You're pregnant. Maybe you've heard about it before, maybe not. Writing a birth plan. A birth plan is a clear document in which you record what your wishes are about the birth. For example how you want to give birth, whether or not you want painkillers, in which posture you want to give birth, whether or not to breastfeed or where you want to give birth. A birth plan therefore contains very practical information about how you want to give birth. Is it binding? No, that is not the case, but it is good to go into the delivery yourself beforehand. Because 'how' is perhaps still the question and 'when' probably too, but that you will give birth is absolutely certain.
What is the purpose of a birth plan?
The most important goal of a birth plan is that you think carefully about the birth. What your wishes are. Of course you will be surrounded by experts and not all your wishes can come true, but it is good to think about it beforehand - and without any hectic or stress. If it is medically possible, there is certainly room for personal input. A personal birth plan provides clarity. It makes your wishes known and that makes communication with experts a lot easier.
A birth plan gives peace
The advantage of a birth plan is that you know what to expect. That can give you a bit of relaxation. After all, the first part of the delivery is already fixed. Of course complications can throw a spanner in the works, but if that is not the case, you can determine in broad terms how the delivery will take place.
Handy when changing the guard
A birth plan is also useful when changing services during childbirth. The successive group knows exactly what your preferences are and can act on this. A well-considered and completed birth plan certainly contributes to a positive birth experience.
A birth plan is not binding. It contains your expectations and wishes, but they can be adjusted at any time. Perhaps you mentioned in your birth plan not to want painkillers and you suddenly think very differently during the first contractions. From the medical point of view certain options can also be dispensed with.
How do you set up a birth plan?
You can draw up a birth plan with your partner, midwife and / or health specialist. Make sure you are aware of all possibilities so that you can make an informed choice. Think of very practical matters such as:
Where do you like? At home, in a Kraamzorghotel or in the hospital?
How and / or in what attitude do you want to give birth? Bar stool, lying, in the water?
In which attitude do you want to receive the various contractions?
Do you want painkillers? Do you prefer this?
What are your wishes for medical procedures, such as cutting in or caesarean sections?
Alternatives painkillers? Shower, bath, massage, breathing technique, relaxation exercise, et cetera.
Do you want the delivery to be photographed / fimed?
Who may be present at your birth?
Who cuts the umbilical cord?
Do you want to tackle your baby yourself?
Do you want to breastfeed or bottle-feed?
Are there specific religious wishes?
Who will dress your baby?
What do you want to do with the placenta?
When do you write a birth plan?
Make sure your birth plan is ready around 30 weeks. At that moment you can still consult with all experts. Of course, everything can be changed, but it is nice when you already know everything about it.
Tips for writing
Be well informed in advance about all possibilities.
State what you want in short sentences. It does not have to be an extensive report. Important that your wishes and preferences are stated in general terms.
Make it a wish list, no list of requirements. This is also more pleasant reading for third parties.