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Q&A: Do I need a birth plan?

Do I need a birth plan? What's the point of having one?

Re: Do I need a birth plan? What's the point of having one?

The Bump Expert

A "birth plan" is just that -- a game-plan for baby's arrival. You can never be totally in charge of your labor and delivery (childbirth is generally a pretty out of control thing), but a birth plan ensures that you and your mate are at least on the same page as your doctors and nurses. The birth plan is a place to make clear your desires about issues like pain meds, people involved, episiotomies and cord cutting.

How it works: document your wishes, talk them over with your doctor, make sure they fit in with hospital policies, and then see to it that you, your doctor, and the hospital each have a copy. If a birth plan is in place, everyone involved in your delivery can be reminded of your wishes if decisions need to be made. That way, you can just focus on the pushin'.

Even though you've got a birth plan, it's important to talk over everything on it with your doc. You both should know exactly what your wishes are. And, there might be some things on the plan that your doctor doesn't quite agree with. You're much better off talking these things out before giving birth than on the actual day. And remember, birth plans are not legal documents -- they're more like basic guidelines. Health and safety of mommy and baby always comes first, and birth plans change accordingly.

Ready to create your birth plan? Start here.

Paula Kashtan

Q&A: Do I need a birth plan?

i think a birth plan is a great idea, especially since I'm a total control freak. But my midwife told me it was pointless, since babies have their own agendas. Any thoughts??

Erin0922 |

Q&A: Do I need a birth plan?

I honestly don't think one is necessary unless you are having a hospital birth. I'm planning on having my baby in the birthing center, with my midwives, who tend to adhere to your wishes to begin with.

AndiNell |

Q&A: Do I need a birth plan?

I had one with my last pregnancy and it wasn't necessary at all. As long as your husband knows what you want and don't want then you should be covered. I had written down and specifically told the nurses I did not want an analgesic shot before the epidural could be administered. Well I caved about 30 seconds later, go the shot, and promptly threw up which is exactly what I knew would happen. It didn't matter that I had written down no shot because labor is an active process and things happen fast! If you don't want certain people in the room then let the nurses know, but our nurses wouldn't let anyone in without asking me first, regardless of what the birth plan said.

kleemom |

Q&A: Do I need a birth plan?

A birth plan can be a wonderful thing and like everything else it has it's place and it's pro's and con's. First of all if you've never been in labor before ( and even if you have) Then you don't know how your going to be feeling and what you may end up wanting it. You may be too proud to ask for pain relief and if you put down not to ask you then your going to have to live through it. On the other had if that was your whole idea then it works for you. Needless to say my son was born 2 months early I didn't have a birth plan and I hadn't even started my class yet and he was born just fine and I knew what I was doing instincivly. So no you don't need one though if you want one it can save a lot of questions. Otherwiess as long as you and your partner are on the same page just enjoy bringing your baby into the world.

Mommy Melissa |

Q&A: Do I need a birth plan?

I am having a csection and I am making a small request birth plan. Meaning that I want the radio on, and I want my kids at the hospital this time to meet their sibling. just small stuff because this is baby 4 and I dont have much to want at this point I have had it all. so make a birht plan if it makes you feel better cause you may get to do a majority of them. But dont be dissappointed that everything didnt get done on the plan. It is up to you. I liked making one cause it took my mind off alot of things and made me feel organized and in control.

karenCB |

Q&A: Do I need a birth plan?

I think that everything listed on a birth plan should be discussed with the dr BEFORE you go into labor. I'm also a labor & delivery RN. Also, discussing what you would like with your nurse as she comes on shift and making sure your partner is on board (and an advocate for what you want) are the best ways to communicate verbally. As angie said, nothing seems to go to plan in L&D and it's important to be flexible. I also will not be having a birth plan for the same reasons she stated. Just a few FYIs: episiotomies are NOT done routinely only in the case of an emergency, children aren't allowed in our L&D until the end of flu season (i don't know if this is universal), and every hospital I'm aware of don't do enemas :)

katzue |

Q&A: Do I need a birth plan?

I asked my doctor at my last appointment and she said that birthplans are a joke between obstetricians. She said they laugh that they should go into the shredder because NOTHING ever goes according to your wants and desires. So her recommendation was if there is one or two things that are REALLY important to you, let your doctor know and discuss it with them. Otherwise, there is really no need...

brookemarie1025 |

Q&A: Do I need a birth plan?

I think you should have a plan so you feel more confident going in, but make sure that babies will do whatever, so make sure you're flexible. - my friend was determined to have a natural birth, but b/c of complications she needed an emergency c-section. her flexibility to go in this direction saved her baby's and her life.

imariec |

Q&A: Do I need a birth plan?

As a hospital nurse we actually laugh when we see birth plans! B/c mo msalmost never get what they write down, so if you want to write one be my guest but you might get what is the total opposite of your birth plan.

bopeep162001 |

Q&A: Do I need a birth plan?

That actually makes me cringe and want to have my baby outside of a hospital to see that a hospital nurse is laughing at moms with birth plans. I think it is important to think about what you want. If you are adamant about something, now is the time to decide and to talk to your SO and OB about it. If you want to tear rather than get an episiotomy, that's a big issue for a lot of women, or the other way around. If you don't want drugs unless things don't go the way you'd like, then you need to note that, or if you don't want any drugs that will make the baby less alert. Also, if something goes very differently than planned, you may not be capable of making a decision when the time comes. Basically, if you don't decide to have a formal "birth plan" that you print out and give to everyone involved, which I think is fine, at least write a list that you will share with any birthing partners and your OB to see their opinions and make sure everyone involved is on the same page as you are, so that you can relax on the day of, and if you need to change something, those involved know your preferences.

meremom |

Q&A: Do I need a birth plan?

My "birth plan" is to try and have a healthy baby and delivery. If you trust your doctor, and you trust your partner, I really can't see the point, other than making it more difficult for you to let go and roll with it. Your partner and doc should both be doing what is best for you and the baby. I think people should remember that our doctors have lots of experience and education. We are not the medical experts, no matter how many children we have had. They are the medical experts, and if you can't trust their medical advice, you need to find a new OB. My husband and I will speak about the essentials (meds, people in the room, etc) and the rest will be handled as it comes with our medical team.

kristi242 |

Q&A: Do I need a birth plan?

We have a very small and simple birth plan. We actually wrote it with our OB as we were discussing what we wanted for our birth. It is nice to be able to have the nurses and OB on the same page as you, especially if it ends up that your regular OB isn't there for delivery. As our OB put it, she knows us and she knows what we want, but she doesn't think like every other OB out there and hospitals have lots of patients- a birth plan gives them something to refer to for an individual patient's wishes. It is very important, though, to be absolutely respectful and flexible, because they are the experts. Another great idea is to attach your birth plan to a basket of goodies for the nurses- some candy, fruit, crackers, drinks, etc.

FutureTarrance |

Q&A: Do I need a birth plan?

Meremom, I don't think she meant it in a mean way. It's just that people come in w/ these ideas and get hung up on the details instead of realizing that this baby is going to be born however it is meant to be born. I have an idea of what I want to happen, 100% natural (also it would be nice if it was fast and painless w/o tearing) but I have to realize that if that isn't what is meant to be I'd much rather have a healthy baby than my birth plan. Sometimes things just don't work out the way we on the outside plan it. Nurses realize that. Also some people get into the I'm going to be wearing this, have a water birth, and my partner's going to catch the baby. Sometimes it doesn't work that way and what sounds good before labor is completely different that what you want in labor!

LeLee28 |

Q&A: Do I need a birth plan?

Having had one child already, I realize that not all births go as planned and that some moms might not know that going in. And I realize... hindsight is 20/20 for us!! But I also think it's sad to see a professional admitting that she laughs at those she is serving. Whether or not I am laughed at, I had a birth plan with my daughter and I will have one again with this baby. Even my DH doesn't always know what I would prefer when, so how could nurses I've never met or my OB that I will have seen 10-15 times in the last 8 months? I didn't think the poster was being "mean"... I just was shocked by the post. Also... I have seen, in different articles, percentages ranging from 75-95% of women who go in wanting to have natural childbirth, but not writing it down and committing to it, end up getting some kind of paid medication, as compared to less than 15% that DO write it down. I just want to make sure for myself that I know what I want, and that I can effectively communicate it when the time is right, and I feel that other women might take heed of the same advice.

meremom |

Q&A: Do I need a birth plan?

Meremom - I'm a labor and delivery RN also. I don't think the earlier remark was meant to say that we actually laugh at the patient. We laugh at the word plan - because Birth and Plan should not be said in the same breath. Maybe Birth Requests would be more suited ;)

crystaljmcgrain |

Q&A: Do I need a birth plan?

We went to our child birth class at the hospital I plan to have the baby at. They highly recommended we write a birth plan and actually had a "fill in the blanks" sheet in the workbooks they gave us. It was simple things like, do you want to be offered pain medicine or do you want to ask when you want it. Do you want skin to skin to happen in the first hour after the baby is born. Do you want to breast feed as soon as possible. If the baby has to be taken to nicu to you want to make sure you or your partner are always with baby. Do you want a mirror so you can see the birth. These seem to be things that you DO have a bit of control over. Plus they did tell us in the class that this hospital recommends enemas so you don't poop yourself, lol. Anyways not all hospitals are the same, I would talk to your OBGYN, Midwife, hospital, or take a class at your hospital to find out whatever info you are interested in.

AttackwithLove |

Q&A: Do I need a birth plan?

I understand the remark that was made about laughing at a birth plan to some people wasn't meant in a bad way but it does make mother's who are writing a birthplan feel some type of way. I am not writing a birth plan to tell anyone how exactly I want my labor to go. We all know it's not going to happen the way we want to or we would all have our baby's in less that 30 minutes without pain, lol. I am writing a short one to explain the things I can request if all goes well. If my baby or my health is in jeoperdy, my birth plan can be thrown out the window for all I care. But if we are both healthy I would like the nurses to know things like I would like the baby put on my stomach after birth, or my husband to cut the cord, and no interns or students in the room, just nurses and doctor. These things are things I won't have to focus too much on if they are written down. Plus, I might have a long delivery and don't want to have to tell every nurse in different shifts what I want. My husband probably will not want to explain it while trying to help me through labor either. So anything that will help me explain my wishes I will do. I will however not go over board like some and make a two page plan, just the basics. I will let nurses and doctor know that I do understand that things don't always go as plan and things may happen in a totally different way than I would like. I will be open to anything. It's my "if all goes well wishes".

Nidzabeth |

Q&A: Do I need a birth plan?

My god! How rude is it for nurses and doctors to actually laugh at mothers having a say in their own childbirth!!! That really upsets me and makes me want to have a child outside of a hospital with just a midwife too!! I understand that you never know how labor is going to go, but things as simple as, Id like music on, Id like the temperature cooler, or I want pain meds, should be no problem!!

vtimmons |

Q&A: Do I need a birth plan?

its good to have one, but not necessary if you have your significant other tho help out. with my last pregnancy i gave birth at 28 weeks and was so not prepared. now with my 2nd baby on the way and have already had a preterm scare, this time i am ready just in case this one comes early too

tiggerkitty28 |

Q&A: Do I need a birth plan?

As much as I understand you see things differently form a nurse or dr perspective, the nurses or dr's that laugh at people or think it's a joke when someone comes in with a birthplan, clearly says to me, they could be alot better at their job, maybe instead you should realize as hospital staff it is you JOB to help your patient and explain to them, that though things often don't go as planned, your willing to take a few minutes to go over a few things that are important to them in case they come up and need to be dealt with during this often scary and overwhelming time for a new mother, SHAME ON YOU! I for one, don't know if I will make a "birth plan" but will express a fewe things to my dr and significant other, including that I don't want a class full of newbies come in to watch me give birth, this happened to a friend of mine, and I don't want to have to be screaming at people to get out of my delivery room, and my sig. other will be ensuring there are no cameras allowed during the room until after I am relaxed and coherent, in case my mom or MIL get any ideas

trinadesrosiers |

Q&A: Do I need a birth plan?

I don't think the doctors or nurses are actually laughing at the people, they just know that most births don't go as planned. I'm pretty sure it was just a figure of speech. My cousin had an all natural birth plan, and ended up having to get a c-section because she didn't progress. From all of my friends' stories, most people's labors don't go as planned.

angeltwin8 |

Q&A: Do I need a birth plan?

For those that are worried about doctors and nurses laughing at them, wouldn't we all be a little taken aback if someone walked into our jobs and handed us a document stating how we should do our jobs. Their job is to be up to date on everything labor and delivery related. Trust them to do their jobs. Do your job as the expectant mom and know the policies that are already in place at your hospital and understand the reasoning behind things you can't change or change hospitals (if your doctor only delivers at one, express this concern to your doctor and know you may have to change doctors)! Many of the things outlined in birth plans are already in practice in your hospital or they have good reason they don't do something. They have delivered more babies than I ever have so they have reasons for everything. Talk to your doctor / doctors before hand and your support person to make sure they know what your feelings are, but also know that their main concern (and yours) should be for the safety of the mother and child. Our head nurse said the worst first impression a person can make is walking in, knowing nothing about the hospital, and making demands left and right. She did suggest letting the hospital know ahead of time if there are issues of great concern (like a custody issue or an overbearing MIL who wants to be present, but is not welcome). They can write these things down in your pre-admittance file so they are there to go when you go in for labor. In the end, stop stressing that some nurse maybe laughing at you unless you have never laughed at someone where you work. The stress some people get is worse for your baby than just being relaxed and realizing nature will take its course and in no time you will have a gorgeous little bundle of joy in your arms.

fashionflirt2000 |

Q&A: Do I need a birth plan?

To all who are saying "Dr.s and nurses know what's best" and "it's their job to deliver the baby", it's actually the mother's job to deliver the baby. 95% of all births progress safely and efficiently when there are NO medical interferences. The reason c-section rates are 30% or higher at some hospitals is due to the Dr.'s and nurse's thinking they know better than the mother and convincing women this is the case. Every pregnant woman should watch "The Business of Being Born" so that you have a better idea of exactly whose interest the hospitals are actually looking out for. Pregnant women have a responsibility to research different birth methods and determine what is best for them. You absolutely have to be open to a change of plans of there is an emergency, but so many women now spend more time researching a stroller than researching labor and birth, because they do put all of their faith in their Dr. and hospital. You are the mama-- you need to take responsibility for birthing your baby in the safest way possible!

ali051207 |

Q&A: Do I need a birth plan?

As an L&D nurse, the MOST important advice is to TALK WITH YOUR OB!!! That way your doctor knows ahead of time what things are absolutely important to you, such as no episiotomy, and can let you know which, if any, expectations might be unrealistic. Also, your doctor is familiar with the policies of the hospital that you are delivering at. That way, when you get to the hospital, you won't be disappointed by a *mean* nurse telling you that something on your birth plan "isn't allowed." I hate when a patient has not discussed birth plan with OB, and I present to the OB what the patient wants and the doctor is like "no way, she's getting pitocin!" Because then I feel like the bad guy, when it is actually the doctor who is saying no! So my advice is, sure, make a birth plan if it makes you feel better, most nurses appreciate knowing what is important to their patients. Just make sure that you keep an open mind, be flexible, talk with your doctor first, and remember that a happy healthy baby is the most important thing. That's what we all want, so we are on the same side!

BigBabyDavis |

Q&A: Do I need a birth plan?

The only thing I want to make sure happens during the birth (if I don't have to have a C-section) is for the father to be as involved as possible. He even wants to ask the Doc if he can catch the baby when it comes out. Have any of you had a doctor that allowed that? I would think a Doc might be hesitant but we haven't talked to him yet...

sdbihms |

Q&A: Do I need a birth plan?

My birth plan...... pain meds please!!!! What else do you need?

leighbeekkg |

Q&A: Do I need a birth plan?

I'm getting one just in case....hubs might be deployed when the baby comes, so I'd feel better having one in case something should happen. First-timer here, so maybe I'm just being paranoid or something?

allybaby25 |

Q&A: Do I need a birth plan?

I am not going to bother. Just discussing what I hope to happen with my hubby and doctor but birth is unpredictable, so it may not always turn out as planned, I think it is more important to be ready for anything.

jczekanski |

Q&A: Do I need a birth plan?

My first son was a c-section, one month early, so totally out of my control. My second son was a VBAC. I didn't have a specific birth plan because I didn't know what I would want when I was in the midst of labor. I did have a general idea though-no epidural unless it was an emergency, minimal pain medication, no extra people around, have my baby on me right away. Just have to keep in mind things don't always go as planned, so you can't be so set on what you want that if it doesn't go that way you will feel let down-which was my concern.

mamatoria |

Q&A: Do I need a birth plan?

My doctor basically laughed at me when I asked about a birth plan. She was like "This is not something you can plan. Let mother nature take its course and know that we'll do everything we can to make this birth happen naturally." I glanced at the checklist anyway and I can see why a nurse or two would laugh -- it has a category on lighting, LOL!

loflo1 |

Q&A: Do I need a birth plan?

I would just like to add that not all RN's laugh at birth plans and totally disregard their patients wishes. It is my job as the RN to be an advocate for my patient. That means discussing her wishes and communicating them to the providers and other nurses that may care for her. It also means possibly adjusting expectations... true, not every delivery goes according to plan, but as long as mom is flexible and well informed, everyone should feel satisfied with their experience.

danielandjulianne |

Q&A: Do I need a birth plan?

My plan: 1. go to hospital 2. let me doctor that I completely trust advise on what needs to be done. 3.go home with baby Why fight the hospital?? They know what is safe for baby and for you. Its not about you anymore. Its all about the baby now. Whatever my dr recommends is what I will do. Im not taking any risks or making ridiculous requests.

sdarjean |

Q&A: Do I need a birth plan?

i feel like the nurses who laugh at birth plans rank right there with the doctor who was backing out the door as I was asking questions about how they deal with certain L&D issues that were of concern to me. i am tired of healthcare professionals who 'do this every day' forgetting the fact that laboring mothers do NOT do it every day, and to treat each woman individually instead of an inconvenience would be nice. I am searching out a new dr because of the way i was treated, and my advice to the support staff is to have some empathy for the women giving birth, for whom this is not an everyday occurence but a lasting life transition which can be incredible and beautiful, or utterly traumatic depending on how they are treated by the professionals who are supposed to support them and educate them, not poke fun at the little control they can feel they have over this huge event. we may just be a number to the doctors and the hospitals, but a woman will always remember how she was treated by those around her when she gave birth.

mrandmrsbrtva |

Q&A: Do I need a birth plan?

There is absolutely no reason that a woman should not be able to work with doctors and hospitals to have the experience she wants to. I do not trust doctors, nurses or other healthcare staff to know what I want. It is my body, my child and I have the right to request things to go a certain way. I simply cannot endure handing my body over to people, regardless of what their training is. They know nothing about me and my body. I am the one who knows my body, what I am feeling, and what I want to experience. If a procedure is necessary, I want to know exactly what is planned so that I can consent or decline based on my own desire to control what goes into and is done to my body. That is my right as a patient!

oliverncherie |

Q&A: Do I need a birth plan?

I plan on having a simple birth plan in place, even though I know I can't control the labor and delivery process. My reason for a birth plan is mostly for the fact that I don't see a specific OB. While I do plan on delivering in the hospital, I see a practice of midwives, and whoever happens to be on call is whoever will deliver my baby. While I've met them all, I won't get the opportunity to discuss with each one what my preferences are.

selkiepunk |

Q&A: Do I need a birth plan?

wow I must say I'm shocked that nurses laugh at birth plans...I'm against home birth and not a fan of birthing centers (for myself- I could care less what anyone else does) but now I will be second guessing the nurses. I think it's terrible to look at a birth plan as a joke. No women really believes she can plan the details of labor and delivery. It's just requests that you may have. I have one already typed and printed with copies for the hopsital and my doctor. I want simple things like an epidural ASAP, as little vaginal exams as possible, and to have skin to skin contact. Also no nursery or pacifiers.

Jesstastic |

Q&A: Do I need a birth plan?

birth plan not necessary, But good only if it make you feel better.

prieap |

Q&A: Do I need a birth plan?

My husband and I looked at a birth plan online and I looked up at him and said "if I want the lights dimmed, I'll tell you." Done. Birth plan taken care of. I know myself, as does my husband...if I want something or DON'T want something I (or my husband or my mother who will be with me) will let the nurses and doctors know. Why does it have to be written down that I'd like to listen to my iPod or that I'd like to watch the NCAA basketball tournament?

cookl |

Q&A: Do I need a birth plan?

I'm going to pay these RNs a hell of a lot of money, so laugh all you want but do it to my face and you'll hear a mouthful from me. They are the service provider, *I* am the customer. Treat your customers well or they'll find a better service provider and you'll eventually be out of a job. I will trust an RN with medical care once I decide what medical care I require. If it was up to the RNs to decide how I was to be cared for, why can't they just sign the forms to allow the procedure? Oh yeah...BECAUSE IT'S MY CHOICE. No, you can't PLAN nature, but you can certainly plan what you're going to do while nature takes its course. My OB wants a birth plan, and if she did not, I'd find someone who was. It's her job to allow ME to deliver a baby, and to oversee my medical care to the extent I need it and request it. I can't stand the phrase that a doctor delivers a baby....I'm sorry, but *I* delivered my child. As for the "why bother writing it down" aspect, I will not have my child's cord clamped until it is entirely done pulsing. Do I think my husband or I are going to be noticing that when we're in the moment that our child is handed to us? No...but it's a big deal to me that intervention is not taken. It must be written down so that the doctor and nurses all know to respect our wishes. I'm not saying you need to write down that you want the lights dimmed or the iPod on (I find that dumb too), but if you specifically WRITE in a birth plan that you do not want any IVs, and it's against hospital policy, you'll find that out ahead of time and come up with a compromise, like a Heplock. I think birth plans are very effective ways of communicating your wishes, when everyone else is caught up in the moment.

Mommy2Ciara2007 |

Q&A: Do I need a birth plan?

I find it sad to see all these women who do not want to think about their birth before it happens. It's tough work, ladies, and you need to be prepared. that preparation should definitely include a written birth plan, IMO - there are many, many standard procedures in hospitals (some are worse than others) which have documented negative effects on both moms and babies, and it's important to know about them and to communicate clearly with your health care providers about which ones you find acceptable or unacceptable. Your birth can be hectic and panicked or calm and lovely, and that is up to YOU, not your nurse/OB/midwife. It's also important to know which complications are genuine indications for interventions like forceps or cesarean section and when your OB is BSing you because he/she wants to get home in time to watch the football game. Sorry ladies, but these days in a culture of defensive medicine, we need to be equally defensive if we are going to have the birth experience we want. It's only okay to be a passive observer at your own birth if you are willing to accept the consequences. Write a birth plan! and take the time to research your options and create one that you really believe in, instead of just ticking a bunch of little boxes because something sounds nice. As an RN, I can assure you, THOSE are the birth plans that health care providers laugh at - not the real, honest-to-goodness, I-know-what-I'm-in for ones.

Annekeo |

Q&A: Do I need a birth plan?

My birth plan is whatever is is the healthiest for the baby and myself. My doctor has been doing this for years, and this is my first. So, I will leave it in his hands and pray for the best outcome! Given my pain tolerance, a plan will be the last thing I will care about!

caren5980 |

Q&A: Do I need a birth plan?

I already discussed w/ my SO and my BFF my few simple rules: 1. only SO or BFF is to be in the room, 2. NO cameras immediately after, no pics of me feeding and I don't want a bunch of friends & family there-they can see us at the house after a day or two, 3. NO RESIDENTS WILL TOUCH ME OR MY BABY (OB already knows this as well), my hospital is a teaching hospital, they can be present but they will not TOUCH US. ***and as far as rule 3 goes, that is a PATIENT RIGHT to declare...... I don't mean to "infringe" on anyone's education, but I have too many medical issues and waaaay to much history of complications to take that kind of a chance (my BFF is an RN that's why she's option#2 if SO is out of town or stuck at work)

meque183 |

Q&A: Do I need a birth plan?

I think that the ladies who've shared that nurses and OB's "laugh" at birth plans mean well in sharing that information, but it's kind of offensive. I don't think anyone intends any offense...I think they mean not to take your plan too seriously because you need to be flexible, however, to a first time mom, L and D is scary enough without thinking that the professionals who are there to protect and help you are laughing at you. It would be nice to find a gentler way to express opinions since most of the ladies on this discussion board are likely quite hormonal/emotional.

Keelip |

Q&A: Do I need a birth plan?

Being in the medical field myself it saddens me that nurses do tend to shrug off birthplans, and it is because it makes their job a hell lot easier. Well here is the thing that they should remember, one day they might get a patient who knows their business and report them for comitting "medical tort". I personally never had a birthplan. I've talk everything through with my doc and I made it simple. 1)I like comfort and if I don't have to be in pain don't let me be in pain (distressed mom causes distressed baby) 2)don't give me a salty nurse because you won't have that nurse working for you within the hour. I love being a nurse and I take pride at what I do. I love helping others and I'm sincere when doing so. I respect my patient wishes including those that refuses treatment. I have my doctor's back and she has mine and if I dragged her name through the mud, mines will probably be in deeper crap than hers. As for those jaded salty nurses maybe nursing isn't for you and maybe you need a change in career.

kawaimichiko |

Q&A: Do I need a birth plan?

It is a great idea, during my first delivery my mother was told I should have a C-section since he was breech, it was never discussed with me. Later after the baby was born the doctor told my/ mom that his feet were alreday in the birthing canal and if he hadnt been my first she would have let me have him naturally without blinking an eye. I was not a high risk pregnancy at all and no options were given. We were simply informed. Also after the birth I didn't even get to see him for over 3 hours even though he was born perfectly healthy. I will never go through this again without a plan.

CountryGirl5665 |

Q&A: Do I need a birth plan?

my Dr told me that birth plans are a joke and the best plan is not having one! mine is simple...I want my BF there (so my baby better not be early -_-) and drugs i need them lol....

Elliebelly319 |

Q&A: Do I need a birth plan?

I think it's awful that nurses are commenting on here and saying they "laugh" when they see birth plans. I also think it's awful that women are saying that their ob's laugh at them and tell them that birth plans are "a joke" when they ask them about writing one! Really??? Thought these people were supposed to be professionals!

bellastella420 |

Q&A: Do I need a birth plan?

My DH and I were told by our childbirth educator that most nurses will look at a birth plan and say "This is nice." and not go by it. I'm pregnant with my first and I know what our hospital expects, but just to be safe, I took the birth plan (printed from this site) and went over it with my doctor as she's part of their network. She was absolutely fine with everything I had checked off. I think the most important thing is to know what you want but keep an open mind. You can say that you don't want something done but keep it open for the possibility that the doctor or nurse may deem it necessary.

joeysmama0201 |

Q&A: Do I need a birth plan?

I don't think it's important to have a " birth plan" I think it's important to educate yourself on everything that could happen. We choose not to have a birth plan so that we would not be disappointed if it didn't happen the way we planned. You can never know or learn enough about a labor process, natural, induced, c-section, ect. BUT if you do have things like, you do not want anyone in the room other than your SO, or that you want to breast feed asap if you can. Things such as that i'd document.

Cebs222 |

Q&A: Do I need a birth plan?

I don't think its right for the nurses to laugh, but at the same time the patients need to be realistic and flexible. Have a basic overview of what you want but know that sometimes the baby has its own agenda and when it comes down to it, what the baby needs, is gonna be what the baby gets.

Afunky6 |

Q&A: Do I need a birth plan?

When taking a tour of L&D I asked the nurses about birthing plans and if it was really necessary. Being in a career field where I need the customer to trust me to get the best results I figured ask the people that it would concern (nurses and my OB) and both said the same thing. 9 out of 10 times a birthing plan is used because someone has already made up their mind to have a c-section instead of letting nature run its course. The fact is they went to college for this and are the subject matter experts. If I didn't trust them I should have either picked a different place etc.... In this case I'm not a customer I am the patient and its up to them to make sure they do whats best for me. I know how much my mood changes while I'm not in labor and I can only imagine how much its going to change in labor under painful conditions of child birth so why fight the people that are trying to make me as comfortable and healthy as possible etc.....

JHCal |

Q&A: Do I need a birth plan?

I think that it's great that medical professionals laugh behind closed doors. We all need humor in our lives. Pregos - just relax and who cares if the doctor is laughing at you. I am sure that mine has laughed at me many of times. Regardless, as long as you, your spouse and doctor know what you want, you will be fine. Relax and enjoy the ride! I am sure that you laugh at your job when dealing with outsiders sometimes. It's a great therapy. Laugh more and worry about the real stuff :-)

0504rachel |

Q&A: Do I need a birth plan?

I've had an extremely comlicated pregnancy and have met my share of doctors, specialists, etc. I can tell you not every doctor thinks the same nor practices in the same manner. This is my first and I will be having a birth plan in case I do end up with the idiot doctor that would do things for his own convenience or comfort vs just allowing birth the happen as nature intended. EVERY procedure presented will be discussed before performed. Period. If they don't like it I will haul my ass back home and have the darn baby myself. I find it ignorant and irresponsible for a mother to enter her delivery room unprepared. You are responsible for your own life and your child's, shame on you for just handing the reins over to people who are capable of being careless. Medical school doesn't teach common sense. Goodness ladies... protect yourself and your child's by being educated.

algarguilo |

Q&A: Do I need a birth plan?

It's amazing to me how many woman on this forum are prepared to completely cede control of their child birth experience to a doctor and team of nurses. I agree that you should trust the general practices of the team that you have chosen (that is really the first major step you can take toward getting the care you want), but it is also true that doctors and nurses are people - who may not be as excited to have a prolonged natural child birth as you are. Do we ever ask why our cesarean rates are more than double the guidelines given by the World Health Organization? Do we wonder why our infant and post-delivery moms have higher mortality and morbidity than any other developed country in the world? Yes - we have health care professionals who are trained. But are they trained to facilitate natural births? Or to expedite the birth process to be cost and time efficient while being able to claim that it was all for the good of the baby?

wemetinbarcenlona |

Q&A: Do I need a birth plan?

There are some things that I will request, but anything can happen so ultimately whatever is best for baby and I is what will happen. Plus, our birth instructor said 'birth plan' is kindof like a dirty word. If there are specific things I do or don't want I should just talk to the doctor about it and not say its a birth plan. Let them know your wishes as you go and make sure you have a good support person that can also let them know if you can't.

all32809 |

Q&A: Do I need a birth plan?

This is my third pregnancy last time I had an idea that I wanted a natural childbirth and I kept it to myself and ended up not getting what I want. This time I want a natural childbirth and I am doing everyhting in my power to get that. I am seeing a midwife, a hospital with a lower c section rate and I am making sure that I am heard and telling them all the time I want no drugs what so ever dont even mention them to me. If you are really passionate about wanting a particular birth you need to let them know what you want and tell them every visit.

Tashelstad |

Q&A: Do I need a birth plan?

Rn's don't laugh. ITs Thier job. Do you laugh at work or ever think something looks silly? I am sure they are talking about the birth plans that are really catering to mama and it's jist not something anyone can foresee bc labor is nothing like what you expect. I work in a hospital and its not like we aren't empathic,I mean we can cry each time a patient passes away and such. Anyhow, my Dr. Sucks,he's never asked me if there are certain little things of like. I didn't know that I could chose someone to cut the cord for instance the first time I was pregnant. My requests to dr. Amd my Dh are:after a couple hours,if I am Still in pain,I want the epidural. I want Dh to cut the cord And how many ppl can I have in the room.

Steamed30 |

Q&A: Do I need a birth plan?

An OB friend of mine told me that the majority of the time, patients with birth plans requesting a natural birth always seem to end up with emergency C-sections. Baby decides how the birth is going to go, not you. Plus, I'm not a doctor and I would rather have someone knowledgeable in charge because it could end up being a critical situation. I think it's ok to make requests but understand it's important to be flexible.

oneyedsally |

Q&A: Do I need a birth plan?

so that your doctor knows what you want to do

ally909 |

Q&A: Do I need a birth plan?

I think it's important that women take back some control over their bodies and this experience in this modern and clinical world...A birth plan is designed to communicate your wishes from start to finish before going in. My OB was exhausted after delivering 8 babies in one evening when I saw her early the next morning for a routine check up. Am I convinced she will remember everything we discussed? What if I go into labor while she is on vacation? Nurses change shifts and I want my husband to enjoy this experience while supporting me as much as possible - but let's face it, it's exhausting for partners as well and I don't want him to have to police our way through L&D with my wishes. I think it's sad that an RN would get on a website like this and not be sensitive to all the women out there trying to prepare and learn about something that might actually help them. Thank you for reminding us that not all RN's are sensitive to needs and hopes and wishes about our lives and our bodies - you just made Birth Plans Moms' point! I'm prepared to go with Baby's Agenda and if you are prepared and open and accepting that things will change drastically very quickly in any emergency then a Birth Plan won't hurt. I doubt I'll want to answer questions over and over again when I'm in the middle of Contractions which happen to be during a change in shifts! And it's not about telling an OB or RN how to do their job! What another inappropriate comment...it's group effort but mostly Mom's body and keeping her and Baby safe. Dimming lights or episiotomies have nothing to do with telling someone else how to do their job. Good Luck to all Moms out there and do what you need to do for you. Whatever works for you to feel comfortable and prepared is the priority going into this and then rolling with whatever happens during L&D is the next priority for you & Baby.

sarahjs76 |

Q&A: Do I need a birth plan?

I'm cracking up at the responses that say, "I'm not writing a birth plan, that's dumb, I'm just going to tell my doctor that I don't want an epidural, and that only my SO is allowed in the room, and no pictures, and no residents, and I want to breastfeed ASAP." Helloooo, that IS a birth plan! Let me ask a question: Do you plan other events in your life? Even though you know the universe might decide your plan doesn't work? For example, you'd plan a birthday party. (Some of you might not put much effort in, but you'd still probably go so far as decide on a date a type of food you'd like once you've settled on the idea of having a party in the first place.) Even though you've planned, let's imagine, a lovely tea in your mother's garden for your 31st birthday in May, you know, albeit perhaps only in the back of your mind, that it could rain or be unseasonably hot; or that half your guests could not show up due to an accident on the freeway or other circumstances; or that you may come down with a cold and have to cancel the event altogether. Does that mean you don't bother planning the party at all? Of course not! And if you understand why it's important to plan a simple birthday party, I hope you can see the importance of planning your child's birth. You don't have to call it a "birth plan," but if you talk to your doctor about what you would like to have happen when your child is born, (in an ideal and healthy delivery, bearing in mind you may have to be flexible as nature takes its course) you are in fact planning for your child's birth.

michawoodsWed25175 |

Q&A: Do I need a birth plan?

I think the best part of making a birth plans has nothing to do with the hospital. It has to do with the research you do at home and understanding the medical terminology. To write a birth plan, you have to know what an episiotomy is, what foreceps and vacuum extraction are... and so forth. That way when the doctor says "You need x,y, and z," you know what you're getting (and it might be something minor that just sounds scary). And no offense to doctors, but a lot of hospital policies are stupid and out-dated and its worth at least researching what your options are. That and while there are tons of great doctors out there (like mine :), in the end it is your body and you are responsible for it. Medicine is a business- buyer beware. Trust your doctor, but understand what's going on, both so you don't freak out at big medical terms for something minor and so you have the power to make the decisions that will be with you for the rest of your and your baby's lives.

ezirkara |

Q&A: Do I need a birth plan?

I think that it is a good idea to have a general idea of what you do or do not want to happen when you are giving birth, but it is important to be flexible. As for me, I am only planning on having a couple of things that I will insist on having/not having while in labor. For example, I DO NOT want any family members other than DH in the labor and delivery room. (This is mostly because my husband who has a very irritating Aunt who would try and come in). Also, I do not want interns, residents etc in the labor and delivery room. I understand that they are learning, but I don't want them learning on me. The most important thing is to trust your doctors.If you don't/can't trust them, then find a different OB. Staying with the same OB is not worth the possibility of something happening to you or the baby.

eahall12 |

Q&A: Do I need a birth plan?

Even with my first baby, I felt that a "birth plan" is kind of ridiculous. How can you plan for something so sporadic and unpredictable? People try to do it, and then end up disappointed when things don't go 100% their way. Why put that pressure on yourself!? We mommas have enough to deal with already, and everyone should really get used to the baby calling the shots anyway. Of course, if it makes you feel good to do it, somehow better in control of an uncontrollable situation, the go for it. It's not really going to hurt anything.

kayaybee |

Q&A: Do I need a birth plan?

Try these MP3 downloads for Hypno-birthing to prepare your body and mind for the big day! http://journeysinwardhypnotherapy.com/self-hypnosis-mp3/women-health

Birdwoman5 |

Q&A: Do I need a birth plan?

We have a birth plan but it's actually labeled "Birth Preferences" b/c we know that things change. It's even at the bottom of the paper that yes we understand things may occur that may require us deviating from what we want but unless it's an emergency please give us time to talk it over and weigh the risks and benefits. Going into this with an open mind and being aware that while I may not want a medicated birth or any interventions at all, that they are tools that have their time and place. If I've been in labor for 12+ hours and need some sleep an epidural is a good tool to bring out at that point in time and can always be turned down or off later on.

sthomas1222 |

Q&A: Do I need a birth plan?

I'm pregnant with my first so obviously I have no real experience, but these are my thoughts: I will be talking about mine in depth with my doctor to make sure everything I want is acheivable. I understand that birth is something you dont have control over, that doesn't mean you shouldn't speak your wishes. I have seen so much negative feedback from people saying their a joke, or they are totally ridiculous. But sometimes they are needed, my husband will be in schooling for the Marine Corps when I have our child therefore I won't have someone advocating for me. If I want something it needs to be clearly laid out because I won't have someone there looking out for my best interest.

teamtatro |

Q&A: Do I need a birth plan?

So glad I'm working with a midwife and a birth center and not a surgeon and a hospital that treat birth as a condition that needs to be "treated". Do I realize that births go how they're gonna go? Of course! But I can also decide and document ahead of time to delay the cord clamping (you ought to research that and see why it's important) and initiate breastfeeding as soon as possible. Fortunately, my midwife already practices these things so I don't need to tell her how nature is supposed to function. smh

ultrafighter |

Q&A: Do I need a birth plan?

Here's an awesome link to a much simpler Birth Plan that has a blank unfilled out birth plan and also one with an example. You fill it out so everything is completely up to you. The nurses and doctors are also more likely to go over something that is simple and two pages rather than a 6-8 page short story. http://makeoverwithaspen.blogspot.com/2013/04/birth-plan-to-have-or-not-to-have.html Also on this blog is awesome weekly pictures of her baby bump!

BrysonAndAspen |

Q&A: Do I need a birth plan?

A friend's mother is a nurse in the birthing area and said that medical staff find birth plans annoying and insulting. She said that every thing they do will be discussed during laborious and that they wont read them anyway. This shocked me.

olive88 |

Q&A: Do I need a birth plan?

I'm a doula also, and whether this question comes up or I bring it up heer is my advice. Read all the articles and look at all the online examples you can find of birthplans - I offer a few from my own archives as well, and figure out what is important to you . Educate yourself, Discuss the pros and cons with your partner, ask your friends or family those you are close to be really clear on what you want and then let it go . Chose a few key things and write them down, use of the tub, birth ball delayed cord clamping , skin to skin, delayed weighing shots and eye drops and be ready to offer these few key things either in paper form or if asked ( here they ask you if you have a birth plan when you are admitted in most of our hospitals ) but don't go in with a point by point treatise HOWEVER by having reviewed all the options and discussed what you hope for , should certain situations arise you and your partner have a clear idea of what you prefer and are educated andprepared to make a decision based on the situation at that time. Staff can be resentful of birth plans when they are presented as if the staff is not working in the best interest of the family , most of us would resent someone coming into our workplace and telling us how to do our jobs but when we educate ourselves and are able to present our preferences it is in my experience accepted much better,.

NotherDoula |

Q&A: Do I need a birth plan?

Downloadable birth plan that has had over 1,400 views this past month. Super easy to understand and customizable. http://makeoverwithaspen.blogspot.com/2013/04/birth-plan-to-have-or-not-to-have.html She also has hospital bags, healthy (and yummy recipes) and is doing a giveaway soon! Weekly updates and tons more!

BrysonAndAspen |

Q&A: Do I need a birth plan?

Downloadable birth plan that has had over 1,400 views this past month. Super easy to understand and customizable. http://makeoverwithaspen.blogspot.com/2013/04/birth-plan-to-have-or-not-to-have.html She also has hospital bags, healthy (and yummy recipes) and is doing a giveaway soon! Weekly updates and tons more! Check out the blog, follow, comment and keep updated :)

BrysonAndAspen |

Q&A: Do I need a birth plan?

Having my second, I think it is far more important to have a great communication and rapport with your doctor and know what the hospital does and does not offer. There are so many things that happen during labor that you need to be flexible based on what is and isn't happening. I was overdue and required inducement (both methods), my doctor talked this through with me step by step before admitting me to the hospital. In the hospital every step was explained clearly again. When my son reacted to the Petocin, they immediately stopped it and explained my options to me. At that point I opted for a C-Section. My doctor knew that I would pretty much go this route because of my familiarity with it due to family history and previous discussions, but he also let me know that we could wait another 12 hours and see if things progressed on their own. Bottom line, choose your doctor carefully and make sure that it is easy to talk with him/her about your questions, wants and needs.

jdklein |

Q&A: Do I need a birth plan?

epidural-get baby out safe-go home a family. That is my birth plan!

AmandaAug506 |

Q&A: Do I need a birth plan?

I filled in a page in a work book that my doctor gave me. Never gave it to my doctor though. I made it clear that I only wanted medication when I asked, baby will not leave me or my husband, and no circumcision for my boys each pregnancy. Other than that was anything goes since babies come on their terms and we cannot always control what happens! This pregnancy I am still fighting to get insurance because of Obamacare and I am about 6 weeks I think. However it will be the same way, no medication until I ask, no circumcision if a boy and baby will not leave me or my husband. Have an idea of what you want but do not go in expecting anything to follow what you wrote down because you never know what might happen!

Chellieleanne |

Q&A: Do I need a birth plan?

It's important if you have specific wishes about medication and procedures. My 1st doctor was down with all my wishes, but since he was not on call when I went into labor I was at the mercy of a doctor I had never met before - who said her own policy trumped my wishes so I was given pitocin I did not want or need, and an episiotomy I did not want or need. (two subsequent births with no episiotomy and no tearing, thank you midwives!) You also need to take the plan with you to the hospital so a new doctor knows whats up, and in a case like mine, make sure your partner knows your wishes and - I can't stress this enough - is prepared to fight on your behalf.

JuniperSedai |