The term birth plan refers to a woman’s preferences for care during and after labour.
The purpose of the birth plan is to communicate in advance the wishes of the woman to all persons who are directly involved in her birth. The plan must be completed with flexibility as labour does not always proceed in the desired way!
What can it include?
The parameters that are taken into account when creating a birth plan include:
- The place of birth, if options are available
- People attending the birth
- The possible positions of the woman during labour
- Medications and analgesia
- The care of the newborn
- The choice of the method of feeding the newborn
Also, special requests are mentioned, in case a caesarean section is needed, instrumental delivery and transfer to the hospital after or during a home birth in case of emergency.
How can your midwife help you?
The midwife plays a particularly important role in creating a birth plan.
Specifically, they provide:
• Support in the creation and development of the Birth Plan
• Information to facilitate its preparation
• Help in finding potential setbacks and looking for alternatives
At each visit, the birth plan is collectively reviewed and a copy is given to the woman so that she can have it and take it with her to the maternity ward. The midwife thus creates a relationship of trust, respect and autonomy with each woman individually.
Information is a particularly important element, which is why the midwife first searches for the information that the woman already has and then enhances her awareness of the available options.
The balance between the wishes of the woman and the existing capabilities of the structures and health professionals at the given time are necessary for the creation of the birth plan.
Why is it important to you?
The provision of information to the women on issues related to childbirth ,as well as training in informed choice, enhances the acquisition of a sense of control during childbirth resulting in the reduction of fear and anxiety for herself and the newborn.
Does the birth plan have any legal status?
No precise legislation has been defined for the legal status of the birth plan.
Legally, a woman has the right to impose her wishes provided that they are possible and that she is fully informed of every decision she makes.
According to the General Medical Council, the largest Medical Association in Britain, it is the duty of the doctor to work with the pregnant woman, respect her rights to make decisions about her care.
Are you going to make a birth plan?
Come to our private pregnancy consultations so we can form your birth plan and discuss your preferences here at Hera Family Care.