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Birth preferences and plan

The birth plan can help you and your birth partner to think about your choices and preferences during labour and the birth of your baby. During your pregnancy you will have the opportunity to meet with your midwife/doctor and discuss the plan – try and do this around the time of your 36 week appointment. This will help our team understand the kind of birth you would like.

Once you have decided on where you would like to have your baby you can use a birth plan to consider your options for:

  • any preferences or needs you have
  • who will be your birth partner(s)
  • how you feel about having a student present during labour/birth
  • whether you would like to use water for pain managementand/or birth
  • different positions for labour/birth
  • coping strategies and pain management
  • hypnobirth
  • how you feel about vaginal examinations
  • whether you would like continuous or intermittent monitoring of the baby’s heart during labour
  • who will cut the cord/optimal cord clamping
  • skin-to-skin contact
  • any preferences you have in relation to feeding your baby
  • how you would birth your placenta (afterbirth)
  • vitamin K and BCG vaccination for your baby
  • any preferences you have if an assisted or caesarean birth is recommended.

It is useful to think about how you would like your baby’s birth to be in the event of having an induction of labour or a caesarean birth –planned or unplanned, and to ask your midwife or doctor what things you might need to consider for your own personal circumstances.

Your midwife will discuss your preferences with you again when you are in labour and any reasons to consider changing the plan. You can share your birth plan with your midwife when you meet at the hospital (or at home if you are planning a homebirth).

For more information visit NHS Choices.