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What nurses need to know about birth plans

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Each day, almost 11,000 babies are born in the U.S. alone. That’s a lot of expectant mothers—and a lot of nurses, doulas and midwives helping them deliver their babies! Many mothers develop detailed birth plans as soon as they learn of their impending bundles of joy, while others have no plans whatsoever (and no plans to make any plans!) up until the big moment arrives.

Navigating the world of birth plans with your patients can be tricky—after all, it’s one of the biggest and most emotional days of the patient’s life. Here, we give you the expert tips and tricks you need to know about birth plans, how to avoid pitfalls and, most importantly, how to support the mother as she brings a beautiful baby into the world!

Why are birth plans necessary?
Some expectant mothers may arrive in your office with highly detailed plans that throw you. It’s important to understand where these mothers—and their families—are coming from.

A birth plan serves several purposes:

  • It provides communication so all parties involved—from the family to the medical team—can assist the mother in achieving the birth that she wants.
  • Having options and direction provides peace of mind so the mother feels like she’s in control of her experience.

Most importantly, as doula Maritday Rodriguez points out, “Giving birth is a natural process, but things can come up. Creating a birth plan supports the mother’s first decisions and her needs during labor and delivery.”

Next: What’s in a birth plan? →

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