Monday, June 21, 2010

Standard Birth Plan

What's Wrong With this Birth Plan?

Birth Plan for Jane Mary Doe
Due Date: 1/25/10

Patient of Dr Baby Guider

Scheduled to deliver at Medical Center

Dear Dr Doe and the Medical Center Staff:
I look forward to sharing my upcoming birth with you. I have created the following birth plan to help you understand my preferences for my upcoming labor and delivery. I fully understand that in certain circumstances these guidelines may not be followed, but it is my hope that you will assist me in making this the experience I hope for. If you have any questions or suggestions, please let me know.
Jane Doe


I would prefer to avoid an enema and/or shaving of pubic hair.I wish to be able to move around and change position at will throughout labor.I would like to be able to have fluids by mouth throughout the first stage of labor.I would prefer to keep the number of vaginal exams to a minimum.


I do not wish to have continuous fetal monitoring unless it is required by the condition of my daughter.

Labor Augmentation/Induction

I do not wish to have the amniotic membrane ruptured artificially unless signs of fetal distress require internal monitoring.I would prefer to be allowed to try changing position and nipple stimulation before Pitocin is administered.


I do not want any kind of anesthesia offered to me during labor, though would like it available if I specifically request it.Custom note regarding use of an epidural


If my primary care provider determines that a cesarean delivery is indicated, I would like to obtain a second opinion from another physician if time allows.I would like my husband present at all times if my daughter requires a Cesarean delivery.I wish to have an epidural for anesthesia If my daughter is not in distress, my daughter should be given to (blank) immediately after birth.


I would prefer not to have an episiotomy unless absolutely required for the baby's safety.


I would like my husband and/or nurses to support me and my legs as necessary during the pushing stage.I would like a mirror available so I can see my daughter's head when it crowns.Even if I am fully dilated, and assuming my daughter is not in distress, I would like to try to wait until I feel the urge to push before beginning the pushing phase.I would like to have my daughter placed on my stomach/chest immediately after delivery.

After Delivery/Post Partum

I would like to cut the cord myself.I would like to have my daughter examined and bathed in my presence.If my daughter must be taken from me to receive medical treatment, my husband or some other person I designate will accompany my daughter at all times. I would like a private room if available.After the birth, I would prefer to be given a few moments of privacy to urinate on my own before being catheterized.I would like to donate the umbilical cord blood.


Unless medically necessary, I do not wish to have any bottles given to my daughter (including glucose water or plain water).I do not want my daughter to be given a pacifier.


I would like to make a video recording of labor and/or the birth.


My birth attendants are my sister-in-law, Jennifer Doe, and my husband, John Doe. I would like them to be present during labor and/or delivery.

This Birth Plan contains a lot of unnecessary information and outdated requests.

-There is no need to introduce additional birth attendants

-Many hospitals aren't equipped to donate cord blood, ask in advance

-It's unnecessary to mention film documentation, everyone does it

-Nobody shaves pubic hair or gives enema's without consent anymore

On the positive side

-This Birth Plan is fairly easy to read because of short paragraphs and bold headings

-Preferences are clear

-Allows room for flexibility

The two biggest mistakes expectant couples make when writing a birth plan are

1. Making it too long with inclusion of unnecessary or outdated information.

2. Writing it in letter format.

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