3 Things To Consider When Developing Your Birth Plan

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Are you pregnant with your first child? If so, you may want to consider developing a birth plan. A birth plan is a written record of how you would like the birth process to proceed, assuming there aren't any unexpected medical issues. It serves as a guide for your medical team and helps them ensure that you have the experience that you want. When developing your birth plan, you should consult with your midwife, doula, obstetrics and gynecology doctor, or anyone else who will be assisting in the delivery. Here are a few important things to consider:

How natural do you want the birth to be? This is definitely information that you'll want the medical staff to have in advance. If you want a completely natural birth, you'll want to let your OBGYN know so they can help you practice breathing and other pain management techniques. On the other hand, if you want an epidural, you can let your OBGYN know so they have it available for you.

You may be unsure of whether you want an epidural. Tell your doctor that you're undecided. That way, they can let you know during labor when the epidural window is closing. That will give you an opportunity to make a last minute decision.

Who do you want in the room? You'll likely be allowed to have one person in the delivery room with you, but you may be allowed to have more. Find out how many you can have and think about who you want with you. Do you just want you and the baby's father? Or do you want to be joined by a parent, siblings, or friends? Consider what kind of access you want your guests to have. Do you want them to stay near your head to offer support or do you want to allow them to watch the full delivery?

Also, let the medical team know if any of your guests have a sensitivity to blood or medical procedures. The staff can make a chair available to that guest in case they get woozy.

Do you want to breastfeed? Most hospitals have a breastfeeding advocate who will visit you shortly after delivery. You may find this visit helpful. However, if you already know that you don't want to breastfeed, you may not wish to meet with the advocate. If you have strong feelings one way or the other, be sure to let your medical team know. They can communicate to the breastfeeding advocate whether their services are needed. If you're undecided about breastfeeding, a visit with the advocate may help you decide which way you want to go.

For more information, contact Women First OBGYN or a similar location.