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Creating the Perfect Birth Plan Form

Writing out your labor and delivery goals helps give you more control during your birth. Here’s how to get started.

by: Nancy Ripton

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or all you type-A moms-to-be, creating a birth plan is a great way to organize your thoughts and help put you in charge of your delivery. "It can also make you aware of options you didn't know existed," says Mary Murry, director of Nurse Midwives at the Mayo Clinic. Your birth plan can be as simple or as detailed as you like. The goal is to open lines of communication with your doctor, doula or midwife and make sure you don't overlook anything that may be important to you during labor.

To help you out, Just the Facts, Baby has created an birth plan form you can fill out and edit throughout your pregnancy. All you need to do is signup and we'll save your birth plan so you can refer to it (or update it) whenever you like.

Before you get started, here are some key things to consider when creating a birth plan:

Avoiding induction & augmentation

Studies show having your labor induced increases your chance of having a C-section by at least 10 percent. Talk to your healthcare provider about her views on induction and augmentation (contraction stimulation). "Unless the baby or mother is in distress, there is no reason to have an induction until after 42 weeks of pregnancy," says Murry. If you do need an induction, it's important to have told your healthcare provider which method you prefer.

Most women opt for natural methods, such as breaking the water or nipple stimulation first. "Once you start using chemicals, your body's not in charge anymore," says Murry. Your contractions may come closer together, giving you less chance to regroup in between. "It's best to exhaust all natural options first."

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