The first cries of your baby is unlike any other sound in the world. There is nothing that can truly prepare you for the emotions that will follow hearing it. This is why the hospital portion of your adoption journey is the most challenging aspect. Both your emotions and hormones will be heightened, so it’s important to know your hospital plan options ahead of time. Your adoption caseworker will be a great resource in working out these details.
Creating a hospital plan will help you think through all your available options as a birth mother. To determine what your preferences are, and how you’d like your hospital experience to go. After all, most of the hospital stay is up to you and what you are comfortable with. Have you thought about who you’d like in the delivery room with you? Who will cut the umbilical cord? What about who will be the first person to hold the baby? These are just a few of the important things to consider when it comes to your hospital plan options as a birth mother.
Holding the Baby
Giving birth is not only physically challenging, but also emotionally draining. You will undoubtedly be exhausted and feel overwhelmed. Having your hospital plan options figured out beforehand is important for this reason. It will eliminate some of the questions of the hospital staff and ease the stress of you deciding on the fly.
One of the options to consider is what will happen immediately following the birth. Do you want to hold your baby? If so, do you have a preference as to how? Skin-to-skin or just through the blanket? On a deeper level, do you want to see your baby at all or would it be easier not to? If you aren’t sure, your adoption caseworker can guide you through the pros and cons. This decision is different for every birth mother. While some avoid contact because they don’t want to risk bonding with the baby, others value the chance to connect before the baby joins his or her new family. There is no right or wrong answer. It’s whatever feels best for you.
Alone Time with the Baby
During your hospital stay, you are in control of how much time you have or don’t have with your baby. You have the right to spend as much time with your baby as you wish. So, if you feel that you need alone time with your baby before bringing in the adoptive parents, be sure to list that as an essential hospital plan component. You can specify a timeslot, or wait until the day of. That’s completely up to you. But having this plan in place will help the hospital staff, your adoption caseworker and the adoptive parents all know what to expect.
Some birth mothers want the adoptive family to be as involved as possible, from birth to discharge. They allow the adoptive mother or father to be the ones to cut the umbilical cord and to hold the baby right after birth. But, it’s important for you to determine what you need during this time. If you need time alone with your baby to help you grieve and heal, take advantage of it. Really. Don’t feel guilty or ashamed. Until you sign the relinquishment papers, the baby legally belongs to you.
Overnight Stay with the Baby
Something that is asked when a birth mother is mapping out her hospital plan options regards an overnight stay with the baby. In other words, having the opportunity to take the baby home with her for the night. While this isn’t entirely impossible, it’s extremely important for you to be aware of the possible risks of this option. Your adoption caseworker will be sure to walk you through all the pros and cons, and make you fully understand the ins and outs.
Allowing you to take your baby home for a night could become problematic. With your emotions already heightened from the birth and delivery process, it would be all too easy for you to make a judgment call through an emotional lens. To see the baby in your home and want to change your mind. On the flip side, having your baby in your home could also mar your healing process. There would be no separation or place that your baby hadn’t touched. So, as a compromise, perhaps think about requesting a longer portion of alone time with your baby in the hospital instead.
Hospital Plan Options for Birth Mothers
If at any point, you change your mind about something — even if it’s in the moment at the hospital — that’s ok. Your hospital plan options give you a baseline of what to expect, and provides your adoption caseworker with a way to support you. Any details you provide will also be communicated to the labor and delivery department at your selected hospital, so they can be prepared as well. It doesn’t, however, anticipate any of the emotions you will feel during the actual hospital stay. So, if you feel differently about a decision you made before, give your caseworker a head’s up and they will help you navigate through the change. The most important thing about the hospital plan is that you get the time and space you need during birth and delivery, and that you feel comfortable and not pressured in any way.
Your brief stay in the hospital is all about you and your baby. When it comes to saying hello and goodbye to your baby, you can have all the time you need. Whatever will be best for you and your healing process before you leave the hospital and the adoption finalization process begins.
Adoption Choices of Oklahoma
If you are currently in the process of adopting a baby and have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact, Adoption Choices of Oklahoma. You may visit our website here or call 405-794-7500 (Oklahoma City) or 918-982-6220 (Tulsa).
Support Adoption Choices
Adoption Choices, Inc. is partnering with Crowdrise, a fundraising website for nonprofits, to help our adoptive parents and birth parents with much needed financial assistance. We understand that expenses keep clients from fulfilling their dreams. Both with birth parents making a plan for adoption, and with adoptive parents growing their family. It is our mission to provide financial assistance through grants and scholarships, awarded annually in November, in honor of National Adoption Month. Funds assist adoptive parents with matching and placements, adoption finalization and helping birth mothers improve their lives through higher education — and much more.
However, we can’t do it alone. Please read up on our programs and donate money where you are able. Your donation will make a huge impact.
About the Author
Rachel Robertson is a published journalist, book editor, certified Publishing Specialist, and aspiring novelist. She graduated from Central Washington University (CWU) in March 2011, having found her writing voice within the Creative Nonfiction genre and grew to work as a freelance book editor for small presses all across the United States.
In June 2018, she embarked on an internship with Virginia Frank and came on board with Adoption Choices Inc., Not for Profit 501(c)(3), in December 2018. Between her mutual passion with adoption and surrogacy, and her own personal history with adoption, Rachel is excited to research and share topics each week that will spread awareness and better serve the faithful patrons of Adoption Choices Inc.
When Rachel isn’t haunting her local Starbucks or Barnes and Noble, she’s avidly pouring over her Writer’s Digest subscription or cozying up with a cup of tea and a book. She currently resides in the beautiful Pacific Northwest with her beloved wife and Border Collie.
Adoption, Lifetime. “How to Create a Hospital Plan That Works For You.” How to Create a Hospital Plan That Works For You, blog.lifetimeadoption.com/birthmothers/how-to-create-a-hospital-plan-that-works-for-you.
Adoptions, Lifelong. “Creating an Adoption Hospital Plan.” LifeLong Adoptions, www.lifelongadoptions.com/10-lgbt-adoptive-parents/282-creating-an-adoption-hospital-plan.
“Make Your Adoption Hospital Plan.” Binti, binti.com/expectant-parents-guide-to-adoption/adoption-hospital-plan/.
“What Is a ‘Birth Plan’ in Adoption?” Birthmothers Choice, 1 Sept. 2016, www.birthmotherschoice.com/what-birth-plan-adoption/.