Sometimes called a birth plan, this two-way communication tool is intended
to confirm a family’s preference on how to handle details surrounding
labor and delivery.
CVMC Childbirth Educator Ella Thompson says, “Because every baby’s
birth is different, I don’t really like to call it a birth plan.
That tends to set the expectant parents up for a scenario that often turns
out different than the ideal they might envision.”
A birth plan is a list of preferences on how you would like your birth
experience to be. A plan helps your doctor know your wishes about pain
management, delivery and infant care. It also serves as a starting point
to open the communication lines with your healthcare team. Please remember
that labor can be unpredictable, so good communication throughout the
birth process is key to a positive outcome.
These items generally are covered in a birth plan:
- What are your wishes during a normal labor and delivery?
- How do you prefer your baby to be treated immediately after delivery and
in the first few days of life?
- What are your wishes in the case of unexpected events?
Below are some examples of preferences to consider during labor:
- Atmosphere: Do you want music? low lighting?
- Pain management: Do you prefer non-medicinal methods such as massage, meditation,
shower/water therapy, walking around the room with frequent position changes?
Or do you prefer IV pain medication or an epidural?
- Episiotomies: Most doctors no longer perform episiotomies except in urgent
situations where the birth of the baby needs to be sped up.
- Assisted birth: Devices such as forceps or vacuum extraction rarely are
used in normal deliveries these days.
Here are items to consider for immediate care of your infant:
- Cord cutting: Which person do you want to cut the cord? Do you want the
cord cut immediately or do you want to wait a few minutes?
- Feeding: Are you going to breastfeed or bottlefeed?
- Circumcision: If your baby is a boy, do you want him circumcised?
Consider these preferences during unexpected events:
- If you have a Cesarean section, do you want someone to be in the OR with you?
- Most of the time, moms are awake and a spinal or epidural anesthesia is
used so that they can still experience the baby’s birth. Is that
Karen encourages expectant parents to take a
Lamaze class offered through CVMC,
take a tour of the birthing center and read about birth experience options. CVMC childbirth educators are
certified by Lamaze International, an organization promoting a natural,
healthy and safe approach to pregnancy, childbirth and early parenting
practices. Knowing that pregnancy and childbirth can be demanding on a
woman’s body and mind, Lamaze serves as a resource for information
about what to expect and what choices are available during the birth experience
and beyond. Lamaze education and practices are based on the best and most
current medical evidence available.
To inquire about our classes, email Ella Thompson, a Childbirth Educator (firstname.lastname@example.org) or call at 828.326.3062 at the end of your first trimester.
Maternal Child Education (The POD) is located on the ground floor of the Women & Children Pavilion with
a variety of high quality programs to assist every family through the