It is not compulsory to have a birth plan but it is useful if you have particular ideas as to how you would like your delivery to be conducted and especially if you have special requests (e.g. no epidurals, no episiotomy if possible, warm tub for pain relief, aromatherapy candles, certain music to be played in your delivery room, husband to cut the cord, intermittent monitoring of the baby, ability to ambulate and not to be completely bedbound).
Yes, more and more of my patients are coming up with birth plans. In most cases, I find that what my patients have requested for is pretty much what I practice as my standard protocol for delivery anyway.
Actually I encourage all of my patients to discuss their birth plans way before their delivery so that from a very early stage I already have a clear understanding on how their delivery is to be conducted. More importantly, it gives me plenty of time to make the necessary arrangements. After discussing the birth plan with my patient and her husband, I will send the birth plan to the hospital that she has booked for her delivery so that the hospital and midwives are all aware of my patient’s expectations, and anything that the hospital cannot accommodate can be addressed early and alternative arrangements can then be made.
It doesn’t really matter how long your birth plan is as long as it is clear and fulfills all your requests. Every pregnancy is a unique experience, so birth plans should be individualized to the mother’s needs.
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