Your birth plan is a record of what you would prefer or would like to consider during your labour and after the birth of your baby.
Discussing a birth plan with your Midwife will give you the chance to ask questions and find out more about what happens during labour. Your birth plan is personal to you. It will depend not only on what you want, but also on your medical history and your individual circumstances.
Your Midwife will discuss your birth plan with you at around 34 weeks of pregnancy. It’s a good idea for you to think about your birth preferences before this appointment. You may find it useful to use the NHS Choices: How to make a birth plan page and to discuss your plans and preferences with your birth partner.
The Midwife caring for you during labour will also discuss your birth plan with you, to ensure that your requests are accommodated as much as possible. It is important to remember that you need to be flexible and prepared to do things differently from your birth plan if complications arise with you or your baby. Your Midwife will tell you what they advise if your particular circumstances change. Please don't hesitate to ask questions if you need to.
Things you need to consider are:
- Choosing where to give birth (NHS Choices)
- Who will be your birth partner. Ensure you have an alternative birth partner in case their situation changes.
- If you are happy to have students involved in your care
- Pain relief options during labour and birth (NHS Choices)
- Monitoring your baby’s heartbeat
- Delivering the placenta (third stage of labour) (NHS Choices)
- Skin to skin contact with your baby
- Vitamin K
- Feeding your baby
- Any other individual requirements that may be personal to you
For information about what you’ll need for labour and birth, visit NHS Choices Pack your bag for labour. If you are planning to bottle feed, you will also need to bring preprepared formula (a starter pack is ideal). Sterile bottles will be provided for you.