This is a controversial topic amongst certain critic physicians regarding forming unrealistic expectations, which, many times, cannot be met due to unforeseen circumstances – and may cause legal issues.

However, creating a birth plan can be an empowering tool that helps the woman have a larger power over the decisions involving the procedures she does and doesn’t want.

Ideally, the birth plan should be discussed with your doctor, seeing as only a professional can give the expectant mother insight on what is viable and what isn’t.

In this document, which can be handwritten, you can ask, for instance, to not be submitted to a trichotomy (shaving of hairs), nor to an episiotomy (a small incision on the vagina).

Your preferences in terms of anesthesia, use of painkillers and immediately breastfeeding the baby after birth can also be registered on paper, as can the name of your companion during birth.

The birth plan helps reduce anxieties and incentivizes you to seek out information, but the final decision should always be made by the clinical team responsible for the procedure. Make sure you chose a doctor and maternity you trust.