"A birth plan is a guide but anything can happen during the delivery."

A birth plan indicates your preference for the labour and delivery. Although making a birth plan is encouraged during pregnancy, do remember that labour can be unpredictable and there are times when your doctor may have to gently decline your request.

"Not everyone may want a written birth plan. What is most important is to discuss with your doctor around 36 weeks with regards to your preference for the labour, pain relief and any concerns. This will make the childbirth more meaningful for you and your partner. You will also be more mentally prepared for the D day," shares the Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology at KK Women's and Children's Hospital (KKH), a member of the SingHealth group.

Birth plan: What to include

A birth plan is an organised plan to keep you and your doctor/midwife on the same page during labour so as to ensure fulfilling outcomes. Delivery is an unique experience and should be enjoyed.

After researching on the delivery methods available, choose reasonable and acceptable options and write them down. Discuss these options when close to your delivery date, so that your doctor knows your preferences.

Discussion points with your doctor should include:

  • Induction
  • Pain relief
  • Ambulation
  • Cord cutting
  • Episiotomy
  • Cord blood banking

Your preference for C-section should be also be made known.

Some patients are disappointed when things do not go according to plan. But do expect some unforeseen progress in labour and be flexible. After all, you and your baby's safety are top priority regardless of mode of delivery. Remember, you have tried your best and your baby will be most proud of you.

Ref: M19