Your Birth Plan
You have many options to personalize your birth experience. Depend on the Family Birth Center team to always support your choices and treat you with the respect and dignity you deserve. Let us know your preferences by creating a birth plan.
What’s a birth plan?
You’ll receive a birth plan worksheet when you register to deliver at Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula’s Family Birth Center. A birth plan is a written plan that communicates your decisions for your labor, delivery, and recovery to your care team. Share this plan with:
- Your doctor before coming to the birth center
- Your nurses at the birth center
We will closely follow your plan. Let us know if we can answer any questions or concerns while you’re writing your plan, before your due date, or during your time at the birth center.
What to include
“It’s your choice. You can do what you think is best. You don’t have to agree. There is no right answer. You can take more time to decide. It’s okay to follow your instincts. You can say no and still be respected.”
— Alessandra Godinhom, doula and childbirth educator
As you create your plan, consider:
- What are your goals, wishes, concerns, fears, special needs, or religious or spiritual practices for your labor, birth, baby, and postpartum care?
- What will help you feel comfortable and confident, emotionally and physically, during your time at the birth center? What are your expectations for your stay?
- Do you want a primary support person (birth partner) with you during your time at the birth center? If so, who will that person be?
- Do you want a second support person with you during labor? If so, who will that person be?
- What labor positions and comfort techniques are you interested in?
- What medical and supportive services are you interested in? What are your thoughts on using or not using pain medication, such as an epidural or nitrous oxide?
- What are your preferences for your newborn baby’s medical care? For example, do you want your baby to have a circumcision (procedure to remove the penis foreskin)?
- How will you feed your baby?
You can change your preferences at any time, including during your labor. Our goal is to provide you not only with excellent medical care, but empowering and never judgmental emotional affirmation.
Your childbirth support team
In addition to your healthcare team, the Family Birth Center welcomes two support people you choose to be continuously present during labor and delivery. Your support people may include your spouse or partner, mom, sibling, friend, paid doula, or someone else you trust.
Before you deliver, let your support people know what your expectations are for them during your labor. You may also find it helpful to ask family and friends to help when you and your newborn go home.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Community Hospital must follow Monterey County mandates on the number of visitors we allow into the Family Birth Center. Call us to confirm the current guidelines.
Are you interested in a doula?
A doula is a specially trained, non-medical professional who offers emotional and physical support during labor. If you hire a doula, they can serve as your secondary support person. This means they are present during labor and delivery, but don’t stay overnight at the birth center after your baby arrives.
Visit the DONA International website to learn more about services doulas can provide, such as home visits after your baby is born, or search for a certified doula in Monterey County. We recommend meeting a few prospective doulas to make sure they’re a good fit for you.
A medical intervention is a treatment or procedure. Every birth naturally follows its own course and timeframe. Sometimes, things may go differently than planned, and that’s okay. If your care team suggests a medical intervention during labor, the choice to have it is yours. We’ll explain:
- Reason why we’re suggesting the medical intervention and what it involves
- Any potential risks or side effects
- Likelihood of other interventions
- Alternatives, such as not doing the intervention and waiting, as well as the risks of waiting or trying other alternatives
If you choose to breastfeed, having a plan in place ahead of time may be helpful. The Family Birth Center at Community Hospital is a Baby-Friendly hospital. This means our certified lactation consultants offer information based on best practices to help you gain skills and confidence to start and continue breastfeeding. While you're pregnant, you can learn more about breastfeeding by:
- Doing research
- Taking a class
- Talking to a nurse educator or family member
What to bring to the hospital
Rest assured that we have all of the supplies you’ll need for a comfortable stay at the birth center. But you may want to bring a few personal items you find relaxing or uplifting. When you register to deliver at the birth center, we’ll give you a complete list of items to consider packing, such as:
- Art or family photos
- Aromatherapy supplies
- Bluetooth speaker to play your favorite music
- Clothing for you, your baby, and your support person
- LED (battery-operated) candles
- Lip balm
- Personal hygiene items for you and your support person
- Robe, socks, and slippers
- Yoga ball
Read what amenities and supplies we provide you and your support person during your stay.
Before your delivery
Before your due date, it may be helpful to:
- Make arrangements with caregivers if you have pets or children
- Place your newborn's car seat in the car so it's ready to bring your baby home