Your big day. Your way.
Creating a simple document that outlines your birth wishes will help your care team know what is most important to you. Use this tool to describe your preferences for labor, birth and postpartum care. You may change your mind at any time. Remember that labor evolves and sometimes brings changes you were not expecting. The right care team will do their best to honor your goals and wishes.
Get started by downloading our customized template. Complete the form and bring your birth plan to the hospital. The safety of you and your baby are always our top priority. Be sure to discuss your plan with your clinician.
Not sure where to start? Here’s a list of quick links to help you make your big day your best day.
Where can I deliver my baby?
- Maple Grove Hospital – Maple Grove
- Fairview Ridges Hospital – Burnsville
- St. Francis Regional Medical Center – Shakopee
- Mercy Hospital – Coon Rapids
- Abbott Northwestern Hospital – Minneapolis
Who will help me deliver my baby?
Your childbirth care team can include a range of specialists including:
What are my labor pain management options?
Your pain management options will vary based on where you deliver your child. Here are a few to consider:
- Water Birth. Laboring in water has been proven to promote relaxation, reduce labor pain and lower the risk of medical intervention during birth.
- Continuous labor support. Having a support person with you from early labor through the birth of your baby has a proven, positive effect on childbirth. This can be your partner, a family member, friend or a doula.
- Distraction. Using a distraction such as walking, playing cards, watching TV, taking a shower, or listening to music can help take your mind off your contractions.
- Massage. Having someone massage your shoulders, hands, feet or back during contractions may help ease your pain. A strong massage of your lower back muscles or applying counter pressure during contractions can help relieve the pain of back labor. Tell your labor partner where and how hard to apply pressure.
- Music and Imagery. Visualizing a favorite place or object can be an effective way to relax in between contractions. Some women find it helpful to visualize during contractions as well, picturing waves rolling over them. For others, thinking about a peaceful place, such as a beach or mountain stream, is more relaxing. Calming music can have a similar effect.
- Changing positions during labor. Walking, kneeling, swaying or sitting on a big rubber ball (birth ball) are good options to help your baby descend and promote labor.
- Focused breathing techniques. Breathing in a rhythm can help you focus and distract you from pain. Childbirth education classes can teach you different methods of focused breathing and many books and resources provide good explanations.
- Doulas. A doula is a birth coach who provides physical and emotional support during the entire pregnancy. During labor, a doula may be with you to give support, but they do not deliver the baby.
- Epidural. Given through a small catheter placed in the lower back to block pain in the lower part of the body. This is usually the most effective method of pain relief.
- Intrathecal narcotic (ITN). Delivered through a shot to the lower back. Pain relief can vary. ITN is most effective in the first stage of labor and usually isn’t recommended for first-time mothers.
- Opioids or analgesics such as fentanyl. Given through injection or IV to take the edge off of pain and help with relaxation.
- Nitrous oxide. A gas inhaled when needed to temporarily help cope with pain during labor.