Family Birth Plans Parenting

What is a Birth Plan?

A birth plan is a document that tells your medical team your preferences for how you want your labor and delivery to go. Obviously you cannot control every aspect of your labor and delivery and will need to stay flexible. The birth plan is a way to get your expectations on paper and clear for anyone coming into your delivery.

Below are some common checklists for birth plans. You can decide what is best for you.


  • I will be giving birth at this hospital or birth center.
  • I do / do not want to know my baby’s gender until he or she arrives.
  • I’d like to labor as much as possible at home.
  • I’d like to have _________ with me in the room when I’m in labor.
  • I’d like to walk and move around as much as I can.
  • I prefer intermittent fetal monitoring if possible.
  • If I need an IV, I prefer a saline or heparin lock.
  • I prefer to let my water break naturally.
  • I plan to use natural pain relief techniques. Please do not offer me any pain medication.
  • I’ll decide whether to use pain medication as my labor progresses.
  • I’d like to be offered an epidural or other pain medication as soon as possible.
  • I’d like to be allowed to push when and how I feel I should.
  • I’d like to be coached on when to push and for how long.
  • I’d like to choose the position I deliver in.
  • I’d like to view the birth using a mirror.
  • I’d like to touch my baby’s head as it crowns.


Want to Learn More?

Post Partum:

  • I’d like to hold my baby skin-to-skin immediately after delivery.
  • I’d like my baby to be dried off before being brought to me.
  • I’d like to wait until the umbilical cord stops pulsating before it’s clamped and cut.
  • I’d like my partner or attendant to cut the umbilical cord.
  • I plan to donate my baby’s cord blood to a public bank.
  • I plan to store my baby’s cord blood in a private bank.
  • I’d like to delay newborn procedures for the first hour to give me a chance to feed and bond with my baby.
  • I’d like all procedures that are done and medications that are given to my baby to be explained to me beforehand.
  • I’d like my baby evaluated and bathed in my presence.
  • If my baby needs to be in another room to receive medical treatment, I’d like ____ to go with him or her.
  • I plan to exclusively breastfeed my baby while in the hospital or birth center.
  • I’d like to meet with a lactation consultant to help me learn to breastfeed.
  • I plan to feed my baby formula.
  • I’d like to be consulted before my baby is offered a bottle or a pacifier.
  • If my baby is a boy I do / do not want him to be circumcised at the hospital.


If You Have Chosen Adoption:

If you are looking into an adoption plan, below are some things to consider and discuss with your adoption social worker before going to the hospital.

  • Would you like the prospective adoptive family to be in the delivery room?
  • Would you like the prospective adoption family to be immediately outside the delivery room?
  • Would you like to stay on the same floor as your baby after delivery or would you like to be on a totally different floor after delivery?
  • Do you want the baby to stay in your room?
  • Would you like any alone time with your baby?
  • Do you want the prospective adoptive family, you, and the baby to be in the room together at any given time during your hospital stay for a visit?
  • Do you want to care for your baby during your stay at the hospital?
    • Do you want to feed your baby?
    • Do you want to change your baby’s diapers?
    • Would you like the prospective adoptive family to share in the care of your baby during your hospital stay?
    • Do you want the prospective adoptive family to do all of the care of the baby during the hospital stay?
  • Do you want the prospective adoptive family to decide if the baby is a boy to get circumcised?