Planning Your Birth Experience
A little planning goes a long ways — especially when it comes to giving birth. While each birth is unique and sometimes comes with surprises, creating a plan for your birth will help us support you, your family and what you value while you’re doing the hard work of labor.
First, have a look
As you look forward to giving birth, we invite you to tour the Family Birth Place and our birthing suites. Due to public health considerations, our tours are offered online.
For your comfort, your birthing suite will be yours for your entire stay. You’ll labor, deliver (except for C-sections and special circumstances) and recover in your suite. Your support person will also appreciate that each room includes a daybed so they can get some sleep too.
If you've chosen to deliver with one of our certified nurse-midwives, you'll labor, deliver and recover in one of our midwifery suites. These suites feature a more homelike environment designed for low-intervention, low-risk births.
Next, make a plan
Writing out your birth plan gives you a chance to think about your goals and preferences. Sharing your plan with your provider and family helps keep everyone on the same page. Be sure to tuck a copy in your hospital bag.
While there are many birth plan templates available online and in pregnancy books, some key things to consider include:
- Who do you want as your support person(s)?
- What mood or feel do you want as you labor?
- What positions or equipment do you want to try as you labor?
- How do you want to approach pain management?
- What interventions do you value? Which do you hope to avoid?
- What do you want to happen with your baby immediately after birth?
Your birth plan matters tremendously to us. We want to do all we can to have the birth you want most.
Now get packed
Your birth plan may also guide what you decide to include in your hospital bag. In addition to comfortable going-home clothes for you and your baby, you’ll want to pack things to help you during labor. Ideas include:
- Your birth plan, photo ID and insurance card.
- The TV in your room will have a channel that plays relaxing nature sounds and music. You can also download your favorite music on your phone to listen to during labor and the rest of your stay.
- Comfort items like slippers and a robe.
- A camera and plenty of memory cards and your phone and charger.
- Maternity bras and nursing pads.
You’ll also need to have your baby’s car seat before you can go home. During your stay, we will provide diapers and blankets for baby and feminine products for you.
A note on breast pumps: If you have not purchased a breast pump, we can offer you one free of charge and bill it to your insurance. If you’ve already purchased a breast pump, feel free to bring it with you. Our lactation team will help you get the hang of using whichever pump you get.