Birth plans: tickets to the OR?

MCN Am J Matern Child Nurs. Sep-Oct 2013;38(5):268-73; quiz 274-5. doi: 10.1097/NMC.0b013e31829a399d.


Although some nurses and physicians might suggest that women who write birth plans are at greater risk of a cesarean birth, research has not supported this myth. The research studies on this topic have suggested, actually, that women who write birth plans do not have higher cesarean rates or worse obstetric outcomes. Birth plans have been shown to inform and empower women, and lead to more satisfaction with their birth experiences. The purpose of this article is to present the existing evidence on perinatal outcomes in women with birth plans and to explore the phenomenon of divergent perceptions among care givers.

MeSH terms

  • Cesarean Section / psychology
  • Decision Making
  • Delivery, Obstetric / psychology*
  • Delivery, Obstetric / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Labor, Obstetric / psychology*
  • Nurse-Patient Relations
  • Obstetric Labor Complications / psychology
  • Patient Care Planning / organization & administration*
  • Patient Participation / psychology*
  • Patient Participation / statistics & numerical data
  • Patient Satisfaction / statistics & numerical data*
  • Personal Autonomy
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Outcome / psychology
  • Pregnant Women / psychology*