prenatal visits, talk with your doctor or midwife about what you would like
to happen during your labor. Consider writing up your labor and delivery
preferences in a birthing plan, either in a
childbirth education class or on your own. You can
find examples of birthing plans on parenting websites.
Because no labor or delivery can be fully anticipated or planned in
advance, be flexible. Your experience after labor begins may be totally
different from what you expected. If an emergency or an urgent situation
arises, your plans may be changed for your own or your baby's safety.
When making plans for your baby's birth, consider the
location of your delivery,
who will deliver your baby, and whether you want
continuous labor support from a
doula, a friend, or family members. If you haven't
already, this is also a good time to decide whether you'll attend a
childbirth education class, starting in your sixth or
seventh month of pregnancy.
Learn about labor and delivery ahead of time. Think
through your preferences for comfort measures, pain relief, medical procedures,
and fetal monitoring. And think through how you want to handle your first hours with your
newborn. For more information, see the topic Labor and Delivery.
Planning to breast-feed
Plan ahead for breast-feeding by learning about breast-feeding and finding a
lactation consultant ahead of time and buying necessary
supplies. For more information,
see the topic Breast-Feeding.
- Breast-Feeding: Planning Ahead
Cord blood banking
Sometime during your pregnancy, you may get information about cord blood banking. Cord blood is the blood left in the umbilical cord after birth. Think about whether you want to bank your baby's umbilical cord blood for possible future use.
- Pregnancy: Should I Bank My Baby's Umbilical Cord Blood?