I partnered with Simplified by Emily Ley and was gifted The Baby Book in exchange for this review on 5 Things To Consider When Making A Birth Plan. As always, all opinions are my own.
5 Things To Consider When Making A Birth Plan [+ free birth plan]
To Plan Or Not To Plan
My original birth plan was to have no plan. Why would I need a birth plan? I am not a medical professional. Shouldn’t the doctors and hospital staff have a plan? They know what they are doing, right? While of course, this is true. The medical staff is well trained to know exactly what to do. But how can I expect them to know what I want? Especially if I don’t even know what I want!
Read on to see 5 things to consider when making a birth plan as well as a template to create your own. Then check out The Baby Book made by Simplified by Emily Ley to continue to have a beautiful and well layout out presentation of babies early years.
I am a research-driven person. Maybe it was the 6+ years of college and graduate school. Or the endless research papers and evidence-based practices I use daily as a therapist that has lead me to feel a need to know all there is to know to feel fully prepared, even though this is often times completely impossible-especially when it comes to pregnancy, childbirth, and parenting. However, I have to try.
Making A Birth Plan
It started with endless hours of listening to podcasts. A few of my favorites have been the Pregnancy Podcast by Vanessa Merten, Coffee + Crumbs podcast by Indiana Adams, Ashlee Gadd and April Hoss, as wells The Mom Hour podcast by Meagan Francis and Sarah Powers. This is what led me to believe that my plan to have no plan was indeed, not a plan at all! And I knew I had to know what things to consider when making a birth plan.
Top 5 Things To Consider When Making A Birth Plan
1. Follow A Structured Format. Having a great template like this one from Earth Mama is a great place to start. It will allow you to stay organized and focus while ensuring you don’t miss any of the basics. I actually purchased the Your Birth Plan PDF off of Amazon which gave me a ton of valuable information about each of the choices I had to make and include in my personalized plan.
2. Keep It To One Page. Hospital staff are busy. No one has time to read an entire research paper. Keep it short, sweet and to the point. I made headings for each stage of my labor and bolded the items I found most important to easily grab the readers attention.
3. Don’t Include Things That Are Part Of The Hospital’s Policy. Don’t waste time and space including things that are guaranteed to happen/ not happen or part of the hospital policy. For example, the hospital I am birthing at does not have a nursery, so no need to say that I don’t want the baby in the nursery when it isn’t even an option. Same thing with any required procedures or practices.
4. Do Your Research. Know what you do and do not want to include and why. I purchased Vanessa Mertan’s Your Birth Plan book to assist me in creating my birth plan. This gave me a basic understanding of all the choices I might need to make during labor, delivery and directly following the birth. This allowed me to make informed decisions about my choices and to know why I do/ do not want certain things to be a part of my labor.
5. Make Sure Everyone Is Familiar With Your Plan. It is a great idea to know your birth plan inside and out. However, you might be a little to busy to be your own best advocate at the time of delivery. Make sure your partner is on board with your plan and knows everything there is to know about it. Also, review it with your doctor, midwife or doula prior to your birth. I printed and laminated several copies to put into my hospital bag and hand out once we arrive at the hospital to make sure that everyone that enters my room is all on the same page!
Things Don’t Always Go As Planned
Please know that, as with most plans, things don’t always go as planned. Having a birth plan is a great way to reduce anxiety, fears, and stress. However, things can change at the drop of a hat. These 5 things to consider when making a birth plan are indeed, just a plan. Try to be flexible and know that this is to be used as a guideline for how things COULD go, but it doesn’t mean things will go this way.
The Baby Book
Once baby is here, you will want to have a great place to store all the memories and milestones your little one makes. Simplified by Emily Ley has created The Baby Book– The Story Of You. This is a precious, classic, thoughtful baby book perfect for documenting The Story of You for your little one. This baby Book is the perfect Baby Book, being both modern and classic. It has plenty of guided writing space as well as open space for moments and photographs. The book features 64 pages each with gold foil detailing and a textured cushioned hardcover. It comes in your color choice of either Mint or Blush. Customize your Baby Book even more with their additional Baby Book Page Packs! This book really covers everything. You can start during pregnancy as I did, but it mainly focused on ages birth to two years old.
Here are the featured sections:
- Mommy & Daddy’s story
- Mommy’s pregnancy
- About your Mommy
- About your Daddy
- Friends and Family
- Celebrating the anticipation (showers)
- Before you arrived
- A letter to baby
- Our predictions for you
- Welcome to the world
- Announcing your arrival
- Tiny hands and tiny feet
- Your birth story
- Coming home
- Your new home/nursery
- The world when you were born
- Growing and growing
- Your firsts
- Your favorite things
- Funny things you’ve said
- Our favorite memories
- Holidays and celebrations
- Months 1 – 12 (page per month)
- 1st through 5th birthdays (page per year)
- Extra photo / open pages
They also have The Big Kid Book to help you capture your little one’s milestones and special moments from ages 2 to 6.
After looking at several baby books, this was my top choice for so many reasons. This baby book is beautiful. The colors, design, and style are aesthetically pleasing and so elegant. I love that the book can expand with the baby to include a big kid book and additional pages to tell people’s individual story as needed. It is clearly well made of high-quality craftsmanship, well bound and made to last a lifetime. It is also reasonably priced compared to similar products on the market. To this day, especially now that I am pregnant, my mom still loves to take out my baby book. I am so glad that I will be able to do the same for our son for years and years to come.
Check out the Earth Mama website to help you create your very own free birth plan! Click here for the link.