This printable fill-in-the-blank birth plan template will help you communicate with the medical team what support you would like. It is a good idea to avoid misunderstanding by spelling out in advance your customized birth plan. Your doctor, midwife, nurse, doula birthing center or hospital will really appreciate it!
Creating a Birth Plan
What is a birth plan?
A birth plan allows you to make choices in advance and communicate them to your health care team at your chosen delivery destination. Of course, you can/may change your mind at any time — it just is a quick way to share what you’d prefer for your baby’s birth with your healthcare provider.
Printable Birth Plan Template
This printable worksheet is going to go over what is most frequently on birth plans and you might want to consider before you head into a delivery.
Grab my birth plan template here (I also have a video that shares why birth plans are important!
What to do if I have no clue what I want on my birth plan?
One of the most important things you can you can do for your labor is to think about what you want in advance. However, it can be difficult to figure out what you want for your birth preferences when it’s all so new!
That is why most people take a prenatal class. The Online Prenatal Class for Couples is to simplify things like this from your couch. I want all of my patients as comfortable as possible at the hospital, and now you don’t even have to fight traffic to do it!
Honestly, birth plans are something I encounter frequently as a nurse. Although, not as often as some people think. I would guess maybe 5% of our patients have a birth plan where I am now. I would think the number would be closer to 2% at my last hospital (different populations).
I think this free printable birth plan template will help you solidify plans for your birth — so it’s great for that!
Also, I have a video all about what a birth plan is:
🌠 Pro Tip: One of the BEST things you can do is to talk to your provider about your big day in advance! Don’t be afraid to show them your preferences for baby’s birth early in your prenatal care. Don’t wait for your due date to communicate with them, and share it first off with your delivery nurse.
Things Most Often on a Birth Plan
Make sure to talk with your whole support team (partners, moms, doulas etc.) as you make these choices so everyone understands what everyone wants.
Birth plan questions for labor:
Induction — if you want one, or would prefer none
Pitocin – both for your induction or afterward
What you plan to wear — our gown or your own clothes/gown
Are you OK with an IV? IV’s are the general standard of care at the hospital
How do you want to position yourself in labor — Sitting, standing, laying on the bed, etc?
Do you hope to eat in labor?
Are you OK with continuous fetal monitoring, or do you have specific preferences otherwise?
Are you hoping for a home birth (but keeping the hospital as a backup)?
Are you planning on an unmedicated birth?
Who do you prefer to be in your room at delivery
Birth plan questions for after delivery:
How long do you want for delayed cord clamping of the umbilical cord.
Do you want the baby medications for after delivery?
What types of newborn procedures do you want?
Do you want the baby skin to skin after delivery (this is standard of care as long as baby/mom are well)
Do you want the baby to have a bath (or when do you want it to have a bath?)
Are you planning to breast or bottle-feed?
Do you plan to use a pacifier?
**Clearly there are plenty of other items then this that could be on your birth plan, but these are the most frequent ones.
What do nurses think of birth plans?
**I have been a labor nurse since 2001, and this is just what I have experienced from those who have birth plans — you might find the insight helpful**
Keep in mind that due to policies and procedures we require certain things of our staff in the hospital. So, even if you prefer certain things, it might be good to review it with your doctor in advance to make sure that he/she is OK with all of it.
I constantly wish I could just deliver babies without policies or charting or worries. But, lawyers have made that a thing of the past.
Just remember that your nurse is on your team. She wants the same thing you do — a healthy mom and baby. It’s no good trying to fight it. 😉
- Don’t forget to grab that free customizable birth plan template right here in my free beginning prenatal class.
- It is important to think about what you want for your birth, and share it with your healthcare team.
- Be sure to get educated about ALL the things surrounding your birth in a prenatal class.
The Online Prenatal Class for Couples is just WAITING to prepare you for your confident hospital birth. It only takes a few hours, and we would love to have you inside!
This post was originally written November 2012, but has been updated.