Cheat Sheet: How I Wrote My Perfect Birth Plan

Cheat Sheet- How I Wrote My Perfect Birth PlanBirth plans. The best laid plans…

When I thought about laboring and delivering Madeline, my first-born, I felt confident that it would be on my terms, and that I would be able to be super-woman. Neither of those sentiments were true. I wanted to labor at home as long as possible; I was induced and labored all 19 hours in the hospital. I wanted the freedom to move around at will, trying different positions, etc.; the moment the contractions started, all I wanted to do was lay down. I wanted to try for a drug-free birth; I didn’t dilate at all after 12 grueling hours of labor with Cervidil. The nurses offered narcotics instead of an epidural when they saw how much pain I was in; I accepted — twice — and felt completely drugged, nauseated and NOT free of pain. After a few hours of Pitocin, I had only dilated to two centimeters; I elected for an epidural. I wanted to be allowed to eat and drink at will while in labor; I vomited up my delicious, undigested hospital dinner from the night before, and in an attempt to save me from aspirating (since I was paralyzed and couldn’t do more than turn my head), my husband threw me onto my side and unknowingly dislodged my epidural. After a few more hours of what I’ll call natural labor, it was discovered that my epidural was pooling under the tape on my back A.K.A. not going into my spine; I had a second epidural.

After the second, blessed epidural, my memories of labor are a LOT more pleasant. My brow unfurrowed, I said a few apologies to my nurses and I was able to relax for about an hour. In that hour I went from three to ten centimeters and was ready to push. Three pushes, a natural tear, some stitches and a baby later it was all over. NOTHING went according to the plan. In fact, Andrew and I shared quite a good laugh when I pulled up a copy of my birth plan for Madeline this week.

I can say this, though — I learned A LOT from my first labor and delivery. Most importantly, I learned that you need to be your own advocate and to be an advocate for your new baby, and the only way to even attempt that, in my opinion, is to go in with a plan.

So here it is…my highly-amended, one-page plan for the birth of baby number two three (*post has been updated as of 11/9/16, after the birth of Margaret). And I submit this to you with the full understanding that I may be crumpling up the page it is printed on and using it to wipe my brow during hour two of labor…


  • I would like to be offered an epidural early and often. With an effective epidural placed, I have in two past births dilated from 3 to 9.5/10 centimeters in the following hour. In the event my epidural is not 100% effective, I would like the option to have it replaced. I would also like to be well-versed on how the bolus works.
  • I would like to be given intravenous anti-nausea medication with my epidural. I do not want to throw up!!
  • I do not want my epidural turned down before or during pushing unless we have discussed it first.
  • As long as the baby and I are healthy, I prefer to have no time limits on pushing.


  • My delivery is planned as vaginal.
  • If a C-Section is thought medically necessary, I would like to make sure all other options have been exhausted.

After Delivery:

  • As long as my baby is healthy, please allow her to remain attached to the umbilical cord until it stops pulsating before clamping.
  • As long as my baby is healthy, I would like my baby placed immediately onto a blanket on my abdomen with a warm blanket over her.
  • I would like to hold my baby after she is wiped clean of vernix and amniotic fluid. She need not be swaddled, just wrapped loosely, so that skin to skin contact and an attempt at breastfeeding may be achieved.

Newborn Procedures:

  • Please delay all essential medical exams and procedures (i.e. bathing) on my baby until after our initial bonding/breastfeeding period.
  • My intention is to exclusively breastfeed.
  • I would like to see a lactation consultant as soon as possible for recommendations and guidance. In the first 24 hours, I would like my baby screened for both tongue AND lip ties and for corrective measures to be offered if either is found.
  • If my baby’s health is in jeopardy, I would like to breastfeed or express my milk for her, to have as much bodily contact with her as possible and for my husband to remain with her at all times.

Did you end up going all-natural or epidural? Vaginal delivery or scheduled/emergency C-section? What are your suggestions for the perfect birth plan?


  1. I had both of mine vaginal w no epidural- exactly what I wanted. Although, I think if I did it again, I would try the epidural to see how it compares.


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