For a birthmother, the time in the hospital is one of the most difficult parts of her adoption journey. To avoid stress, adoption professionals usually advise birthmothers to create their own adoption birth plan.

An adoption birth plan can be a list or a document detailing what the birthmother would or would not like during her hospital stay. Having an adoption birth plan before you go into labor helps you prepare mentally for the process, and it also allows the adoption professionals and adoptive parents to understand exactly how you want your stay and delivery to look like. Here are some things to consider when making an adoption birth plan.

  • Get as much information as you can from the adoptive parents before your due date. Depending on your adoption type, talk to them about what you want. Decide whether you would like them to be with you in the delivery room or not. Also decide which members of your support network will be with you at the hospital. This includes having someone available to take you to and from the hospital.
  • Everything is easier if you have an open communication with the adoptive parents, so don’t be shy and ask them about everything you would like to know. Make sure you’re on the same page because it will make the process easier for both parties.
  • Deciding on the answers to questions like who will hold your baby first and how much time you want to spend with your baby are important. You can spend as much time with your baby as you wish, with the adoptive parents present or not, at any point during the hospital stay; however, it turns out to be too hard for you, the adoptive parents can spend time with the baby too.
  • Think about whether you want pictures taken of you and the baby and when.
  • When it comes to labor and delivery, consider every option you may be faced with. You will be asked if you prefer a natural or would prefer to receive medication.
  • Will you want an epidural? If so, talk to your OB/GYN about it to determine whether this is a good solution for you.
  • With any labor and delivery, there is always the possibility of needing a C-section. It's important to prepare yourself in advance for this possibility by researching everything there is to it, including how to take care of yourself during the recovery period.
  • During labor, there is a possibility of your nurses and/or doctor coaching you. You can choose that or you can ask that they tone it down so you can try to do it by following your own instincts.
  • Who would you like to cut the umbilical cord?
  • Decide who is going to keep the mementos from the hospital, such as your child’s hospital ID bracelet, baby blanket, hat, etc.

Communication is the key to figuring out the right answers for these questions. Make sure to talk things over with everyone involved in the adoption process in order to avoid surprises later on. Both sides can be satisfied with the final outcome if you talk openly and honestly.