The adoption journey can be very emotional; especially as your due date approaches and you begin to prepare for the birth of your baby. As excited as you are to welcome your son or daughter into this world, you may also be feeling some sadness or grief in anticipation of the day. All the while, you may be feeling scared or nervous about how labor, delivery, and your overall hospital stay will go.
Many expectant mothers worry about how they will feel, how they will be treated, and how they will cope during their hospital time. Some women wonder if they will have time alone with their baby after birth, if they can feed or bond with their baby in the hospital, and whether they want the adoptive parents there in the delivery room.
While it is common to worry about the hospital experience, you do not have to; an Adoptions With Love social worker can help you create an “adoption hospital plan” to ensure you are comfortable at every point of your hospital stay – in labor, during delivery, and after giving birth to your baby. By making a hospital plan, you can rest assured all your needs will be met during your hospital stay.
What is an Adoption Hospital Plan?
For those who may not know, an adoption hospital plan is a document that details exactly what you, the expectant mother, wants to happen (and not to happen) during your hospital stay. This plan is typically created before going into labor, to help give you peace of mind and prepare mentally for the delivery and adoption process. As you approach your due date, it can help to have a birthing plan in writing.
Your hospital plan can be thought of as your letter to the hospital staff, to the adoptive family, and to your adoption agency. It will detail exactly what you want your hospital stay to look like, including who will be there, how you will give birth, how much time you want with your baby, and which mementos (if any) you would like to bring home. By planning ahead, you can make your wishes known and ensure they are met prior to birth. You can also devote more thought and energy to your time with the baby.
Adoptions With Love can help you create an adoption hospital plan that meets all of your hopes and needs. If you have not already, we can also help you find and choose the right hospital to give birth – a facility with reputable, compassionate staff who understand your emotional and physical needs. Adoptions With Love is here to ensure you feel confident and comfortable at each and every phase of your adoption plan – during your pregnancy, in the hospital, and long after you have given birth.
Things to Consider When Making a Hospital Plan
Before making a hospital plan for pregnancy and delivery, there are several questions you must ask yourself. Try to be open and honest with your answers – the hospital experience will be emotional, but sharing your wants and needs with others now can give you greater control in all that lies ahead.
Your Labor & Delivery:
- Who would you like to be your labor coach?
- Who do you want to be allowed in the labor and delivery room? Who is not allowed to be in there with you?
- Do you want the adoptive family at the hospital with you, in the delivery room or in the waiting area? If you have an open relationship with the prospective adoptive family, you might consider having them in the birthing room. This can help them bond with your child from the beginning, but is completely your choice.
- At birth, who do you want to hold the baby first? (It can be you.)
- Who (if allowed) do you want to cut the baby’s cord?
- Do you want to see or hold your baby?
- Do you want to feed and/or change your baby?
- How much time do you want to spend with your baby? Do you want alone time?
- Do you want your baby to be in the room with you following birth? Do you want your baby to sleep in your room, or in the hospital nursery?
- Will you name your baby, leave this to the adoptive family, or choose a name together?
- Which, if any, mementos do you want to bring home from the hospital (baby bracelet, nursery card, copy of birth certificate and footprints, blanket, etc.)? Which would you like to pass onto the adoptive family?
- Do you wish to take pictures of your baby? Is it okay if others take photos?
Your Hospital Stay:
- Do you wish to be a “no information” patient? This means you will remain anonymous during your hospital stay, and only the direct care team will have access to your personal information.
- After birth, do you wish to stay on the maternity ward, or another floor of the hospital?
- Do you wish to see and meet the adoptive parents? Would you like to see them together with your baby in your room?
- Who do you want to visit you in the hospital? Is there anyone (e.g. family, friends, the biological father) you wish to see or hold the baby?
- Is there anyone you do not want allowed to visit you?
- How do you wish to leave the hospital—before or after the adoptive family?
- Who do you wish to carry your baby out of the hospital?
Remember, you are in the driver’s seat of your adoption plan as well as your hospital plan. You should never feel pressured to please anyone (including the adoptive parents) or obligated to make a certain decision. This is your plan and your choice. We are here to help you navigate the process.
Call Adoptions With Love toll-free at 1-800-722-7731 for help creating your adoption hospital plan. You can also text us confidentially at 617-777-0072, at any time of day and any day of week.
If you are pregnant and making an adoption plan, be sure to check out our “Preparing for Adoption: A Month-to-Month Guide” for more information on the process and making a hospital plan. If you are a clinical professional working with an expectant mother, please download our “Clinician’s Guide to Adoption” for more information on creating a good hospital experience.