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Birth Plans: Tickets to the OR?

White-Corey, Shelley MSN, RN

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing: September/October 2013 - Volume 38 - Issue 5 - p 268–273
doi: 10.1097/NMC.0b013e31829a399d
Feature: CE Connection

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.

If you've worked in enough labor and delivery suites, I'm sure you've heard it. But is there a relationship between birth plans and cesarean births?

Shelley White-Corey is an Assistant Professor, Texas A&M Health Science Center, College of Nursing, Bryan, TX. She can be reached via e-mail at

For 25 additional continuing nursing education articles on obstetric topics, go to

The author declares no conflict of interest.

© 2013 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.