Birth Plan Template

There are many birth options from vaginal to cesarean, locations vary from at home births to hospitals. The array of options provide expectant mothers with many choices that should be made prior to birth. Having a preexisting birth plan ensures the birth of your choice and support from your birth team. Below provides a detailed outline of a sample birth plan. Use this layout to customize your very own plan and inform your birth team of your desires. Share your birth plan with members of your birth team prior to birth in order to ensure every team member is prepared and willing to follow your blueprint. Prepare copies to all birth team members upon completion. Remember, it is your birth. There are no wrong or right ways, just the way your body and self are prepared for.

Before Labor

  • I prefer to have ___ vaginal exams
  • I prefer to have ___ ultrasounds
  • Discuss induction options prior to due date
  • I want at least ___ days post my due date before inducing labor, as long as baby and I are healthy
  • I want no time restrictions if I go past my due date, and plan to have no induction, as long as baby and I are healthy
  • I want to labor at home for as long as possible


For induction methods I do or do not want the following:

  • Acupuncture
  • Chiropractic
  • Enema
  • Herbs
  • Stripping membranes
  • Pitocin

I would like the following time period before induction

  • Wait 6 hours
  • Wait 12 hours
  • As long as baby and I are healthy, I want no induction methods


  • I prefer the following location for my birth:
    • Home
    • Birthing Center (Name and Address)
    • Hospital (Name and Address)
  • I want to utilize the following options during labor:
    • Water birth
    • Shower
    • Birthing bed
    • Birthing ball
    • Squatting
  • I want or do not want the following in the room:
    • Partner
    • Midwife
    • Doula
    • Chiropractor
    • Children
    • Parents
    • Extended family
    • I want privacy. Limit or restrict all visitors

Pain Relief

  • Only if I request, offer pain relief
  • Offer and suggest pain relief when needed
  • I want to discuss pain relief methods as soon as possible
  • Use the following methods to relieve pain:
    • Breathing techniques
    • Mediation
    • Acupuncture
    • Massage
    • Hypnosis
    • Water therapy
    • Walking and movement
    • Epidural
    • Narcotics


Time Limits:

  • I want zero time limits for laboring and pushing as long as I and baby are healthy
  • Medical intervention will be allowed after __ hours of pushing.


I prefer the following positions during labor:

  • Standing
  • Squatting
  • On the toilet
  • Hands and knees
  • Medical ball
  • Lying down
  • Avoid stirrups


  • I want no episiotomy and will risk tearing
  • I want an episiotomy


  • Continuous monitoring
  • Intermittent monitoring
  • Utilize the Lamaze, Bradley, and/or Childbirth Hypnosis techniques


  • When pushing, I want to rely on instincts instead of orders from birth professionals.
  • When pushing, I want guidance on when or when not to push.
  • Please avoid the use of forceps and vacuum extractions.
  • Forceps and vacuum extractions may be used to assist delivery.
  • I would like my partner to catch the baby as he/she is delivered.
  • I would like my birth professional to catch the baby as he/she is delivered.
  • If an emergency cesarean is needed, please allow my partner and I time to discuss details and follow our initial newborn procedures below.


  • Unless a medical emergency, I opt not to have a cesarean.
  • Inform me on when it may be a good option to have a cesarean
  • I want to plan and schedule a cesarean.
  • I would like to hold my baby immediately after delivery
  • If I am unable to hold my baby, I want my partner to be able to have first contact.
  • I would like my baby to be sent to the nursery as I recover.

Newborn Procedures

  • I request immediate skin to skin contact as soon as baby is delivered
  • I request the time to breastfeed baby before we are separated
  • I opt of having my baby bathe right after birth
  • My partner and I will bathe our baby using our own bathing products
  • I do or do not want eye drops administered to my baby
  • I decline PKU testing
  • I would like to delay PKU testing
  • I want routine PKU testing
  • Do or do not administer Vitamin K
  • Postpone all immunizations
  • I would like all routine immunizations
  • Do not circumcise my baby
  • Do not retract baby’s foreskin
  • I would like my baby circumcised
  • I would like to meet with a lactation consultant as soon as possible
  • I want my baby to exclusively be breastfed
  • I want to combine breastfeeding and formula feeding
  • I want my baby to be formula fed
  • I would like all newborn procedures to be performed immediately
  • I want my baby in the room with me at all times, unless there is an emergency
  • I prefer my baby to partially stay in the nursery when I am resting
  • I would like the nursery to fully care for my baby and bring him/her for feedings

Third Stage Labor

Umbilical Cord:

  • Avoid clamping until pulsation stops
  • Allow partner to cut cord
  • Delay cord cutting for ____ time.
  • I made arrangements to bank baby’s cord


  • Use Pitocin to promote placenta to be born
  • Avoid Pitocin unless there are risks of hemorrhage
  • I made arrangements to take the placenta home   

Hospital Stay  

  • Be as short as possible
  • Be as long as possible
  • I prefer a private room
  • I prefer my partner to remain in the room during my stay. Please provide accommodations
  • I prefer my family and children to be allowed with no restrictions
  • I prefer guests to be allowed to visit with no restrictions
  • I want privacy during my hospital stay. Limit or restrict all visitors

Ultrasounds During Pregnancy – Purpose, When, Types, and Potential Risks?

Prenatal ultrasounds are typically routine during pregnancy. There are known benefits of ultrasounds; however, recently, many question the need and even possible associated risks. When it comes to your pregnancy, you and your health care provider can discuss the need for and amount of ultrasounds throughout your pregnancy. A basic knowledge of the purpose of ultrasounds, types of ultrasounds, and common expectations regarding ultrasounds can prepare you for this conversation.

Purpose of Ultrasounds

Ultrasounds utilize high frequency sound waves on the abdomen and pelvic region in order to create a sonogram, or picture, of internal structures. The sonogram shows the characteristics of soft tissue and organs. During pregnancy, ultrasounds are routinely used to show pictures of the baby and placenta. Initially, ultrasounds are used to confirm fetal heartbeat, determine the due date/gestational age, number of fetuses (single, twins, etc), and to rule out ectopic pregnancies. They are also used to ensure proper fetal growth and development, gender, assess for birth defects, placenta health, baby weight and fetal position.  

When to have an Ultrasound?

Ultrasounds can be performed throughout pregnancy. Initially, ultrasounds are performed around weeks 18-20 in order to confirm placenta health, and proper fetal growth and development. Gender can be determined around 20 weeks. Ultrasounds may be performed earlier to determine the due date or gestational age. Based on medical necessity, additional ultrasounds can be used to monitor baby and placenta health, quantity of amniotic fluid, fetal weight, and fetal position. Ultrasounds are recommended when the baby exceeds their due date to confirm the health and well-being of baby and baby’s environment.

What to expect?

Traditional, 3D, and 4D ultrasounds are non invasive. A transducer and gel are used on the external surface of the abdomen in order to create the sonogram. Trans-vaginal ultrasounds utilize a transducer wand that is directly inserted into the vagina. Typically, all ultrasounds are done in a fairly quickly manner, ranging from five to thirty minutes long. Ultrasounds are virtually painless, exceptions include the discomfort of the cold temperature of the gel, discomfort of a full bladder with trans-vaginal ultrasounds, and moments of increased external pressure of the sonographer. A physical copy of the sonogram is typically provided that visit for  your enjoyment and sharing with friends, family, and social media.

Types of Ultrasounds:

There are many prenatal ultrasounds options including the traditional 2D (2 Dimensional)  ultrasound and more advanced 3D, 4D, and trans-vaginal.  3D and 4D ultrasounds have the ability to illustrate a more in depth and detailed image of internal structures. A 4D also shows movement in real time, similar to a video. Typically, 2D ultrasounds provide enough information; however, 3D and 4D are utilized to provide a more detailed examination for concerns of fetal abnormalities.

Safety and Side Effects of Ultrasounds

All ultrasounds are deemed routine and safe for mother and baby. There is no radiation exposure, instead high frequency sound waves are used. Risk and side effects of repetitive ultrasound exposure are not fully understood or studied. According to the American Pregnancy Organization, ultrasounds should only be used when medically indicated. Limiting the amount of ultrasound exposure is the most ideal way to avoid any potential risks. Once baby is here, take all the pictures your heart desires, until then, try to keep the number of ultrasounds to a minimum, when medically necessary.    

What is the Best Mattress for Your Back?

As a chiropractor, I am faced with questions regarding proper mattresses and pillows almost on a daily basis. The average adult gets anywhere from 6-8 hours of sleep per night, which is 42-56 hours weekly, or 2,184-2,912 hours each year. In other words, we spend a significant time of our life sleeping; therefore, it is important to have proper support when doing so. Recently, I was in the market for a new mattress and found myself asking the same questions patients ask me all the time: What is the best mattress for my back? Like most markets in America, there are countless options when shopping for a mattress. Do I need firm or soft support? Pillow top or memory foam? Stationary or adjustable foundations? Name brands from Sealy, Serta, Tempur-Pedic, to revolutionary brands such as Casper? The options are limitless and can in fact be overwhelming, at least from my point of view. When you consider the investment (money and time spent sleeping), the selection of a particular mattress is a firm decision, no pun intended.

Just as characteristics of mattress may vary, the variety of spinal support varies per individual. I hope my shopping experience can provide some insight on finding the best mattress for your back.

Steps to Finding the Best Mattress

First thing, you must get out there and test drive different mattress from brands, materials, and firmness. Although a five minute test in the store doesn’t provide the optimal sleep experience, you will get a feel for what type of mattress is comfortable for your needs. From a spinal support perspective, a firmer foundation provides ideal support and allows your spine to be in a neutral position when sleeping on your back or side. The ideal mattress will conform to the natural curvature of the spine and evenly distribute pressure. For simplicity purposes, any firm mattress that allows the spine to remain in neutral position is the most important characteristic when finding a mattress that is best for your back. Other qualities come down to personal preference.

After trying out different styles, research the mattresses online. Consumer reviews provide another perspective on product quality and overall experience. Some things to consider include coil count (the more the better) and the breathability and heat retaining properties. Also research the type of materials used for chemical and allergen exposure. Daily and close contact with such chemicals and allergens may have adverse health reactions for some individuals.

Lastly and most importantly, whichever mattress you decide to invest in,  ensure there is a window of time or a trial period to test out the product. Many distributors like Mattress Firm, department stores such as Macy’s and Sears, and direct companies including Casper and Bear, allow consumers to test out the mattress for 30-100 days. The true testament of the mattress will be determined after multiple nights of sleep. Such trial periods allow for proper mattress assessment and provide the option to exchange and in some cases, even return the product. My personal experience supports this time period. My first few nights on my new mattress were far from dreamy. At one point I wanted to throw the mattress out the window; however, after a few nights to allow my body to adjust to the change, I now am satisfied with my decision. The point of it all, once you have made your purchase, be patient and allow your body time to adapt to your new mattress. 

Best wishes on your ideal mattress hunt. Please comment below and share your favorite mattress type.


Business Buddy Highlight: Catalyst Fitness

What is the name of your business and what is its function?

Our business is Catalyst Fitness. To the general public we offer One on One Personal Training, Small Group Personal Training on Demand, Yoga, Massage, and Corporate Wellness Programs. Our Small Group Personal Training on Demand is unique in that your session begins when you arrive and ends when you complete the workout, rather than starting and ending at a predetermined time. This allows members to fit in a workout that works perfectly with their schedule. For example, if you are 5 minutes late for an Orange Theory or Blast class, you’re stressing out trying to get there and not interrupt the class. Or if you are 15 minutes late you’d probably decide to just not go if they haven’t already given up your spot since they over sold the class. Our On Demand model eliminates the stress of being late or missing the class completely because the workout doesn’t start until you arrive. It also allows us to keep our Group Training “Personal” by regressing and progressing movement patterns (aka exercises) to meet the individual goals and needs of the participant. On the Industry side, our educational team speaks at and conducts conferences, clinics, and workshops all over the world. We write educational platforms for equipment companies and curriculums for educational organizations. By educating and training thousands of trainers each year, we are able to impact the lives of millions of people around the world.



Dr. Samaira utilizing the ViPR during her one-on-one training at Catalyst Fitness.

How long have you been in Atlanta?

Catalyst Fitness opened its doors in 2004 as a brick and mortar facility. Our owners, Bill and Valorie Sonnemaker, have lived in Atlanta for over 20 years and have long considered it their home. They have two kids, ages 11 and 2, and love being an integral part of Buckhead and the surrounding communities.

What do you like most about Atlanta?

We love the slow and smooth pace of the South and the small town feel with the big city options. Atlanta is steeped in Southern charm, but it’s balanced by the buzz of a Metro culture. Its central geographic location and easy access to the airport are also a big plus given our frequent national and international travel for industry conferences and engagements.

What separates your business from the others and makes it the best?

SCIENCE…At Catalyst Fitness, we have developed an evidence based approach to health and fitness that is systematic, progressive, and scalable. We use methods that are founded in and backed by science, following a specific system and order that progresses in intensity and challenge for the individual, and that is scalable to every individual’s specific needs. We provide clients the results they want while addressing their biomechanical needs in order to achieve optimal functionality in the safest and shortest amount of time possible.

Who is you ideal client?

We value clients who recognize the difference of what we offer as compared to others. Our ideal client is educated and discerning. They want the best for themselves, and they recognize who offers the best in the industry and why.

Is there something that people in the community do not know about your business that they should know?

We are the authority on health and fitness. What we do today with clients is what others in the Atlanta area will do with their clients in 5-8 years. For example, we were the first to bring TRX, Trigger Point Therapy, and ViPR training tools to Georgia, and we continue to stay at the forefront of health and fitness by working with new and innovative companies as well as educational companies. We have won more international and national industry and popularity awards that any other facility in the Southeast and are home to the 5X winner of Atlanta’s Best Personal Trainer, Bill Sonnemaker, and Personal Fitness Professional (PFP) Trainer of the Year, Valorie Sonnemaker



Business Buddy Highlight: STACK Sports Performance and Therapy

What is the name of your business and what is its function?
STACK Sports Performance & Therapy. We offer sports performance training and physical therapy

How long have you been in Atlanta?
November 2015

What do you like most about Atlanta?
The wide range of athletes in the area, from your first year athletes to your professional athletes.  The passion of athletics in the area is incredible and the desire to achieve peak performance is what excites our staff most!

What separates your business from the others and makes it the best?
We offer premiere coaching each session the athlete steps on our training floor. We set realistic measurable goals and keep our athletes on track to achieving these goals.

Who is your ideal client?
Any athlete that is looking to take their game to the next level. Someone who is dedicated to their craft on and off the playing field.

Is there something that people in the community do not know about your business that they should know?

We are the only full service sports performance facility in metro Atlanta, we helps athlete maximize their athletic potential by developing strength, power, coordination, agility, speed, flexibility, and energy systems with an additional focus on injury prevention, recovery/regeneration, and nutrition.



Have you been to STACK? Let us know what you love about them in the comments below!




What are Wobble Chairs?

What’s the deal with the chairs that wobble that you see around the office? Yes,  they are fun, especially when your favorite song plays through our speakers; however, there are therapeutic advantages to the chairs. The wobble chairs are designed to create proper mobility in the lumbar, sacral,and pelvic regions. The unique design of the chair allows for 360 degrees of rotation, lateral (side to side), forward,and backward flexion. The different ranges of motion are also beneficial for the intervertebral discs, especially those in the low back.The combined movements create disc mobility, and disc re-hydration to combat the daily loads of impact on each disc.  The movements produced by the wobble chairs also aid in delivery to nutrients to the disk, and assist in carrying away waste products.


wobbleNow that you understand the benefits behind the wobble chair, it’s time to make sure you are utilizing them correctly in order to maximize the benefits. First, make sure you have an upbeat song. We always have fun jams playing in the office, so that should be the easiest step of them all. Seriously, after you set a timer (we recommend 3 minutes), make sure to stabilize your balance by holding on to the arms of the chair. Slowly move the pelvis through a variety of motions including front to back, side to side, circular and figure eight movements. As stability and comfort of the chair, feel free to increase the speed of the different motions. So wobble, like nobody is watching, for your health’s sake.


CrossFit Terminus Separating Itself as a Top CrossFit Gym in Atlanta

What is the name of your business and what is its function?

CrossFit Terminus is a full-service strength and conditioning facility dedicated to quality coaching.  We strive to help individuals become a better version of themselves by providing excellent service and unparalleled coaching in a fun and relaxed atmosphere.

How long have you been in Atlanta?

We opened in August 2013 and have always been in Old Fourth Ward. In late 2016 we plan to open up our brand new state of the art facility off Memorial in Reynoldstown.

What do you like most about Atlanta?ter

We love the diversity of our community, and we intentionally welcome all people with open arms and support each person’s goals, whether those goals are to build muscle, lose weight, or simply have a healthier body.

Also, the name Terminus represents our love for our city.  When Georgia decided to build a railroad line from the Midwest down to modern day Atlanta, a stake was put into the ground just a few miles away from the gym, which became known as Terminus, literally meaning “End of the Line.” Contrary to popular belief, we did not take the name Terminus from the AMC show The Walking Dead, although it was a nice coincidence!

What separates your business from the others and makes it the best?

We are here to share our passion for fitness and create a community based on the pursuit of fitness.  Our goal is to foster unbreakable bonds with an open-minded environment, and we strive to create greatness inside and outside our community. We are committed to providing excellent customer service, maintaining open communication, and never losing focus on helping individuals achieve balance and success inside and outside of the gym.

Who is your ideal client?

Our ideal client is anyone who is willing to better him or herself by practicing patience, hard work, and commitment.  We are here to help all kinds of people regardless of their athletic background achieve their fitness goals.

Is there something that people in the community do not know about your business that they should know?

We believe the biggest misconception of CrossFit Terminus is that we are solely interested in a ‘competitive’ environment.  In reality, our goal is to help people in all walks of life become better versions of themselves.  We love seeing people become more confident and better prepared for the unknowns of every life.  We want people to take fitness as a long-term approach, striving for health over the course of a lifetime.


What are the Benefits of Breastfeeding?

August is National Breastfeeding Awareness Month, promoting the benefits associated with breastfeeding. Breastfeeding has rewarding benefits for both mom and baby, but at times, it can be equally as challenging. What are the benefits, and why is it worth the many obstacles that moms face while breastfeeding?

Research suggest that breastfed babies have lowered risk of asthma, childhood obesity, ear infections, eczema, and SIDS. Breast Milk includes hormones and antibodies that are utilized to support the baby’s proper immune system functions and nutritional needs. Breastfeeding promotes bonding and reduces health risks for mothers. Breastfeeding benefits for mothers include a decreased risk of breast cancer, ovarian cancer, uterine cancer, osteoporosis, and promotes emotional health and postpartum weight loss. Breastfeeding is also more economical and environmental friendly.  

With anything in life, one typically ask if the journey is worth the trouble or work that it demands. Although breastfeeding has the obvious benefits, many mothers and babies struggle along this journey. The incidence of latching and breastfeeding issues continue to rise with time. Common issues range from latching difficulties, little or decreased milk production, and discomfort of the mother.

For those who struggle with breastfeeding, there are other options to consider before you withdraw. Latching issues could be related to misalignments in the baby’s upper neck, resulting in discomfort while feeding. Chiropractic adjustments safely correct spinal misalignments,making latching a more comfortable and enjoyable experience for the baby. Milk production issues and discomfort, can be addressed with other health care experts from lactation consultants, La Leche League, Midwives, and primary care providers.  

For more information about how chiropractic care can help with breastfeeding difficulties for your baby and you, contact Corrective Chiropractic at 404-355-5499.


Are Actemainophens Safe During Pregnancy?

What is an Acetaminophen?

Acetaminophen is an active ingredient in over the counter and prescription drugs. It is commonly used to treat pain and reduce fevers. Many pregnant women use common over the counter actemaniophens such as Tylenol and Excedrin to treat back pain, headaches, toothaches, the common cold, fevers, and muscle aches.


Are they safe to use?

Unlike other over the counter and prescription drugs, actemaniophens are technically considered safe to use during pregnancy because the side effects are minimal for the growing and developing fetus and mother compared to other drugs. However, although it is deemed fairly okay to take, most medical doctors recommend minimizing the use of actemaniophens throughout pregnancy.  


What are the risks?

All drugs, prescription and over the counter, have associated side effects that vary with individual cases. To see a list of common side effects of actemaniophens, visit For pregancy and actemaniphen warnings, visit Both links provide information on known side effects and interactions. However, new data is now showing a link between acetaminophen use during pregnancy and an increased risk of hyperactivity in children. According to a new study, prenatal exposure to acetaminophen is associated with an increased risk of having children with hyperactivity, emotional and behavioral symptoms. To read the entire study, Association of Acetaminophen Use During Pregnancy With Behavioral Problems in Childhood, go to


What are other options?

There are natural and safe options for symptoms that acetaminophen are commonly used for. Musculoskeletal symptoms such as back pain, headaches, and other muscle related aches, can be addressed with prenatal chiropractic care. Chiropractic care has been proven to safely and effectively treat such symptoms. The only “side effects” associated with prenatal chiropractic care is decreased pain, increased energy, more room for baby to grow and develop, and shorter labor and delivery times. Call our office at 404-355-5499 to schedule an exam with our prenatal chiropractor, Dr. Samaira. If outside the metro Atlanta area, please visit to find a prenatal and family chiropractor in your area.