Personalised Care Plans and Birth Preferences

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What matters to me…

Personal care plans are designed to help you explore, understand and record your individual choices for pregnancy, birth and early parenthood. Every woman, birthing person and family is different, with unique needs which influence their care and personal preferences. Plans are not intended to be written once and not revisited. Your maternity care plan will usually change as your pregnancy progresses and you will gain a greater understanding of the options available to you. These adaptable plans focus on you as an individual – your hopes, needs, anxieties and  your journey leading up to pregnancy.

If you need help, your midwife and/or doctor can help you to complete or adapt your personal care plans at any point during your pregnancy and it’s a great idea to share your plans and preferences with them at your antenatal appointments. Keeping a copy of your care plan with your handheld maternity notes means you are always prepared to discuss your options or share any concerns with your maternity team.

Birth preferences/birth plan

The purpose of a birth plan is to record details of what you would like to happen during your labour and birth. Preparing a birth plan allows you to organise your thoughts and feelings around your care and provides opportunities to share your wishes with your maternity team and birth partner. The plan is a great way for your midwife to get to know you better and understand your feelings and priorities so they can support you to achieve the labour and birth you want.

We know that plans do not always go exactly the way we anticipate and that birth can be unpredictable. However, being prepared and exploring all options before you go into labour gives you a sense of being prepared, empowered and ready for the unexpected.

There are lots of great birth preference templates available. If you need some inspiration try these:

 If you choose to write your own, the following list may help you with content ideas:

  • Where to give birth
  • Role of the birth partner/s
  • Birthing equipment
  • Birth environment
  • Keeping active in labour/birthing positions
  • Pain management
  • Plans for the third stage of labour
  • Feeding baby

Accepting that your plans may change during labour and birth and exploring your options and educating yourself, will empower you as you work towards your ideal birth experience.

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