A birth plan is a statement of your preferences regarding care during labor, delivery, and recovery. It is an optional tool for you to use and does not replace communicating with your doctor and the nurses caring for you in the hospital. A birth plan will never override medically necessary procedures.
When writing a birth plan consider covering these general areas:
- Who will be your support person(s)?
- What positions and comfort techniques would you like to use?
- Do you want to use pain medication?
- Will you breastfeed?
- What are circumcision and other newborn procedures?
And remember, a birth plan is not inflexible or set in stone.
Things you should bring to the hospital
- Robe, nightgown
- Toothbrushes and toothpaste for you and your partner
- Socks, slippers
- Nursing bra if breastfeeding
- Personal grooming items
- Maternity clothes to wear home
- Change of clothes for partner
- Lip balm
- Video camera
- Physical therapy ball (also called a birthing ball), optional
- Pictures of family (to be used as a focal point during labor)
- Tennis ball for massage
- Car seat
- Undershirt, onesie
- Booties, hat
- Gown, stretch suit, or other clothing for baby to wear home
- Two receiving blankets
- Heavy blanket (depending on the season)