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How to Create Your Birthing Plan While Pregnant

Learn how to create your birthing plan from childbirth educator Elizabeth Mangum-Sarach in this Howcast video.


One of the most important things to remember about creating a birthing plan is that that word is a very challenging word to use in pregnancy and birth. The reality is I like to say how to create your birth preferences. So in thinking about your preferences for giving birth, it's important to do as much reading and research as you can to consider your options.

The most important thing in creating a birthing preference list or your birthing plan is to know what your options are. So take a childbirth education class, talk to your care provider, talk to your friends and family, and create your list, your priority list, of the most important things to you for giving birth and to having the birth experience that you would like to have.

When you're creating your birth plan or your birth preference list, pick the top three most important items that are the most important to you. Use these top three items to talk to your care provider in the last few weeks of your pregnancy at every prenatal visit that you have. Print out your birth plan and your birth preference list and bring this to the hospital or the birth center with you, or give it to your midwife during your home birth. Make sure that your care providers and the nurses and anyone else on your team know what your choices are for your birth plan and your birth preferences. Remember, always know what your options are, so be sure to do as much reading and research as you can, and remember to take a childbirth education class.

In creating your birth preferences or your birth plan, think about your ideal birth experience. What does your ideal birth look like to you? Who's in the room with you? What kind of environment is around? What music is playing? Are there going to be photos taken or no photos taken?

What are the top three most important things to you? Do you want to have room to move, freedom to move? Do you want to be able to eat and drink during your labor? Do you want to be able to avoid unnecessary interventions? Draw a picture of your ideal birth situation, talk to your support team about your ideal birth, and then using that picture of your ideal birth, choose the top three most important items to you.

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