan” to share with their care providers before and during labor. It’s a good idea to start thinking about a “plan” well before labor, but personally I prefer to call this information “preferences.” For me, it’s a reminder that we can plan all we want, but what happens in labor isn’t always according to our plan.
Putting together a birth preferences sheet helps Mom define how she would like her birth to go, and gives her the opportunity to become informed before her delivery about alternatives that might be presented once she’s admitted. When I help my clients put together a birth preference sheet, many times topics come up that Mom might not have even considered before! Because of these discussions, Mom and Dad are able to educate themselves about their options and choices for before, during, and after labor, and options they have for their newborn baby.It’s easy to google “birth plan” to find ideas on how to write your own plan; I have my own technique of writing that I share with my clients during our prenatal meetings! One of the first things I always like to talk about with my clients is, even though she may have a picture in our head of her ideal birth, she must be open to changes that might occur. This is why education is so important! Mom must know about her options and what path she’ll choose if her labor doesn’t go according to her preferences.
A typical birth preferences sheet should include information about mom that might be important for the nursing staff to know, mom’s preferences for labor and delivery (atmosphere, pain relief, specific care details), and immediate care information about Baby.
Around The Woodlands, there are many childbirth educators that take on the role of helping their clients prepare for birth, including writing out a birth plan. This is something I also like to do; as a doula, it’s of utmost importance for me to know how my client wants her birth to go, and it is my job to help her achieve her ideal birth!
Did you write a birth preference sheet for your birth? Will you for your future birth?