Not sure how to write a birth plan? Follow our guide

You should starting thinking about the type of birth you want from as early as your second trimester, but you only really need to put it on paper until you’re between 32 – 36 weeks pregnant.

Keep your birth plan short – it should only be one single sheet of paper with bullet points.

Remember that everything doesn’t always go according to plan, so it’s important to be flexible.

ALSO SEE: How to create a birth plan for multiples

Once you’ve chosen the options you prefer for your birth below, fill in the details in the form you can download here and give it to your midwife or doctor to sign.

Consider the following options

Preferred birthing option:

  • Natural birth
  • C-section
  • Water birth
  • No assisted delivery with forceps or a vacuum unless my baby is in distress.

ALSO SEE: Birth options and what they cost in South Africa

Amenities I’d like in the birthing room:

  • Music
  • Dim lights
  • My own clothes for the labour and delivery
  • Take pictures and or video during labour and delivery
  • To walk and move around as I choose

I’d like access to, or to be able to bring the following with me:

  • Birthing chair / stool
  • Birthing ball
  • Beanbag chair
  • Birthing pool / tub
  • Other: ____________________________________________________________________

I’d like to try the following pain-management techniques:

  • I would prefer to try to labour without pain medication. I will ask if I want something for the pain.
  • Bath/shower
  • Breathing exercises
  • Massage
  • TENS machine
  • Epidural
  • Other: _____________________________________________________________________


  • I’d prefer to tear naturally and not to have an episiotomy.
  • I’d prefer to have an episiotomy if needed.

ALSO SEE: 9 remedies to help soothe those stitches down there

Post-delivery I’d like to:

  • Hold my baby right away, putting off any procedures that aren’t urgent.
  • Breastfeed as soon as possible.
  • To wait until the umbilical cord stops pulsating before it’s clamped and cut.
  • My partner to cut the umbilical cord.
  • Bank my baby’s cord blood privately.

If I have a C-section, I’d like:

  • My partner present at all times during the operation.
  • To hold my baby after birth.
  • To breastfeed my baby as soon as possible.

ALSO SEE: What is a gentle C-section?

My baby’s care after birth:

  • I don’t want my baby to receive supplementary feeds unless medically indicated.
  • I want my baby to remain skin to skin after the birth.
  • I don’t want my baby bathed for the first 24 / 48 / 72 hours.

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