Birth plan and its effects on the birth experience
Studies have shown that having a birth plan correlates with reduced medical intervention and higher satisfaction during childbirth.
A birth plan is a document that you prepare before your child’s delivery, outlining your preferences for the birth process. It can include things like preferred pain management methods, whether you want to be mobile throughout labor, whether you want certain people present for the birth, preferences for intervention (or not) if complications arise, and whether you want skin-to-skin contact with your baby immediately after the birth. A birth plan can also include a list of any conditions that might influence your preferences. For example, if you have a history of depression or anxiety, or if you’re struggling with postpartum depression, this might affect how comfortable you are with visitors after the baby is born.
The purpose of the birth plan is to provide your medical team with information about what’s important to you and what you value in this experience. This allows them to make decisions that align with your goals for childbirth and consider aspects of your situation that they otherwise might not know about.
For example, studies have shown that mothers who had a birth plan were significantly more likely to give birth without an epidural and significantly less likely to have an episiotomy than mothers who did not have a birth plan.