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Is a Birth Plan Important?

Updated: May 11, 2023

Pregnant lady writing a birth plan

One of the things I talk to the couples on my hypnobirthing course about is the importance of a birth plan. Or birth ‘preferences’ as I prefer to call it. The easiest way to explain its importance is to liken it to planning a wedding.


Your wedding day is seen as one of the most important days of your life, you spend months, even years planning to make sure every detail is perfect and the day runs smoothly and is everything you want. Giving birth to your child is also seen as one of the most, if not the most important days of your life, yet many couples don’t do anywhere near as much preparation for it.

You wouldn’t just turn up on the day of your wedding and hope it all goes to plan, neither should you just turn up to give birth and hope it is everything you want it to be. This is why birth preferences are so important. It’s a chance to sit down with your partner and talk about what it is you both want from the birth. Do you want to labour at home? In hospital? Do you want music playing? Do you want pain relief? If so, what? What happens if your plan A isn’t possible? Do you have a plan B? What happens if you require an unplanned caesarean? You get the drift…there are so many different parts to giving birth, so many different things to think about that it is always a good idea to consider them beforehand so you, your birth partner and your caregivers know exactly what it is you want.


Once you have written down what you would like for your perfect birth, have a think about what you might want if circumstances change. When circumstances change, choices change and so a plan B is worth having. I would also recommend thinking about what you would like if a caesarean section becomes necessary. I totally get this is something most people don’t want to think about, but occasionally they are necessary and so it is always worth thinking about.

There are ways you can have a gentle caesarean:

  • You can request for the lights at your head end be dimmed

  • The curtain can be dropped so you can see baby being born

  • Music of your choice can be played throughout (a friend of mine had all her favourite Disney songs playing!)

  • Baby can be ‘walked out’ gently

  • Immediate skin to skin

  • Delayed cord clamping

Hopefully after reading this you will feel motivated and excited to sit down and think about what you want from your birth. It’s a great way to bond with your birth partner as well.

To get you started and to give you some ideas, I have created a sample birth plan. You can download it below.

Birth Preferences
Download DOCX • 114KB

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Hypnobirthing and doula Southend
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