We are getting closer and closer to the big day!  We’ve spent a lot of time speaking to medical professionals, attending classes, and doing lots of our own research – all with the intention of making the best birth plan possible for our son. This birth plan is written with a hospital birth in mind, and my emphasis was on a natural/drug-free birth. I’ll write a birth center-specific plan soon.

I wrote this adorably innocent article in 2013. I’ve revised it now that I’ve birthed two kiddos 🙂 Free PDF download included!

We’ve included the “Complete Birth Plan Updated” as a free download for you – but first we’d like to clarify a few things.

What is a birth plan?

A birth plan is basically a list of your wishes for do’s and don’t’s during Labor and Delivery.  People usually include their preferences in regards to pain management, amenities at the facility, episiotomy vs tearing, induction, delivery, etc.  It can be as simple – or as extensive – as you like!  Our Complete Birth Plan is very extensive and detailed, so feel free to edit as you see fit.

Be sure to know what’s available at your hospital/birth center

This master list has come together from multiple sources and interviews, but of course not all options are available at all locations! You can ask by just calling, looking online, or taking a tour of the facility.

Be “in the know” about all the options and decisions

Why is a Hepatitis B vaccination given to your newborn?  What exactly is in an epidural?  And a vacuum… during birth?!?!  The best decision is an educated decision, so make sure you understand everything! It’s YOUR birth, so you should be informed and involved in all the decisions that are made.

But… be flexible

Remember that the ultimate point in a birthing plan is so that you, your child’s father, and the medical personnel know what you would like for the well-being of your child… in an ideal situation.  But be aware that unforeseen circumstances, or an emergency, may throw your birth plan out the window.  As long as your baby’s life (and quality of life) are always the number one priority, you won’t be disappointed in the outcome of your experience!

A Complete Birth Plan with a free PDF download! - Real Simple Mama

Communicate, communicate, communicate!

Meet with your OB or midwife in advance and go over your wishes with them.  Have them put copies in your file at the office. Put copies in the car, in your hospital bags. Post copies on streetlamps. Get your provider’s opinions and also talk to other people who will be assisting, if possible.  (Remember that it may not be “your” doctor or midwife who is there when you go into labor). Have family or a BFF planning on being in the room with you? They need one, too.

Ok here it is: Complete Birth Plan Updated

Tell us about your birth plan – and did everything go according to, you know… plan?…