Preparing for Labor: Birth Plans
That said, a birth plan can be a good idea. It describes your wishes for your birth to your health care team and helps you clarify what kind of birth you want as you are preparing for labor. You have many options during the birth process, including the pain relief techniques you want to use, birthing positions, the number of visitors you want present and even whether you'll allow videotaping. The importance of detailing the kind of birth you'd like to have ahead of time is that you won't have the time or energy to verbalize them during labor. You'll be too focused on having a baby to remind people not to break out their cameras.
Discuss your birth plan with your health care providers when you're preparing for labor during the final weeks of pregnancy to see if they are on the same page with your wishes. And pack a copy into your hospital bag ahead of time so you're sure to have it.
If things don't go exactly according to plan, it's important to be flexible with your birth plan if necessary. Even all the preparing for labor on earth can't really prepare you for the big event. So don't get down on yourself if things don't go exactly according to your birth plan. And you should also feel free to change your mind and toss parts, or all, of your birth plan out the window. If you stated you don't want an epidural, but change your mind when you're in labor, don't beat yourself up! The important thing is to bring your happy, healthy baby into the world!