Parkridge Health System - August 31, 2018

You've been waiting what probably feels like forever for this moment. And now, your newborn is going to be here before you know it!

As you count down the final days until you deliver, you may be wondering whether you need a birthing plan. That's why our team at Parkridge East wants to offer some insight on the topic.

Be Prepared—But Expect Changes

First things first, what exactly is a birthing plan? A birthing plan is a document that lets your doctor and other members of the medical team know how you'd like your birthing experience to go, including how you'd like pain managed.

The most important thing to remember about a birthing plan is that things may not go as planned. So while you're sketching out your thoughts for how you'd like your baby's birth to go, realize that you'll likely need to be at least somewhat flexible.

What Should Be in a Birthing Plan?

You can really include any aspect of your birthing/hospital experience in your plan, since it's basically a sketched-out vision of what'd you like to happen.

But there are a few questions you may want to ask yourself when writing down your birthing plan:

  • When you go into labor, if you have other children, who will you have watch your other children?
  • Do you want to try a drug-free birth, or will you be requesting an epidural?
  • Who do you want in the room with you while you deliver?
  • Do you want music playing while in labor/delivering? If yes, be sure to put together a playlist of songs you would like to hear.
  • Where do you want people to stand while you're giving birth? Do you care if they watch the baby being born, or would you rather have everyone standing near your head?
  • Will you want photos being taken during the birth? If yes, make sure it is allowed.
  • When the baby is born, do you want to use the days in the hospital just being with family? Or is it OK for visitors to stop by?
  • If you are having a boy, do you want him circumcised?
  • Will you be breastfeeding or bottle-feeding your newborn?
  • Will you be taking advantage of the nursery, or do you want your baby with you at all times?

Remember, this is your birthing experience. As long as you and the baby remain safe, you can have more say than not.

Just be sure you do listen to your physician if he or she recommends a different course of action for the safety of you and your child. Ultimately, the goal for both of you is a healthy and safe delivery for you and your new addition.

Preparing for a new addition can be overwhelming, but Parkridge East is here to help. We offer a range of classes to help you learn the ropes before your little one arrives!