There are countless books about labor and delivery to provide great resources for birthmothers and adoptive parents. It is natural to experience a certain amount of fear and anxiety before the birth, so educating yourself about what actually happens can be a very cathartic practice. It is also beneficial to create a cohesive hospital plan so that an adoptive family is aware of the terms that their birthmother intends for her delivery. This hospital plan should help to avoid surprises, as well as provide more foresight for everyone involved in the adoptive family birthday. We've outlined some best practices to provide a birthmother and her adoptive family some more preparation and peace of mind leading up to that very important day.

 

1.  Keep fit.

A lot of doctors say that pregnant women who stay in shape have shorter labors. Before any exercise routine, you should talk to your OB/GYN to confirm your ability to exercise. Yoga is a great choice to learn how to focus which is very important with the birthing process. You can also try swimming or just walking if you are more inclined to light activity.

2. Relaxation techniques.

What we see impacts our emotions and our behaviors. That’s why you should try to spend time in relaxing environments with soft lighting during the labor. This will help experience feelings of tranquility and warmth. You can also bring your favorite CD with relaxation music to the hospital and listen to it during those hours of pushing.

3. Deep and focused breathing.

Breathing properly can calm you down during the first stage of labor. Consider some where you can learn how to adjust the tempo of your breathing during the labor. Focused breathing can help you manage sensations of pain. It also reminds you that you need to be present in your body and in the moment to help the labor progress.

4.  Find yourself a supportive labor partner.

You can choose anyone from your best friend to your mom or sister to support you through the labor.

5.  Listen to your body and push when you feel ready.

Listen to your body and pay attention to the notions that you have during labor so that you're working with it and not against it. 

6.  Try different positions.

Changing positions during labor is also recommended and positions like walking, kneeling, standing or squatting allow gravity to help move the baby down. If you feel so much pain that you’re considering taking a medication, try to walk for five to ten minutes and calm yourself down. After the short walk around the room, if you’re still experiencing pain talk to your doctor and try to find the best solution.

7. Be prepared for time in the hospital. 

The length of time a woman can spend in labor can very from person to person. Make sure you bring all of the things that you might need to make the environment more comfortable for the time that you spend there. It is also important to provide some notice to your supporters that the amount of time required for your stay is variable.