In your third trimester, you should start reading and thinking about creating a birth plan. And just like so many other pregnancy-related decisions you've had to make, there are pros and cons to consider. Read on for a list of reasons for and against creating a birth plan.


When in labor, you'll be thankful you have one

You'll likely be in pain and feel exhausted. And at a certain point, trying to make big decisions will feel impossible. If you've already prepared a plan of what you'd like to happen, not only will that be helpful to your healthcare providers, but it will also help you and your partner.

Gives you a sense of control

If you're like most pregnant women, you've felt out of control during your entire pregnancy. Creating a birth plan can help you feel like you're taking back the reins (at least temporarily).

Helps you feel prepared

Going into your delivery with a birth plan in hand will help you feel more prepared. A birth plan is usually very detailed and covers everything from if you want to be medicated to if you want skin-to-skin contact with your baby after he or she is born. Having made many of these important decisions in advance can take a huge weight off your shoulders.

Keep you and your doctor on the same page

Creating a birth plan is a great way to keep you and your medical providers on the same page. Once you've created your birth plan, it's important to discuss it with your doctor so he or she has a better idea of what you want during the labor process.


The nurses don't read it

Be prepared for the fact that even if you hand your plan to your nurse or doctor when you arrive, they often won't read it. Or even if they do, they'll ask you the questions again. Even though it's on a piece of paper, they need to make sure that you still feel the same way.

The plan often changes

Like anything, a plan is just that -- a plan. Don't expect your birth plan to go exactly as, well, planned. Labor is something you might believe you can plan everything for, but just like when you'll go into labor or how long labor will be, there are many things about it that are out of your control.

You could also be setting yourself up for disappointment

If you get an idea of what your birth will look like in your mind and it doesn't happen that way (and most likely, it won't), you could be creating unnecessary negative feelings during your delivery, which is the last thing you want. Just remember -- it is possible to over-plan, especially when it comes to the birth of your baby.

More about birth plans

How to prepare in case your home birth plan fails
The truth about birth plans
What is a birth plan?