Your Birth Preferences
Informed Decision Making
You will be making many decisions for yourself and your baby. In order to be informed and prepared, Stanford Health Care – ValleyCare has provided a collection of evidence-based information on our website to assist you in identifying your needs and preferences.
We encourage you to learn about the topics on our website and to bring any questions to your provider. As you explore the areas of this section and you wish to learn more, we have included links that will direct you to reputable sources including Lamaze International, Childbirth Connection, and the Share with Women series by the American College of Nursing Midwives (ACNM). The purpose of this information is to help you make the best choices for your maternity care based on your needs and preferences.
We wish for you to actively participate in collaborating with your care team because your preferences matter to us. Please keep in mind that some of your decisions before and during childbirth are best made in collaboration with your provider during prenatal care visits, well in advance of the time of birth.
Creating Your Birth Plan
Creating a birth plan is an opportunity to share your values, preferences and make informed decisions with your care team based on your specific needs.
Remember, every birth is unique and may not go according to plan, but the health and well-being of you and your baby is always our top priority. Creating a birth plan will help us best give you the birth experience you want.
Remember, as you learn about your labor and childbirth options, you can write down any questions or concerns you may want to ask your provider.
- What options are available to me when it comes to giving birth?
- What does the best available research say about the benefits, risks, and complications of each of these options?
- What are my needs and preferences, and what are those of my spouse/partner?
- What types of pain management options are best for me?
You may find it helpful to also think about:
- What kind of environment will make me most comfortable?
- Do I want to have visitors around me during labor/delivery?
- Who do I want with me to coach me during labor?
- Do I want to participate in the "Magic Hour"? The Magic Hour is the first 2 hours after birth where you can quietly bond with your baby and staff won't allow visitors unless you ask?
- How will I communicate to others that it is OK to visit?
- Do I want to breastfeed in the delivery room?
- What is most important to me during labor and birth (your biggest goals or priorities)?
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