A birth plan is a document that you create. It is used to tell your health care provider and hospital staff your wishes for the kind of childbirth you would like. It will also give instructions on how you would like your baby to be cared for after his or her birth.
Your health care provider or the hospital may have a draft birth plan for you to work from, or you can use this sample birth plan. Not everything can be anticipated and some circumstances will likely change, requiring a change in what you may have planned. Your health care providers will try to preserve the essence of the plan but it may be recommended that some things be changed due to your needs or those of your baby.
Your birth plan should be short and sweet, not more than a page. You want your team to be able to quickly figure out what your desires are. You will write down what you want to happen and what you would prefer if things do not go as planned. For example, you could state that you would prefer not to have an IV during labour but if a medical reason requires it you would then agree to it.
Here is a list of possible topics you might include in your birth plan.