Birth Plans (aka Birth Preferences)
The Birth Plan (we prefer the term Birth Preferences) refers to a patient’s (couple’s) preferences regarding her labor and delivery. Sometimes it is a brief conversation with the OB doctor. Sometimes it is a piece of paper with a few general comments. Sometimes it is 2-3 pages or more of single-spaced sentences.
Over the years, we have seen hundreds of Birth Plans. Many have elements in common. Patients want to have mobility during labor, they want to minimize invasive procedures, they want their husband to cut the baby’s cord, they want the option of a drug-free birth, with the possibility of epidural if requested, and they would like to try to avoid episiotomy and avoid a Cesarean Section.
We understand the need and desire to have the events of your birth proceed as closely as possible to your view of what is ideal, and we always try to help you achieve these goals.
Every Birth Experience is Unique
However, it is important to understand that not all of the events of anyone's labor or delivery can be completely predicted. In general, the more aspects of the delivery that you feel need to be a certain way, and the more control that you feel you need to have, the more likely that actual events will deviate which increase the chance that you may be disappointed with your birth experience after all is said and done. We would like to try and prevent this.
Every labor is different. Every birth is different. Sometimes, no matter how healthy and prepared you are, the childbirth experience can go awry. This is why we deliver babies in the hospital, and this is why you go to an Obstetrician for your prenatal care and delivery.
Our preferred Birth Plan is a verbal conversation. However, if you have prepared written "Birth Preferences", they should be reviewed by one of the doctors so we can discuss them together. You may have requests or preferences that we feel are not safe medically, and they should be discussed prior to going into labor.
We request that your “preferences” are kept to one page double-spaced, and avoid words such as "refuse", "must" or "won't". We also prefer that the title “Birth Preferences” be used as it indicates a sense of flexibility.
We strongly urge couples to have an open mind regarding the events of their upcoming childbirth. The last thing we want is for you to be disappointed after delivery because everything did not go exactly as hoped or planned.
Our Birth Plan
Our goals are: first, a healthy baby and a healthy mom; and second, a safe vaginal delivery. We promise to do the utmost, to use all of our experience, skill and judgment to help you have a safe childbirth experience as close to that which you desire. That is our Birth Plan.