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What is a birth plan? And do I really need it?

Some people prefer to refer to this as ‘birth preferences’ or 'individualised care plan', title your document whatever feels best for you.


Keep reading for our free downloadable 8 page birth plan writing guide.


The process of writing and researching for your birth plan will in itself help you make sure that you are informed about the choices, and help you to easily make the right choices for you if certain situations arise that you were not necessarily wanting to include in your ‘ideal plan’, such as maybe:

  • Induction

  • Caesarean

  • Transfer to Hospital (if planning homebirth)

  • Medicated Pain relief

  • etc


Your doula or Birth Prep In A Box Facilitator can help you through this process by signposting you to evidence based articles, books and local professionals in your area. (our Birth Prep In A Box online course is fantastic for this too!)


They can also help you find out information on such things as:

  • Golden Hour

  • Skin to Skin

  • Optimal Cord clamping

  • Water Birth

  • Homebirth

  • TENS machines

  • Physiological Third Stage (placenta birth)

  • If baby needs help breathing after birth

  • Pain relief options

  • Your rights in birth

  • ...and so much more


Your Doula or antenatal teacher can also help you put this information together into a document if you should choose to and help you feel confident in presenting it to the health care professionals caring for you.

Do I need a birth Plan?

No, in a word. You do not have to have a written birth plan.


However... As I have said, one of the most valuable parts of it is the process of learning what your choices are. There is also HUGE value in being able to easily show your care givers what your preferences and choices are. Discussing your ‘plan’ with your birth partner(s) in advance is also essential. 😌 And most importantly...

If you don't write yourself a birth plan, then the system has quite literally already done it for you.

Sounds good? Saves you a job? Think again!


Hospital policies and NICE guidelines are in place to guide your caregivers on what is known to be safest on a population level, their hospital policies are specifically there to keep themselves safe and away from litigation.

You are a unique individual, therefore I can categorically say that your needs do not match up with the whole population - you are an individual and your needs should be treated as such. Write your birth plan/preferences document, print it many times, and share it with everyone that you come into contact with during your labour. Share with your birth partner how they can advocate for your right to an individualised care plan, throughout, even if that means stepping outside of hospital policies and guidelines!


How do I write a birth plan? We've made this bit super simple for your with our 8 page downloadable birth plan/preferences writing guide. It will walk you through step by step, helping you find out what it is that you don't already know and then lay out what is most important to you

If you choose me as your Doula I will offer you a whole antenatal session to thoroughly go through your choices and help you with research on what do you feel you need to know more about to best prepare you for your birth.

Hop over to my Doula Services pages to find out more about what I have to offer. ☺️


I believe that every family deserves the right to a Doula, if money is what may be making you hesitate please do get in touch, there is always a way. 😉

One of the great ways can be to ask your friends and family to help you out with either Doula UK gift vouchers or I can set you up with an online gift registry free of charge, great for baby showers when you feel you have all the ‘stuff’ you need. Got any questions? Please just ask! Drop me an email or a message now. Email: Sarah@TheNostalgicDoula.co.uk Tel: 07584245179 Speak soon, Sarah x

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