Do You Need A Birth Plan?

As a first time mom, there is a lot of pressure around the right thing to do. Should you birth at home or at the hospital? Should you breastfeed or use formula? What should be on your baby registry? It feels like there are a ton of decisions to be made and everyone has a different opinion on it. You can read one article that will tell you not to get cervical checks due to an increased risk of infection. The next article will tell you that cervical checks are completely normal and don’t increase risk of anything. A lot of our decisions tend to be on what the doctors are recommending and then we have to decide if we trust the doctors. One question I’ve decided to address is- do you need a birth plan?

What is a Birth Plan?

Let’s start with the basics. As a first time mom, you may not even know what a birth plan is! Your plan may just be to go into labor and head to the hospital. After all, that’s how women have done this for years! There is truly nothing wrong with that. I want to be very clear here, if that is your choice I am not putting you down for it. Birth is incredibly personal and all of your choices deserve to be respected. 

That said, some of us want to have more of a structure when we arrive to the hospital (or even birth at home). Having a birth plan allows us to address things like the environment we want to birth in, the type of medicine we want during birth, or specific treatment we do or don’t want after the baby is born. If there is anything that you strongly want or don’t want for your birth, you will want to make sure that you have a birth plan.

How to Make a Birth Plan?

Once you decide you want a birth plan, the next question becomes how do you make one? I know some people who just write it on a piece of paper and move on. To be honest, I decided to type out a little list of things that were very important to me and that’s all I wanted. Knowing that I am being induced makes my plan a little different. I have to go in knowing it will likely be more challenging. I’m also pretty good about speaking up for myself and saying no to things that I really don’t want. If that is not something you are good at, you’ll want to make sure it’s on the paper for them to read and reference.


Search for a birth plan on pinterest. You’re going to get about a million results and it’ll be overwhelming at first. However, it will start to give you an idea of what you are looking for and what is included in a good plan. Some of them can be printed off for free through the links there even, which is a great way to get a plan. I used several of these resources to pull together my list. One of the great things about Pinterest is that you get to see so many versions and it can help you start to put the pieces together about what might work for you. 

Etsy Templates

One way to get your birth plan is to purchase a template from Etsy. This is a relatively inexpensive way to get a cute little form to fill out and bring with you. It’ll help make sure you address the major points. 

Earth Mama’s Birth Plan

Earth Mama is absolutely wonderful and put together this birth plan that is FREE for you to use. It is very in depth and has a lot of questions associated but it’ll address many situations you may encounter during the process.

You should also definitely check out some of their products while you are there because they are wonderful. I’ve been drinking the third trimester tea for a couple weeks now to try to prepare my body for labor. 

Here is a small portion of my birth plan. Simple and to the point.


I think it’s important to make sure that there is some flexibility in your plan. I only mention this because even writing things down may not work. Each person’s body and labor is going to be completely different. Try to remember that not sticking to the plan isn’t a failure. Sometimes we think we need to have it all figured out when, in reality, God’s already got this. He’s got it all planned out for you. Make all the plans and help yourself feel more comfortable but at the end of the day it’s all up to God’s will.

In Summary: Do You Need a Birth Plan?

Well, what have you decided? Do you need a birth plan? Even if it is short and sweet like mine, I think it’s worth having one. If nothing else, it gets you thinking about birth and can help your mindset. There are also things that may be addressed in the birth plan that, as a first time mom, you haven’t even thought about. When I first started looking there were different things I had to look up to see what they even were! Not only did making a plan make me feel more confident in the things I did want but it also helped me understand other options that are available to me throughout the process. 

If you’ve already had your baby, did you use a birth plan? Did things go according to plan? 

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