How to write your birth preferences

antenatal and Hypnobirthing course north london

Get Positive Mama’s free birth preference template, click here.

As the name states, this is an outline of your preferences for birth.​ Bear in mind, though, that your birth preferences are not set in stone because childbirth is unpredictable. You or your health providers may need to make changes to the plan on the go. So stay flexible and make sure that each procedure is understood and consented to by you.

What Should I include in my Birth preferences?​

The basics: Your name, estimated due date contact information, and where you plan to give birth.​

Birth partners: Who do you want to be with you? Most women may choose their life partners but if they are not the right person you can go with your mum, sister, friend, doula or anybody who makes you feel protected and calm.​

Ambience: Lighting, dimmed? Battery-operated candles? Quiet room as possible, or would you prefer music? Essential oil diffuser? Bed’s position? Your pillow

Labour preferences: Do you want to walk around freely? Do you want to use a birthing stool, ball, or chair? Would you like to take a warm shower or bath? Use the birthing pool? If monitoring is needed, do prefer the wireless monitor? Do you want internal examinations?​

Pain relief: Do you prefer to use breathing, massage, water, tens machine, gas and air? Opioids, epidural? You can always change your mind during labour.​

The second stage of labour: What position do you want to be in for birthing your baby and where (UFO recommended)? Do you want to be coached to push or prefer to breathe your baby down? Do you want a mirror to see your baby coming out. Do you want someone to take pics/videos? Who will catch the baby? Who will reveal the sex? Do want your baby to be placed on your chest right after birth? Do you want your baby to preserve their vermix?​

The third stage of labour: Do you want to have a physiological third stage or medicated (expulsion of placenta)Golden hour: Do you want delayed cord clamping? Would you like your partner to cut the umbilical cord? Do you want vitamin K for your baby? Injection or drops. Do you prefer to breastfeed?

If you need or are planning a C-section: Who would you like with you in the theatre? Do you want a gentle C-section? Do you want the screen down so you can see your baby at birth? Do you want the gown tight on your front, so you can receive your baby on your chest? Same for monitors, no on the chest but your back?​ These are just some ideas of what you can include, try to keep it simple and discuss it with your birth partner, make sure they know your preferences well.

Bring a few copies with you when going to the hospital to give to your health carers.

In my Hypnobirthing courses, we go through your birth plans, I always recommend making 3 different ones, so you are never left without a plan 😉