Women's

The Ultimate Birth Planning Checklist for Moms-To-Be

Jul 24 • 2017

Having a birth plan can give you some peace of mind both during your pregnancy and when you begin going into labor. While it’s important to remember that every labor and delivery experience is different – and that your plan may change at any moment – creating a general birth plan is a good place to start. Ideally, your birth plan should contain what your goals are for the entire process: before labor, during labor, and after labor and delivery. We’ve outlined what things to consider for each step.

Before Delivery Begins

When thinking about what kind of environment you’re looking for leading up to your labor, it’s important to first speak with your doctor to see what types of things are permitted in your chosen hospital. Once you’ve discussed the options, think about your preference on:

  • Who you want present during delivery
  • Whether you’d like to be in bed, walking around, sitting up, or in a tub during labor
  • If photos and video are acceptable and who should be responsible
  • Eating and drinking during active labor
  • Birthing positions
  • Things you’d like to bring into the room, like music or personal items

During Labor and Delivery

In this section, you’ll highlight the way you’d like to give birth and whether you want certain types of medications or procedures, like:

  • An epidural
  • Pain medication
  • Fetal monitoring
  • Oxytocin
  • Vacuum extraction or use of forceps
  • Episiotomies
  • C-sections vs. vaginal delivery

After Labor and Delivery

For many parents, the moments after delivery are planned less thoroughly than the actual labor and delivery itself. Consider things like:

  • Whether you want to hold the baby immediately after birth
  • Breastfeeding plans
  • Involvement of your partner
  • Cutting the cord
  • Banking cord blood
  • Suctioning requests
  • Placenta requests

After you’ve created your birth plan, share it with your doctor to talk through each request in detail. Remember that unexpected events can happen at any point during the birthing process, so it’s important to be flexible. Don’t panic if changes are necessary; in the end, the most important part is cherishing the new addition to your family.