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Quality Care and a Supportive Birth Plan

“Education about what to include in a birth plan and an understanding of what our hospital offers can alleviate fears,” says Chrissy Coney, RNC, BSN, CLC, Birth Designer at LWRMC.

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  • | 3:19 p.m. January 8, 2024
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What is a birth plan?
Birth plans help us to meet patients’ wishes as much as possible. Some patients firmly state their intentions. Others use the plan as a “wish list.” With safety as the priority, even when circumstances change, we can still try to accommodate the patient’s wishes. The birth plan also helps the nursing staff understand special requests or needs of the patient prior to admission, such as allergies or a special diet.

What type of information is included?
A list of individuals to be there for support during labor may be included, pain relief options, preferred positions for labor and/or pushing for delayed cord clamping*, feeding or medication preferences for the baby.

Should I involve my doctor and, if so, when?
Discussing plans with your provider should happen at every prenatal visit so that your entire healthcare team is on board when it comes to delivery.

When should I finalize my birth plan?
I usually meet with patients between 30 and 32 weeks of pregnancy when we typically have a good idea of how the pregnancy is going and can best anticipate and discuss possibilities. Patients also have the right to change their mind about preferences at any time.

What if my birth plan does not go as expected?
During labor and delivery, it’s sometimes necessary for patients and their healthcare team to make decisions on a minute-to-minute basis. Open communication about expectations and the realities of labor and delivery usually helps to curb the disappointment a patient may have when the written birth plan does not unfold exactly as the patient imagined.

“The most important thing is for mom and baby to be happy and healthy,” says Coney.

To learn more about our award-winning maternity services, visit For a physician referral, call 800-816-4145

* Delayed Cord Clamping: A Guide for Healthcare Professionals, Physicians are on the medical staff of Lakewood Ranch Medical Center, but, with limited exceptions, are independent practitioners who are not employees or agents of Lakewood Ranch Medical Center. The hospital shall not be liable for actions or treatments provided by physicians. For language assistance, disability accommodations and the nondiscrimination notice, visit our website.