You can print and fill out the birth plan that I prepared as a PDF (in french).
When we talk about a birth plan, or birth wishes, we are referring to a simple list that you can write on a blank sheet of paper. This list includes your expectations during labour and childbirth, including things that the staff should know about your needs and desires during these two stages.
The birth plan is a reflection tool for the couple to prepare for the arrival of their baby, not preparation for the outcome of the birth. No one can know how it will go during labour and delivery.
There are no standardised forms. All you need to do is make a list and give it to the nurse who welcomes you to the maternity ward.
Childbirth is a box of chocolates, and the story can only be told once it’s over
Where possible we will do everything in our power to respect your wishes, but don’t forget that you have to be flexible, as during childbirth anything can happen, and the story can only be told once it’s over.
What should you write? You can list your different ways you would like to get support for contraction discomfort (dimmed lighting, soft music, warmth, back massage, therapeutic ball, bath…), having your baby placed skin-to-skin after delivery, the type of support you would like (the presence of the nurse or intimacy with your spouse, the presence of another person, such as your mother, friend or doula) as well as the role you expect each of these people to play during labour and/or delivery. You can also add things like how you would like to start breastfeeding, such as not giving the baby a bottle without your permission, getting support from the nurse to begin breastfeeding with soft guidance. You can indicate what you would like from the father: massages, help with breathing, help with the baby, baths, burping, changing diapers…
This is not an exhaustive list, and I think you should take the initiative to put in writing anything you might think about that will be essential for you when experiencing this major life event. I prepared a list of questions you can print to start your reflection.
Many videos can help you uncover things you might want to write down regarding labour and delivery. Prenatal classes are a vital stage too.
For mothers and fathers who have already written a birth plan, tell us what you should have written but didn’t, things you would recommend to your friends!
The Baby Expert
This post is also available in: Français