Close Close
Mother and Baby

Write a birth plan for your medical wishes

Write a birth plan for your medical wishes

It is vital to think of your birth plan in terms of letting your midwife and medical team know what you want. 

Before you so much as pick up a pen, begin the process by reading other mums’ birth stories.

‘Read widely about all sorts of births, from home births and birth-centre births, mobile births and births in bed, to planned and emergency caesareans,’ says Sheena Byrom OBE, a midwife consultant, leader of the Midwifery Unit Network and author of Catching Babies.

Your next step is to do some research and make some basic decisions. 

Your midwife will need to know what your stance on pain relief is, your feelings on having your baby’s heart rate monitored continuously, and your thoughts on medical interventions should your labour slow.


Who do you want with you during your labour?

Are you an extrovert or an introvert by nature? If you’re a bubbly extrovert, then the support of your friends or family might be important to you in early labour.

If you’re quieter, then you might prefer to labour in low light, with your midwife leaving your birth partner and you in peace for as much of the process as possible.

Do you like to be in control during decision-making processes, or do you feel more secure when others take charge?

If the former, make sure your birth plan includes a note explaining that you want every decision to be fully explained to you and discussed with you. If the latter, your birth plan might ask the medical team
to brief your birth partner, who can then relay key details to you.

You know yourself best, so by thinking about what makes you feel calm and relaxed, you can write a birth plan that gives you the best chance of a brilliant, personalised birth.


Keep your birth plan short and concise

It is crucial that you keep it snappy, because your medical team won’t have time to read a 20-page thesis.

If one of your requests is very important to you, explain your reasons for wanting it.

‘If this is your second or third birth, then your previous births can have an enormous impact on the way you feel about this one,’ says Sheena.

‘Positive births make women feel they can achieve anything next time round, but if there were aspects of your last that you don’t want to repeat, build these into your birth plan and explain why.’

‘You should also include what you want to happen in the event of other scenarios,’ says Sheena. ‘

So, if you planned for a water birth but end up having a caesarean, for example, what are your priorities in that new situation?

Thinking through these scenarios, so you’re able to assert your wishes if they occur, will put you back in control, whatever happens, and keep you involved at every step of your labour. And that’s what makes the difference between a good birth and a great one. A positive birth doesn’t depend on everything going exactly to plan: it relies on you feeling that you’re having the birth you want.’

Related content:


No comments have been made yet.

Chinese Gender predictor
Chinese Gender Predictor

Are you expecting a boy or a girl? Tell us the month you conceived and how old you are, and this clever little tool will predict the rest! 

Nappy rash is painful for parents as well as for your baby
Nappy rash is painful for parents as well as for your baby

Read Dr Pixie's guide to learn how to deal with nappy rash

The Magic Sleepsuit
The secret to a quiet night’s sleep – The Magic Sleepsuit

If you’re little one is struggling to settle now they’ve outgrown the swaddling stage, this could be the answer to your sleep-deprived prayers!

Celebrating parenting's small wins
Celebrating parenting's small wins

As mums, we're constantly told to enjoy every moment; in reality, parenting can sometimes be challenging. That's where small wins come in...

Subscribe button May
Subscribe to Mother&Baby

Be the best mum you can be and let Mother & Baby guide you along the way. Each issue is jam packed with REAL advice from mums just like you. Subscribe today & get a free welcome gift!

Ovulation Calculator
Ovulation calculator
Trying for a baby? Work out when you're most fertile to increase your chances of getting pregnant with our easy-to-use ovulation calculator.
Pregnant woman
Due Date Calculator

When is your baby due? If you’re having trouble remembering dates and counting up the days on your fingers and toes, don’t worry – use our due date calculator.

Get M&B in your inbox!

Sign up to Mother&Baby today and get news and advice about your body and your baby straight to your inbox every week. 

Lemonade Money
It’s time to make sure your loved ones are protected

Every parent knows the importance of planning ahead; from the new school shoes, to your little one’s education, you want to fill their future with hopes and dreams. Yet are you one of the 80% of adults here in the UK that has no life cover?