How do I write my birth preferences?

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 by you.

What Should I include in my Birth preferences?

The basics: Your name, estimated due date contact information, 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, 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

Labor 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?

Oppioids, epidural?

You can always change your mind during labor.

Second stage of labor:

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/video? 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?

Third stage of labor:

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 the 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 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?

This 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 copy with you when going to the hospital to give to your health carers.

Download your birth preferences template here

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