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Developing a Birth Plan

Posted on January 23rd, 2013 by | 3 views
by Nicole Giangregorio
Sharp Mary Birch Hospital for Women & Newborns

The birth of your baby is an exciting time filled with questions, anxieties and lots of planning. One way to cut down on some of the uncertainty surrounding your labor is to create a birth plan that you can share with your doctor and family before your due date. A birth plan is simply a wish-list put in writing which will help your medical team understand your specific desires for the birth of your child.

Nicole Giangregorio, Manager of Women's Support Programs at Sharp Mary Birch Hospital for Women & Newborns, suggests considering the following when creating your birth plan:

  • Who do you want in the delivery room?
  • Activities or positions during labor (walking, standing, squatting, lying on back)
  • Fetal monitoring
  • Pain relief/medications
  • Episiotomy
  • Mirror during birth
  • Vaginal exams
  • Relaxation techniques (shower, music, massage)
  • Camera/video camera use
  • Umbilical cord cutting
  • Cord blood banking
  • Holding your baby immediately after birth/breastfeeding immediately
  • Supplementary bottles, pacifiers

It's important to discuss your birth plan with your doctor and family so that everyone is on the same page. Giangregorio says the key to a successful birth plan is to be flexible and know that not everything will go exactly as planned and not to be disappointed if you deviate from your plan during labor. The goal is to have a happy, healthy birth.

For more information about birth plans, attend a childbirth preparation class at Sharp Mary Birch Hospital for Women & Newborns. Registration is available online at

Childbirth educators will also be available to answer your questions during the Natural Baby Fair. Visit the Sharp Mary Birch Hospital for Women & Newborns booth for free advice, giveaways and a template to create your own birth plan.

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