A written Birth Guide, also known as a Birth Plan, can be a helpful tool. It may serve as the catalyst for a conversation with your support people about what you are envisioning in an ideal birth world, it might relieve you of some of the details you won't want to be bothered with while doing the great work of labor, and it might be a beneficial communication device among staff who come into the picture at crucial, yet uninterruptable moments.
Your birth doula is willing to accept your Birth Guide and acquaint herself carefully with it as you've designed it. If you'd like to work on this project together, your doula can answer questions, share anecdotal information, and provide resources. It is the doula's role to remain vigilant in protecting your wishes while also working with you and your health care providers to ride the waves of labor and birth. This may mean reminding you of your "Mind over Labor" mantra, it may be coreographing a flexible dance of conviction and compromise, or it may be processing with you and creating adaptations to your plan if an unpredictable direction unfolds.
Many hospitals have templates on their websites, you can find generic ones with many options and great explanations of procedures on the web, and there are ideas in childbirth books and childbirth preparation courses.
It can look like a resume, a letter, or a checklist. It can be on notebook paper or attached as an email. The important thing is the thought process behind it and that you share it with your key players.
Your doula's role is to support your wishes, not question them, so do not worry about what the doula thinks– only that she is familiar with your concerns, fears, hopes & dreams!
Downloadable Birth Guide Samples: