I'm approaching the 30 week mark and getting some sort of birth plan written down or just in my head is a task that I can't really avoid for much longer! I never really bothered having one when I had Lily, I went with the whole "we'll see what happens" theory and it went well.
This time though, we're planning on staying at home and I just feel like we need to have something written down for the midwife that turns up and to layout what we'd like to happen if that plan has to change and we're taken off to hospital. Based on how smoothly everything went with LIly, my midwife has express no concerns with us staying at home and if I'm honest, there is nothing I can't have at at home that I didn't have last time. For me, it seems silly going all the way to hospital if there really isn't a reason too. If it's your first baby I'd still say to go as you don't know how you'll be, how you'll body will cope, but I think if you've had an uncomplicated baby before, then staying at home could be a good option you.
I started by downloading a template from the NHS. (Click Here to view) as I was really unsure where to start. It covers every major area that you need to think of, but you can always add anything to it if you want to and attach it to it. The plan takes you through who you want to be there with you, if you'd like them there in different scenarios such as a c-section and assisted deliveries. It also asks you about where you want to give birth.
You also have sections that state how you'd like to be monitored during labour and if you want to be able to move about or not. It may all sound silly and obvious when you sit and read through it, but as it's such an unpredictable event, it's good to have it written somewhere as everything can be confusing and different when the time comes.
On mine, I'm also including a section about what I'd like to happen if we need to change plan and go to the hospital. whether this is beforehand or during, I think it's best to cover every possible situation. Not only will it help your midwife, but it will also help you and your partner be prepared for every eventuality. There isn't a specific section for this so i have written about how I feel about it and attached it to the back of the plan, a bit like when you need extra paper in an exam!
It also covers how you'd like things to be afterwards. For example do you want skin to skin contact right away or would you like the baby to be cleaned a little first and how you would like to feed your baby. The template also offers boxes for you to write additional comments. These are great to highlight areas you feel you'll need extra support with or just general comments.
Another thing you have to remember is this isn't set in stone. It's more of a guideline than a plan. Obviously, the professionals helping you need to do what's best for you and your baby, but this plan gives them and your partner a guide as to how you'd like things to go if possible.