Birth Preferences Worksheets

Labor and birth options & preparation

The idea of these birth preference worksheets (see buttons below) is to remind you that you have choices in labor. We are consumers in the health care system and we must ask for what we want. There are many "hospital procedures" that may not be best for you or your baby, so it is up to you to talk to your health care provider (HCP) about what you might want to do differently. Ask for individualized care.

This worksheet will point out topics you need to research, issues you need to discuss with your HCP and important desires to share with your birthing team.

It is usually best to make a list of questions for your health care provider, rather than handing them the entire birth preferences worksheet. When you have gotten all your questions answered (it may even take a few visits to get through all your questions) I suggest making a one page birth preference sheet listing your top five or ten desires. Make several copies- give one to your HCP for your chart, one to each member of your birthing team (partner, doula, etc...) and put a couple in your birthing bag for your nurses at the hospital / birthing center.

It is important that your HCP has a birthing philosophy that closely mirrors yours and that your trust your HCP. Sometimes in birth, special circumstances arise and it is crucial that you are able to trust that your HCP has the wellbeing of you and your baby in mind, free of other motivating factors. When you have a HCP that you trust, you will feel okay straying from your birth preferences if a special circumstance arises. If you find your HCP is not the right fit for you, it's never too late to change providers.

When suggestions are made to stray from your birth preferences (and it is a non-emergent situation) you have time to ask the questions below. Once these questions are answered, ask for some time alone with your birth team to discuss and make your decision.

B- Benefits What are the benefits to the proposed intervention?
R- Risks What are the risks to the proposed intervention?
A- Alternatives What other options are there?
 I- Intuition What is my heart telling me?
N- Nothing What if we do nothing? Can we talk about it again in an hour? Two hours?