Personal Care and Support Plan

The NHS wants everyone who uses maternity services to have safe and kind, personalised care. This means the care fits what you and your baby need. You can choose the care you want, and we give you clear evidence-based information to help you decide.

What is a Personal Care & Support Plan?

Your personalised care and support plan is a conversation tool to help you tell us what matters to you and how you are feeling, it supports you to ask questions and make choices with staff about your care. It covers pregnancy, birth and after your baby is born.

At each appointment your midwife or consultant/doctor will ask you about your personalised care and support plan.  You can use it to talk about you, your life, family, health, birth choices and anything else that matters to you.

It is important to use your appointments to ask any questions you might have or get any specific information you need to make informed decisions about your care. After talking with your midwife or consultant/doctor they will support your choices and write the conversation in your hospital pregnancy notes, you can add notes to your personalised care and support plan. Remember you can change your mind at any point.

When you need to make a decision about your care, the law says that your consultant/doctor or midwife should give you all the information you need to help you make a decision that is right for you. This is informed consent.

The BRAIN acronym helps you have conversations which will support you to make a decision. You can use this with your consultant/doctor or midwife.

NHS Video - Personal Care and Support Planning

Your Birth Plan and Preferences

When you’re waiting for a baby, there are lots of choices to think about. Your decisions about these choices are called your birth plan & preferences. It’s your special list of things you would like when your baby comes. It can include where you want to have your baby, who you want with you, or what you want to do for any pain.

Remember, your birth plan is about you and what you want. Your midwife or doctor will listen and help you. It’s your baby’s birth and your body and your choices are important.

You might want to think about these things:

  • Where you want to have your baby
  • If you want things like a birthing pool
  • Who you want with you during labour and birth
  • How you want to sit or stand during labour and birth
  • If you want music playing
  • If you need things like a sign language person or if you want to do things for your religion.
  • What you want to help with pain
  • How you want to push out the placenta (after-birth)
  • If you want to hold your baby skin-to-skin right after birth and if you want to wait to cut the cord
  • How you want to feed your baby after they are born

Once you decide what you want, tell your birth partner. This will help them support you. It’s also good to talk about this with your midwife.

You can change your mind about your choices at anytime, even when you’re having the baby. For example, maybe on the day, you don’t want to have your baby in water, or maybe you want to use gas and air to help with pain. It’s okay to change your mind.
The BRAIN acronym

Using the BRAIN acronym can be helpful when you’re making decisions about your care.