Labor and Delivery (cont.)
IN THIS ARTICLE
Planning for Birth
Consider a birth plan
During your prenatal visits, talk with your doctor about your labor and delivery options. You may want to write them down as a birth plan. It's an ideal picture of what you would like to happen.
But try to be flexible. No labor and delivery can be predicted or planned. So give yourself permission to change your mind at any time. And be prepared for your childbirth to be different from what you planned. If an emergency arises, your doctor has a responsibility to ensure both your safety and your baby's safety. You may still be allowed to share in some decisions, but your choices may be limited.
What to put in a birth plan
When you are writing your birth plan, think about:
This is also a good time to decide whether you'll attend (if you haven't already) a childbirth education class, starting in your 6th or 7th month of pregnancy.
What to expect at the hospital
You may feel more calm and prepared for labor if you know what is likely to happen when you get to the hospital.
Most hospitals and birthing centers have birthing rooms where women can labor, deliver, and recover. Providing that you have an uncomplicated birth, you can probably be in the same birthing room for your entire stay. If your delivery becomes complicated, you can be quickly moved to a delivery room equipped to handle the problem.
If you arrive at the hospital or birthing center in early labor that is progressing quickly, you can expect some or all of the following:
Newborn care decisions
Before your baby is born, plan ahead about:
For more information, see:
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