Preparing a plan for your labor and delivery in advance allows you to think through your alternatives with a clear and rational mind. Take the time to discuss the issues as a couple, and if possible your maternity care provider before you make your plan.
When you do go into labor a birth plan provides a clear idea of what your expectations are for you and your partner and the attendants at the birth of your baby. Just remember when you prepare this document that it is only a plan and you may wish to adjust it once you begin to experience your labor. It is important that both you and your partner understand that labor and birth are not always predictable, and allowing for the unexpected is the safest attitude when making a birth plan.
It is a good idea to establish clear guidelines with your partner about changing your plan. For example, initially you may decide that you do not want to have any pain relief, but after 8 hours of labor you might wish to change your mind. Set a time period after you first ask for the pain relief, say 10 minutes, before you actually go ahead as you may find you can continue to cope.
Your carers at your birth are experienced and you should also listen to them for guidance.
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