Do discuss your birth plan with your obstetrician well ahead of time.
Childbirth is not just about the
delivery of a baby. It is also a very special experience for both mum and dad. Many women appreciate having choices in their childbirth and a birth plan is a good way of communicating these choices to your obstetrician. It is best to discuss your birth plan with your
obstetrician well ahead of time.
A birth plan is not a contract. It is a platform for communication between your partner, care givers and you. It is important that you know what the reasons are and what the implications your alternative choices will have on you and your baby.
You should indicate your wishes to your obstetrician, midwives and delivery suite staff when you go into labour. Sometimes, it is useful to discuss your options with your obstetrician during the antenatal consultation. Some women will discuss their birth plans with their doctors although birth plans are not common practices here.
Certain hospitals have various policies such as allowing only one member of your family into the delivery room, or prohibiting the presence of the partner during a
cesarean section due to various logistic and infrastructural considerations. Discuss with your obstetrician to find out more about these hospital regulations. This enables you and your doctor to decide on a reasonable consensus between your ideals and the standard care given to you and your baby at delivery.
It is also important to appreciate that the process of childbirth can sometimes be unpredictable and may not necessarily go the way you expect. In these situations, your obstetrician will guide you as to what is medically the best solution for you and your baby.
Not everyone needs or wants a formal and written birth plan. What is important is that you should have a detailed discussion with your doctor in the antenatal period regarding the process of labour, methods of pain relief and any other concerns. This will make the childbirth more meaningful for you and your partner.
Most people have preferences for how things are to be done during the labour and birth.
A birth plan might address some of these issues:
It is important to exercise flexibility on your requests, especially if it compromises on the care and safety of your delivery. Please consult your obstetrician as he or she will know what is best for you and your baby.
Source: Dr TAN Thiam Chye, Dr TAN Kim Teng, Dr TAN Heng Hao, Dr TEE Chee Seng John, The New Art and Science of Pregnancy and Childbirth, World Scientific 2008.
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This article was last reviewed on
15 Sep 2023
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