Renata Provost, CD(DONA), LE, NCS
Serving the Bay Area, CA
The goal of a birth plan isn't for you and your partner to determine exactly how the birth of your child will occur - because labor involves so many variables, you can't predict exactly what will happen. A birth plan does, however, help you to realize what's most important to you in the birth of your baby.

While completing a birth plan, you'll be learning about, exploring, and understanding your labor and birthing options well before the birth of your child. Not only will this improve your communication with the people who will be helping during your delivery, it also means you won't have to explain your preferences right at the moment when you're least in the mood for conversation - during labor itself.

A birth plan isn't a binding agreement - it's just a guideline. Your doctor or health care provider may know, from having seen you throughout the pregnancy, what you do and don't want. Also, if you go into labor when there's an on-call doctor who you don't know well, a well thought-out birth plan can help you communicate your goals and wishes to the people helping you with the labor and delivery.

A birth plan typically covers three major areas:

- Your wishes during a normal labor and delivery.

- How you want your baby to be treated immediately after and for the first few days after birth.

- What you want to happen in the case of unexpected events.
What is a Birth Plan?