Benefits of A Birth Plan

Kristin Gunner


pregnant woman in gray and white hospital gown standing beside bed
pregnant woman in gray and white hospital gown standing beside bed

Writing a birth plan is the best way to let your birth team know exactly what you want and don’t want during labor and delivery. You can include anything you want, such as who will be in the room, what kinds of pain relief you would prefer, and how you’ll feed your baby.

But why is a birth plan necessary?

You’re in charge and in control

The mother and baby are the stars of the show, but it often doesn’t feel that way. Doctors and nurses might talk about you instead of to you. Maybe something happens without your consent. Sometimes, things happen so fast that you struggle to even process everything. These are just some worst-case-scenarios, but a birth plan can help you feel in control. Your choices are in writing. If you don’t want to be stuck in the bed, that can go in your birth plan. If you want to delay cord cutting, that can go in as well. Every decision is up to you!

It helps you become more educated

Knowledge is power, and that’s important to remember during pregnancy. Writing a birth plan gives you the opportunity to educate yourself about labor and delivery, and all the decisions you might need to make. You have time to sit down, learn, and really think things through. You can avoid stress by making choices in advance.

It encourages communication

Communication with your birth team is so important. You want to feel heard, and they want to keep you and your baby safe and healthy. Thinking about your birth plan can help you come up with questions to ask in advance, which helps you make decisions. Writing these decisions in your birth plan ensures your provider knows exactly what you want and don’t want. This is much better than having to make choices during a contraction!

it encourages self-advocacy

Sometimes, patients feel like they can’t speak up when they visit the doctor. This feeling can often be even greater for a pregnant woman in labor. Being heard and knowing your needs matter is so important. When you have a plan and you know exactly what you want, you have the confidence to speak up when necessary. And if you can’t, your birth plan can speak for you.

Everyone is on the same page

In many cases, you’ll have appointments with various providers throughout your pregnancy. Sometimes, the doctor you preferred may not be working when you go into labor. In cases like these, it helps to have all of your preferences in one place for everyone to see. There doesn’t have to be any surprises, and you don’t have to be bothered with what feels like a million questions from a provider who hasn’t seen you in a while.

You can write a birth plan yourself, or you can get help from a doula. Please reach for more information. I can discuss your options with you, answer your questions, provide resources, and type it all up for you!


logo of a sun with the words new day doula support
logo of a sun with the words new day doula support