Baby talk: What is a birth plan and how to create yours

A birth plan allows you to write down all you want and expect during labor and get answers to all your questions. (Shutterstock)
Updated 14 October 2019

Baby talk: What is a birth plan and how to create yours

DUBAI: Before labor, it is usual for an expectant woman to consider the form and type of birth she will experience.  Details include the doctor who will oversee the birth, whether it will be a natural or caesarean section procedure, and considerations such as if the medical team will offer methods of birth such as birth pool, birth ball or any others. 

Lately the idea of writing a birth plan has become popular, allowing you to write down all you want and expect during labor and get answers to all your questions.

What is a birth plan?




A written birth plan helps new members of your medical team learn about your preferences when you are in active labor. (Shutterstock)

A birth plan is a record of what you would like to happen during labor and after the birth. You don’t have to create a birth plan, but it is a good option to have, since it will help your doctor understand your feelings and priorities. 

A written birth plan also helps new members of your medical team learn about your preferences when you are in active labor.

Some hospitals provide a birth plan worksheet or brochure that explains the hospital’s policies of childbirth, which lets you know what your options are.

What should you consider before start writing the birth plan?




It is advisable to read as much as you can about delivery. (Shutterstock)

It is advisable to read as much as you can about delivery, signs of labor, tools and types of labor to familiarize yourself with the options that may be available to you.

It can be helpful to join classes at a health centre, or a hospital near you.

Talk to mums who have already experienced birth. Talk to several mums because each one would experience different labor processes and don’t forget labor is as individual as each women is so it is a matter of taking information in general.

Talk to your spouse especially if he will be your birth partner. Make sure that he fully understands the type of labor of your choice.If you are having a caesarean section, you can still write a birth plan. You can also read more about this procedure and your care team will explain what to expect also.

What should you write in your plan?




There are also natural methods to help ease labor such as massage and warm baths. (Shutterstock) 

  • Birth Partner

Consider who you would like as your birth partner – it could be anyone you wish but will usually be your husband, close family member or a friend.  Consider anyone else you want to have with you in labor, and if you want this person to stay with you all the time or not.

  • Positions for labor

Mention which positions you would like to use during labor – you will probably not know until the event which feels best but being informed about the options will help you and you will have an idea of preferences you can put down as a guide.

  • Pain relief

Consider which if any type of pain relief you would prefer to use and in what order.  

There are also natural methods to help ease labor such as massage and warm baths or water births which you may wish to consider.  It will depend also on what your care team can offer at the place you will deliver.

Other popular aids to labor at some hospitals may include wall bars, birth balls, mats or beanbags.  Check with your place of delivery to find out what will be on offer to you so that you can think about what you might like.

Skin-to-skin contact:

Think about whether you would like your new born baby placed directly onto your belly at the moment of delivery or whether you would prefer your baby to be washed and wrapped or dressed before you hold him or her.

Feeding your baby:

Be clear about whether you want to breastfeed or bottle feed your newborn. 

Other specific requirements:

Mention your special requirements in your birth plan. Include any religious requirements, such as customs you’d like to be carried out when your baby is born. 

What Next?

Share your birth plan with your care team and discuss it with them.  Write down any considerations you discuss specific to your birth plan. 

It is important to remember that a Birth Plan is exactly that, it is a plan, an ideal of what you would like for your labor and delivery.  No birth is the same and sometimes it is important for the care team to deviate from the Birth Plan for the welfare of the mother and baby.  For example you may wish to have a natural birth but a complicated labor may necessitate some pain relief and perhaps a more invasive delivery such as a caesarean section.  However your care team will consider your birth plan as far as they are able and many times births go according to plan so it is very worthwhile to do a Birth Plan.

This article was first published on babyarabia.com.  


Photographers reveal Egypt’s hidden gems in show for a good cause

This is the group’s fourth charitable exhibition. (Supplied)
Updated 23 min 55 sec ago

Photographers reveal Egypt’s hidden gems in show for a good cause

  • Cairo Saturday Walks are a group of photographers who go on adventures every week to take pictures across the city
  • The team is now exhibiting its work for charity at a gallery in the city

DUBAI: The Cairo Saturday Walks team, a group of photographers who go on adventures every week to take pictures across the city, are now exhibiting their work for charity at a gallery in the city.

The exhibition brought together more than 50 local, international, professional and amateur photographers who are displaying their work in the Maadi district until Nov. 22.

The youngest participant is 13 and the oldest is 60. (Supplied)

All proceeds from the gallery will go to the restoration of a public facility in one of the underserved areas that the group has walked in and photographed during the past, according to the founder of Cairo Saturday Walks Karim El-Hayawan.

This is the group’s fourth charitable exhibition.

El-Hayawan described the practice as an “organic experience,” during which photographers discover the city’s hidden gems.

The group is displaying its work in the Maadi district until Nov. 22. (Supplied)

What started off as a one-man weekly walk is now a practice shared by 500 photographers.

El-Hayawan’s journey began after he took a basic introductory course in photography. “I did not have time during the week to work on my photography assignments. I used to go out every Saturday to take pictures and I used to post on my account. Then a lot of people started asking me ‘Where are these places? Where do you go? We want to join,’ although (these places) exist 10-15 minutes from anywhere in Cairo, but people did not notice them or had forgotten them,” he told Arab News.

The photographers walk around and discover the city’s hidden gems. (Supplied)

The group has a library of more than 15,000 pictures accessible on Instagram through #cairosaturdaywalks.

“We ask people who join us to share their pictures on that hashtag, with the intention of having a long-term documentation of Cairo,” El-Hayawan said. “Everyone takes pictures from his/her own perspective. It is extremely neutral; everyone takes pictures of whatever they want.”

In two to three years, people can go back to this documentation and see that Cairo looked this way at this time,” he said.

All proceeds from the gallery will go to the restoration of a public facility in one of the underserved areas that the group has walked in and photographed during the past. (Supplied)

A typical Saturday for the photographers starts off at a cafe. “We meet in the morning at a coffee shop and we take a little bus that we rent every Saturday and we just hit the road to somewhere random and we get lost. We call them to pick us up from wherever we reach at the end of the day. The idea is that it has no structure and I really aimed at that from the very beginning,” El-Hayawan said.

What started off as a one-man weekly walk is now a practice shared by 500 photographers. (Supplied)

The youngest participant is 13 and the oldest is 60, but El-Hayawan said that anyone can join the walk and share their pictures.

“I found out about Cairo Saturday Walks from Instagram. The spirit of people I walk with is just amazing. Also, the fact that I am Egyptian yet I still get amazed by Cairo’s streets is what pushes me to explore more every week,” Yara Wael, a 17-year-old photographer, told Arab News.