How to create a birth plan - Ruth Health

How to create a birth plan

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Download your free birth plan template here.

While labor and delivery don’t always go as expected, creating a birth plan can help you feel as prepared as possible and make sure that your birthing team understands what’s most important to you. There’s a lot to include in a birth plan, so we’ve compiled a list of what to consider as you get started.


To set the stage for your birthing journey, start with all things labor-related, including your desired atmosphere, support system, and pain management.

Here are some questions to ask yourself about your labor preferences.


  • Where do you want to give birth?
  • Do you want to listen to music?
  • What are your lighting preferences?
  • Do you want to wear your own clothes?
  • What are your must-have items?

Birthing team

  • Who do you want with you? Your partner? Family? Friends?
  • Are you enlisting the support of a doula or midwife?

Include the names and contact information of all the people you want present during labor.

How to labor

  • Do you want to lie down? Use a birthing ball?
  • Do you want to walk around freely?
  • Do you want to use hydrotherapy? (Some hospitals offer access to hydrotherapy pools.)
  • Do you want continuous or intermittent fetal monitoring? (Consult your care team when making this decision.)
  • Do you have a preferred labor and birthing position?
  • Do you have a preferred pushing method?

Pain management

  • What’s your pain management plan? What medication do you want to take, if any?
  • Do you want an epidural?
  • Do you want alternative comfort measures such as breathwork, hot or cold therapy, or massage therapy?

Include information about allergies, other health conditions, and any medications you take.


When creating a birth plan, it’s important to consider all possible scenarios and to include options if delivery doesn’t go exactly according to plan.

Ask your doctor about both vaginal and cesarean delivery (C section).

  • Do you want to watch the delivery? If you’d like to record your baby’s birth, be sure to check hospital guidelines.
  • Under which conditions would you like an episiotomy? This is a minor incision to the skin and muscles between the vaginal opening and anus. In rare cases, it may be necessary to prevent tearing.

Assisted vaginal delivery may be medically required under certain circumstances, such as if there are concerns about your baby’s heart rate or if you have a health condition that limits your ability to safely push.

  • Under which circumstances do you want assisted vaginal delivery?

Be sure to consider all aspects of C-section delivery, from anesthesia to whether you want your partner to hold your baby as soon as possible.

  • What is your plan if a C-section is necessary? Would you like your partner to remain with you the entire time?

Recovery and postnatal care

What do you want your baby’s first moments to look like?

Make sure your birth plan includes your preferences for umbilical cord cutting, skin-to-skin contact, and other important postnatal considerations.

Immediate care

  • Do you want your baby’s first exam given in your presence? In your partner’s?
  • Who do you want to cut the umbilical cord?
  • Do you want to bank or donate cord blood?
  • What do you want to do with the placenta?
  • Do you want your baby to receive antibiotic eye ointment or vitamin K?
  • Do you want skin-to-skin contact with your baby? Do you want to hold your baby immediately after birth?
  • How do you want to feed your baby?


Get started on your birth plan

While you can’t completely predict how labor and delivery will go, your birth plan will keep you, your care team, and your loved ones on the same page.

Download your free birth plan template here.

Each journey into parenthood is unique, so feel free to add other information based on your needs. And remember to stay flexible.

At Ruth Health, we strive to bring you the facts so you can make decisions with ease — the decisions that are best for you. Let us know what other topics you’re interested in learning more about by emailing us at

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