by Justine Deputy, RN, MSN

Photo Credit: Blueprint Photography

Why create birth goals or write a birth plan? Although nothing can truly be planned and we must expect the unexpected, birth goals are an important task to complete during pregnancy. The process of writing one’s goals allows for the opportunity of introspection of oneself for mom and her partner. Education and preparation are extremely beneficial in pregnancy to guide parents through labor, delivery, and postpartum period.

The midwives and nurses at your birth utilize the information you share to provide individualized high-quality care to each of our clients.

The following is taken from The Birth Center Client Manual. All Birth Center patients fill out the form during pregnancy and review the form with the midwives during prenatal appointments.


Refer to the following form as a starting off point to creating your birth goals. It is important that you spend time thinking about each aspect of the birth experience and discuss them with your midwife. We will keep a copy of your wishes on your chart for the midwives and nurses to refer to during your labor, and, in the event of a hospital transfer, to share with the doctor and hospital staff. Use this form or create your own.

During labor we request the following:

Birth Room: 1st Choice:______________ 2nd Choice: _____________

People Present: ______________________________________________________

Labor aides and relaxation methods (shower, tub, massage, aromatherapy, candles, music, etc): ______________________________________________________

During the birth we request the following: ______________________________________________________

People present: ______________________________________________________

Person to cut the cord: ______________________________________________________

I am collecting cord blood: Yes No

I would like a mirror: Yes No

Other requests: ______________________________________________________

After the birth we request the following: ______________________________________________________

People Present: ______________________________________________________

Celebration Meal: ______________________________________________________

Coping with the stress of labor: ______________________________________________________

As partners, we have discussed how each of us reacts in stressful situations to try to predict how we will each respond during labor.

Her physical signs of stress (i.e. tenses jaw, complains of an upset stomach, becomes quiet or chatty, or gets headaches):


Her coping mechanisms: ______________________________________________________

Relevant Partner/support person information related to stress: ______________________________________________________

Help at Home

We realize that we will need help in our home for the first two weeks after the baby is born. We will need help with cooking, cleaning, caring for older children or pets, and caring for the new mom and baby. We plan to meet these needs by: _______________________________________________________

Hospital Transfer

Although we hope to have a birth at TBC, we realize there is a possibility we will be transferred to the hospital. We have thought through and discussed how the atmosphere and interventions in the hospital are different from TBC’s and would like to make our wishes known. Here are some of the things we would like to request if we birth in a hospital. _______________________________________________________________________________________________

Take time during your pregnancy to really think about each one of these questions to determine what might be best for you during labor. It may even help you become more in tune with yourself and your partner! Unfortunately, as much as we plan, unexpected circumstances can arise. Try to be flexible when the unpredictable happens. A healthy outcome for mom and baby is what is most important. Looking for more guidance on creating your birth plan? Make sure to take the Childbirth Full Series: Healthy Birth or the Childbirth Series for the Planned Hospital Birth.