Pregnancy and baby

How to make a birth plan

How do I write a birth plan?

Media last reviewed: 12/04/2012

Next review due: 12/04/2014

Making your birth plan

A birth plan is a record of what you would like to happen during your labour and after the birth. You don't have to create a birth plan, but if you would like one your midwife will be able to help. Discussing a birth plan with your midwife will give you the chance to ask questions and find out more about what happens in labour. It also gives your midwife the chance to get to know you better and understand your feelings and priorities.

You can go to the birth plan page to:

  • print out a blank birth plan to discuss with your midwife
  • fill in your birth plan online, save it and print it out

You'll probably want to think about or discuss some things more fully with the baby's father, and your friends and relatives. Remember that you can change your mind about your wishes for labour and birth at any time.

Your personal circumstances

Your birth plan is personal to you. It will depend not only on what you want, but also on your medical history, your circumstances, and what is available at your maternity service. What may be safe and practical for one pregnant woman may not be a good idea for another.

You might be given a special form for your birth plan, or there may be room in your notes. It's a good idea to keep a copy of your birth plan with you. The maternity team who care for you during labour will discuss it with you so they know what you want.

But it is important to remember that you need to be flexible and prepared to do things differently from your birth plan if complications arise with you or your baby, or if facilities such as a birth pool are not available. The maternity team will tell you what they advise in your particular circumstances. Don't hesitate to ask questions if you need to.

Things to consider

You can find out more about the things you need to think about when you make your birth plan:

You can work out whether there is anything you feel strongly about and might wish to include. You may want to print out some information from this website to take with you to discuss with your midwife.

You and your partner can also think about what your birth partner can do to support you during labour.

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Page last reviewed: 10/02/2013

Next review due: 10/02/2015

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Birth plan

Find out how a birth plan can help women make the right choices before and during labour.

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