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Birth preferences list

A birth preferences list is a record of what you would like to happen during your labour and after the birth. You don't have to create birth preferences but, if you would like one, your midwife will be able to help.

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Discussing birth preferences with your midwife gives you the chance to ask questions and find out more about what happens in labour.

It also gives your midwife the chance to get to know you better, and understand your feelings and priorities, and allows you to think about or discuss some things more fully with your partner, friends and relatives.

You can change your mind about your wishes for labour and birth at any time.


Your personal circumstances

Your birth plan is personal to you. It depends on what you want, your medical history, your circumstances and what is available at your maternity service.

You will be given a special form for your birth preferences. It's a good idea to keep a copy of your birth preferences with you.

The maternity team who care for you during labour will discuss it with you so they know what you want.


Be flexible

We encourage you to be flexible and prepared to do things differently from your birth preferences if complications arise with you or your baby, or if facilities such as a birth pool aren't available.

The maternity team will tell you what they advise in your circumstances. Don't hesitate to ask questions if you need to.


Things to consider

  • Planned place of birth
  • Your birth partners
  • Is anyone cutting the baby’s cord?
  • Planning to use the birthing pool?
  • Choice for the third stage of labour (birthing your placenta)
  • Planned mode of birth
  • If you are happy to have students in the birthing room
  • Choice of feeding your baby
  • Vitamin K for you baby


If you have any questions, please ask your midwife, and ask for your birth preferences list.

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