Your Birth Plan: Short and Sweet

  • 1
  • November 11, 2014
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Your Birth Plan: Short and Sweet


What is a birth plan?

A friendly, short and concise list of your wishes and needs during your labor and birth of your child.

Why do you need one?

There are many options/choices in childbirth. If you don’t tell them what you want, they will assume their protocol will be just dandy.

So what are your choices/options?

I know, it’s a daunting question. Everything is, so learn them. ( I promise I’ll make it easy for you)

What do you need to know in order to write one?

The first most important thing to know (In my humble opinion) is the difference between a medical solution and a routine intervention.

Some medical solutions and routine interventions are:

  • IV/Hep lock
  • breaking bag of waters
  • continuous fetal monitoring
  • Pitocin during labor
  • Pain medication
  • more than two vaginal exams
  • Pitocin after birth
  • cord clamping and cutting
  • baby bath
  • eye ointment/vitamin K for baby

Routine interventions tend to snow ball into medical solutions.

Medical solutions solve problems. Problems can happen even if you are starting off without any interventions.

So, just because you say you don’t want pain medication doesn’t mean after 48 hours of labor and stuck at 5cm you need to feel bad if you change your mind. You opting for a medical solution (an epidural), just might save you from a cesarean down the line. Listing in your birth plan that you don’t want routine pitosin after the birth of the baby means, if I end up hemorrhaging you better believe that I want pitosin. But, if I am not, I don’t want it.

The second most important thing is, know why you want or don’t want something, and that you can change your mind at anytime.

This is your homework time. You need to know the pro and cons about what you want and don’t want.

Do not put in your birth plan that you don’t want your water broken if you don’t know why, because you will probably be asked. Why don’t you want an IV or even a Hep lock? If you can’t come up with an answer they probably will talk you into one.


I’m Patricia Madden, a doula with many years of experience (I’ve been  doulaing laboring women since 1998), and I LOVE what I do. The women I am honored to serve always amaze me with the strength and beauty they exhibit during one of the most cherished and special moments in their lives.

I believe that natural childbirth is the safest way to give birth.  I also believe that when the benefits outweigh the risks, medical solutions may be necessary.  I feel that it is an important role for the expectant couple to be well-informed about all interventions.  There are pros and cons for everything.  It may be quite overwhelming to sort through all the information that is out there by yourself.  One of my jobs is to help make it a little easier by helping you find the information that you are looking for so you can make your own informed decisions – before labor begins.

If you live in the San Jose, Silicon Valley, or South Bay Area (Santa Clara and Santa Cruz counties) and would like to explore working with me as your birth doula, please contact me through my contact page, call (408) 781-1129, or e-mail me at patriciam@mac.com with your due date, care provider, where you will be giving birth and what you are looking for in a doula. I will get back to you ASAP. For no extra charge, I also provide:  a TENS machine, Birth ball, Birth stool, and Picture-taking, and so much more.

*Photo by Shell Grenier 

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