Writing Your Birth Plan to Avoid a Cesarean and Include a Cesarean

A birth plan isn't really a plan, but an helpful tool for preparing in advance of your birth, and to open discussions with your care provider and birth support team during a prenatal appointment. Think of your birth plan as "preferences" with the understanding that it's impossible to plan a physiological (naturally occuring and unpredictable) event like birth any more than you can plan how and when tulips will bloom in the spring. The process of creating a birth plan is an important part of your educational, mental, and emotional preparation. Below, we share with you language to include in your birth plan for how you would like to avoid a cesarean as well as language for being supported and cared for in the event that a cesarean becomes necessary. For the latter, it's extremely important to discuss with your care provider as early as possible as these "family friendly" cesarean preferences are routinely in use only in a handful of hospitals across the United States. But as those hospitals are finding, including the changes in procedure make a world of difference for mom and baby, and are very easy to implement. The more women demand family-centered cesarean, the more we can see it become standard everywhere!

semi-sitting in chair hooked up.JPGYour Birth Plan Preferences For and Against Cesarean

To avoid a cesarean, include:


In the event of a cesarean, include:

  • I plan to have two support persons in the OR
  • I would like to keep one hand free during and after birth
  • Please lower the curtain when my baby is born so I can see my baby
  • I would like to have my baby skin to skin in the OR
  • I would like to initiate breastfeeding in the OR or immediately after surgery in post-op
  • I would like for there to be no separation of mom and baby


The above are just a few of what is available during and after a cesarean. For more information on what to include, check out this comprehensive cesarean birth plan from Birth Without Fear. Ultimately, it's up to you as to what is important and what isn't. A birth plan should include the most important desires, and should always be discussed during a prenatal appointment, well in advance of birth. If your care provider or place of birth isn't on board, you may want to seek a new option, if it is available to you.

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