Giving birth can be stressful, painful, and uncomfortable. When the baby comes, you may be surprised and have to rush immediately to the hospital, where you will likely be out of commission for a while. However, it’s also an extremely important part of a woman’s life, and it’s crucial that your needs are adequately taken care of at all points. Thankfully, the nine months prior to the baby’s birth can be used for planning and structuring a document that details the needs that you have during the birthing process.

Why an Adoption Birth Plan? Adoption professionals generally suggest that a birth mother should make this adoption birth plan in order to limit stress on the day of the birth. While some of the more obvious facts (natural birth? C-section? Music playing? Special food?) should be pretty easy to handle, some of the larger questions that come into play with an adoption should be considered so that everything moves smoothly on the day of the birth. This can be very different depending on the type of adoption occurring, and your level of communication and trust with the adoptive parents. What should be included? Some things to consider include who should be in the room during the delivery--who from your own support team do you want by your side, and do you want the adoptive parents in the room or not? Often, this is a compromise between both parties, as a result of your open communication. Be straightforward and ask them from the beginning; make your expectations clear and learn what theirs are as well. You want to be on the same page to make sure that everything works smoothly and comfortably. Other things to consider include whether or not you want photos taken of you and the baby; how much time you want to spend with the baby at the hospital, or if you would prefer that the adoptive parents step in sooner. You also want to decide who will cut the umbilical cord and who will take home any hospital mementos (ID bracelet, blanket, etc.) There are also the more traditional questions, like whether you want a natural birth or an epidural, or if you would like a midwife, doula, doctor, or nurse to work as a coach through the process. These decisions are totally up to you, but having them spelled out ahead of time may make your life easier so that you can focus on the task at hand--giving birth--rather than logistical issues. Providing this information in advance also makes it easier on the adoptive parents as well, because they can prepare and plan when the best time to be there is, how far away to stay, and how often they’ll be at the hospital. Being a birth mother is an emotional choice, as is giving birth, so it’s helpful to have everything spelled out and decided ahead of time. This gives you plenty of time to decide what will work best for you and find out what the adoptive parents are expecting, so that everyone leaves happy.