Birth Plan 31 Weeks or More

This includes the following birth methods: natural delivery – artificial induction (medication) – Cesarean.

Printable Birth Plan Documents:

Plan Specific to Adverse / Fatal Diagnosis:

Things to Know:

  • Because the first plan covers 2 different birth methods, specifics to each particular birth method will be noted.
  • Cesarean has its own birth plan because it is so in-depth.  You might consider printing both plans, in case your birth turns into an emergency Cesarean.
  • This plan is appropriate for pregnancies about 31 weeks to 40 weeks or more.
  • These plans do not include specific options you may wish to include if your baby may survive past birth, including possible resuscitation, ventilator use, medications and additional testing.  You should consider including these things if there is a chance of your baby surviving for any additional time past delivery.
  • If your baby is expected to receive care in the NICU, here is a listing of NICU specific resources and information.
  • Some providers discourage parents from touching preemie babies receiving NICU care.  This article can give more information on why that is, and what you may be able to do.  The NICU experience alone can promote parents grief.  Please see our article on Identifying Grief to find information and support regarding grief but also the correlation between the NICU experience and grief/depression/PTSD.
  • Within the first 24 hours after your baby has died, there may be an opportunity for you to decide on organ or tissue donation.  Please discuss this in advance with your spouse and with your medical professional.  You can learn more by Googling “donor network (your state)” , finding your local OPO, or contacting your local organ donation center.   Cord blood information can help you determine the likelihood of your donating your baby’s cord blood.  Here is information specifically for organ donation from an anencephalic baby.  Any of these things will depend on a number of factors unique to your situation.
  • Get more birth education and learn what to expect during labor, here.
  • Please visit our link on general postpartum health (your emotional and physical health after delivery).

Helpful Tips:

  • Check out our listing of local professionals and volunteers willing to support you through the process
  • Learn about the special way to give a stillborn baby a bath.
  • consider hand or feet molds of your baby
  • consider inkless prints: fingerprints/handprints/footprints of your baby
  • Your body is likely to produce breastmilk after the birth of your baby.  Please learn about post loss lactation . This link discusses breastmilk donation in particular.
  • If your state doesn’t offer a birth certificate for stillbirth, consider printing off our unofficial birth certificate (found at the Farewell Celebrations link).
  • Consider special farewell words or music.
  • Also include a personalized farewell celebration.
  • Ask for your ultrasound photos, or visit a local Crisis Pregnancy Center that performs ultrasounds, and ask if you can have one last photo of your baby.
  • Prior to birth, if your baby still has a heartbeat, consider using your cell phone or other recordable device, and record the doppler’s sounds of your baby’s heartbeat.  You can then add this to a Build-A-Bear as a momento.
  • Prior to birth, consider having a belly cast done as a momento.
  • Prior to birth, consult with your doctor and with the funeral home that you select, to see if special considerations can be made, such as, you leaving the hospital with your baby, to take to the funeral home.
  • More momento and special ideas are listed in the birth plan.

Have an idea of what your baby may look like:

Resources Specific to Various Diagnoses:

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