Staci Bishop

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Sample Birth Plan

There are a couple of different camps when it comes to birth plans.

1) Have a plan. Stick to it.
2) Birth is unpredictable. Don't bother with a plan.

I'm somewhere in the middle, I suppose. In my experience, birth is unique for every woman and "textbook" births are rare, but I do think having a plan is important. Here's why...

Having a plan is a conversation starter. 

I encourage my clients to start working on their birth plan at our first prenatal visit (usually in the beginning of the 3rd trimester). Next, I encourage them to discuss it with their provider. This typically pushes some deeper conversations about how the provider approaches birth and what they feel comfortable with. Often times, this brings to light some deal breakers for my client and they switch providers. Sometimes it confirms they are on the same page and builds trusts. Either way, it helps you and your care provider learn more about each other.

Having a plan helps determine your philosophy about birth. 

Writing down what's important to you, helps you to get a grasp on how you will approach your birth. This will also help your birthing team (care provider, doula, staff, family members) gain insight into what is on or off limits for your care.

Having a plan builds knowledge. 

Before you can spell out your preferences, you might have to do a little research to know what they are. Learning about the pros/cons of vaginal exams, cord clamping, electronic fetal monitoring, ect. helps you to be knowledgeable about the procedures.

Having a plan engages you in your care. 

Because you've done the research, you now know the usual and customary procedures for your birth. So when something deviates from that plan, you naturally speak up and ask why. Being engaged in your own care goes a long way in making sure you received true informed consent and will also help ensure you receive the best care possible for you as an individual.


Preparing a birth plan is pretty simple. You simply need to include your identifying information and a list of your preferences. However, I can tell you that long or jumbled birth plans are less likely to be read.

Here are a few key tips when writing a birth plan.
  • Keep your birth plan to one page - MOST IMPORTANT TIP! 
  • Use a font that's easy to read and the larger the better.
  • Make key information such as name, allergies, and care provider easy to locate. 
  • Break your plan into easy to identify sections (mom, baby, labor, delivery, ect)
  • Include a Cesarean plan. This may not be plan A,  but it's important just in case.
Below is a sample birth plan format that you can use to get you started. Please note that this is just a sample plan. nYn does not advocate for or against any of these procedures. We do support family choice and informed consent!

Click here to be taken to the Google Doc version. You can click File>Download As>Microsoft Word to save and edit this plan for yourself. 

Have questions? Need more info? Having trouble with the Google Doc? Feel free to contact me at

Sunday, February 1, 2015

[GIVEAWAY] Empower Your Birth Ticket

I am SO excited that the Empower Your Birth conference is back again this year on March 7th. Last year, I had a great experience at the event in Murfreesboro. This year, it's going to be in Nashville! In fact, it's just a few miles from my home. Yay!

This conference is a must-attend event and will appeal to a wide-variety of attendees. Are you...
  • a parent
  • thinking about pregnancy
  • expecting
  • a birth professional
  • interested in women's health

If so, this is the event for you. Trust me, these are your people! The agenda has some amazing speakers including...
  • Penny Simkin (The Birth Partner)
  • Stacie Hunt (Farm Midwife)
  • Joe Valley (Empowered Papa)
  • read their bios!

Breakout sessions include topics such as... 
  • breastfeeding
  • comfort measures
  • gentle parenting
  • chiropractic
  • birth plans
  • vitamin K
  • placenta encapsulation
  • there are over 20 speakers!

They are also offered several Q&A panel sessions where you can ask specific questions about...

But, wait! There's more. You can even join in on an interactive class for
  • yoga
  • baby wearing
  • rebozo techniques

Plus, the vendor hall is filled with some of the most amazing businesses and resources found in Middle Tennessee.

You do NOT want to miss this event!

nYn is teaming up with Empower Your Birth to offer one lucky winner a complimentary all-day ticket to the event. This includes lunch as well as the evening movie screening and dessert bar. Simply enter the Rafflecopter giveaway below for a chance to win!