10 suggestions for writing your birth plan

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1. Keep it short and to the point: There may not be time for caregivers to read reams of your writing.

2. Use short sentences: to sum up, and be polite.

3. Be specific: For example, "I would prefer my baby to be delivered onto my abdomen."

4. Keep your options open: Birth plans are not cast in stone, be flexible. Bear in mind labour and childbirth are unpredictable.

5. Plan for the unexpected: You might have a c-section or your baby might need special care.

6. Take a draft of your plan: along to your midwife or doctor for discussion.

7. Give a copy of your plan to your midwife or doctor: to put with your notes and keep a copy for yourself.

8. Show your birth plan to your childbirth educator: for feedback and discussion at your antenatal classes.

9. Mention any special needs that you may have: For example if you have an existing condition, how you plan to cope and what help you will need.

10. List the things you really don't want to happen: For example, "I don't want my baby to have supplementary feeds without my permission."

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