Open Accessibility Menu

Birth Planning

There are many personal decisions that are involved with the birth experience. At Washington Hospital, you will have a pre-admission appointment where you can share cultural and personal choices you have regarding your birth plan. This information will be entered into your medical record so that all members of your care team will have access to it. While the safety of mom and baby is the highest priority, we will do our best to ensure your experience meets your expectations.

  • Birth plan can be a roadmap to a fulfilling experience - A birth plan is simply a written way for you to communicate your preferences about the birth experience to your health care provider, care staff and labor attendants.
  • Can you keep working while you're pregnant? - If you're enjoying a low-risk, normal pregnancy and your job presents no particular hazards, there's no reason to stop working while you're pregnant.
  • Childbirth classes vary in approach and content - You'll want to know what kinds of classes are available before you sign up for a childbirth class.
  • Choosing a midwife: Some things to consider - Midwives offer an alternative to the traditional medical model for labor and delivery.
  • Choosing your obstetrical care provider carefully - The personalities and medical practices of obstetrical care providers vary greatly.
  • Do your homework before choosing baby's doctor - Choosing a doctor for your baby means making some appointments to visit doctors, get information and talk.
  • Doulas can help make childbirth more satisfying - Doulas are trained to provide ongoing emotional, physical and informational support to women and their partners before, during and after childbirth.
  • Your prenatal office visits are a time to learn - Follow a regular schedule of prenatal check-ups to help prevent certain problems and to catch others early, while they can be corrected.
  • Get smart: Do your homework before choosing a hospital - The hospital where your baby is born, and the staff who care for you, will be a major part of your memories when you look back on your labor and your baby's birth.
  • Get smart: History of childbirth - For most of human history, female family members, "wise women," and midwives, delivered babies at home. Most births were happily uneventful.
  • Get your first aid kit ready - Be prepared for medical emergencies by stocking a household first aid kit now.
  • It's not too early to install baby's new car seat - In the car, keep your child safe (and law-abiding) by always using a rear-facing car seat designed for your child's size and weight. Proper installation is essential.
  • Making decisions about childcare - When you go back to work, who will mind the baby?
  • Pack your bag with the right stuff - Reality check: When you're packing clothing to wear home from the hospital, leave out that favorite pair of size 8 Calvin Klein jeans and button-down shirt you last wore before you got pregnant. Truth is, in the first days after pregnancy your waist will still be very big and your breasts enlarged as your body prepares to breastfeed.
  • Planning a baby shower to remember - There are no rules for baby showers; ask the guest of honor about her preferences for date, entertainment, and guest list, including whether to invite couples or women only.
  • Telling the boss you're pregnant - You've told your family, your closest friends know; now the time has come to spill the beans to your boss. In the best of circumstances, you can expect sincere congratulations tempered with concern about workplace productivity during your upcoming absence.
  • Planning your maternity leave - Although your due date is still months away, it's not too early to start planning your maternity leave. It's a good idea to have at least a rough idea of how long you plan to be gone and when, whether or how you plan to return to work.
  • Pre-register for the hospital - Pre-registering at the hospital is a good idea. While you're there, be sure to find out where and how long you can park and how to access the maternity unit after hours.
  • Saved cord blood can aid future transplants - Cord blood found in the umbilical cord and placenta may be saved for stem cell transplant treatment later on in life.
  • Stock up on essentials now - From baby pain relievers to those cute little booties, the more you can lay in essential supplies now, the easier those first weeks will be. Some items are necessary for baby to sleep, eat, and stay healthy and happy.
  • To circumcise or not? It's up to you - Circumcision is the practice of removing the foreskin of a boy's penis. The procedure is usually performed shortly after birth.
  • You get to choose who attends the birth - Choosing who will be with you during labor and delivery requires some careful thought. It means evaluating the attitudes of friends and family in light of the support you will need.
  • Prepare for your first well-child checkup - Well-child checkups ensure that your baby is thriving and developing normally. Be prepared to answer your doctor's questions and to air your own concerns and questions.
Related Locations