If your baby is delivered too early (before 37 weeks), they will be considered preterm or premature, thus special treatment and precautions will be necessary during delivery. Alternatively, if your baby is very late (over 42 weeks), they are considered post-term or postmature. Premature babies have a higher risk of infection, low birth weight, and breathing problems, while postmature babies are at greater risk of meconium aspiration.
In addition to who and when, including where you plan to give birth is important. By default, most mothers are taken to the nearest hospital once their water breaks and are about to deliver. However, not all mothers want a conventional hospital birth. While hospital births are very safe, some women opt to give birth at home or in a birthing center instead.
Aside from listing down your preferred location to give birth, coordinate with the facility well in advance. When it comes to babies, always expect the unexpected. Reserving or registering at the facility beforehand allows for a more seamless process once your baby is ready to be born.
What and How
Asking what may not seem necessary, as you are obviously making a birth plan for one purpose. However, additional questions you need to ask are things such as:
- What type of birth do I want? (e.g. normal vaginal delivery or C-section)
- What items do I need in my baby bag or kit?
- How do I prefer the temperature or lighting of the room?
- What type of pain medication am I willing to take? (e.g. epidural)
- Do I want pictures taken?
These are other important reasons why you should coordinate with your doctor and desired facility in advance, in order to ensure that these preferences can be accommodated.
In summary, a birth plan is something all mothers should create before their baby’s due date. Include information in this guide to create your own birth plan template. Talk to your doctor and other personnel involved in your birth plan ahead of time to ensure that your requests can be followed and you aren’t missing any important information.
Learn more about Giving Birth here.