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It’s time to write a birthplan

Paul Banas
Author Paul Banas
Submitted 21-08-2006

While this might seem like something for your wife to do, it’s important that you as a supporting cast member be very involved in making the decisions now on how labor and delivery will unfold. Some decisions must be your wife’s alone, like whether to have an epidural or allow for an episiotomy, and in those cases, your role is to be supportive of her decision. But there are other decisions that may even fall uniquely to you as well. Do you want to “catch” the baby as he comes out? Do you want to cut the umbilical cord (sometimes also an option for mom)? Some of these questions will be easier than others, but consider: Will you allow the staff to provide formula milk, which may interfere with the start of breastfeeding? Do you want your new baby to lie on mommy’s chest as soon as possible after birth? Will you allow videos or photos taken during delivery? It is very important that you and mom-to-be write all these decisions down and discuss them openly so there is no difference of opinion in the delivery room, either with the hospital staff, and especially between you and your partner. Make sure to provide a copy of this plan to your doctor and bring one to the hospital to put in your records. A sample birthplan can be found at http://birthplan.com/example.php

– Paul Banas

San Francisco, California