8 Things to Consider when Creating Your Birth Plan as a Birth Mother
When you find out you are expecting, you can go through a lot of emotions. So, as you sit down to develop your birth plan, also known as a hospital plan, with your adoption caseworker, it’s natural to feel overwhelmed or stressed. It’s also okay to let your adoption caseworker know how you feel, so that they can help you.
As an expectant birth mother, it’s beneficial to create a detailed birth plan for you and your baby as you get closer to your baby’s due date. Consider what preferences you may have for your hospital experience. Things that would help you, or people who you’d like to be there with you.
Remember, at Adoption Choices of Missouri, we are to guide you through your adoption journey. To help you get started with this portion of the adoption process, we have listed eight things to consider when you are creating your birth plan.
- What Kind of Birth Do You Want in Your Birth Plan?
Deciding what kind of birth you want is totally up to you. You can choose either an all natural birth or a C-section. You can have pain management or give birth without any medication. Whichever birth style you choose, remember this is your choice as a birth mother, and you have every right to have the birth that you want.
- Do You want Alone Time with Your Baby after Giving Birth in Your Birth Plan?
Having one-on-one time with your baby is hard, especially after you have just given birth. Spending a precious moment alone with your baby will provide you with a chance to memorize his or her features, soak up the joyous emotions of having a baby and give you a chance to say goodbye before the adoptive parents take him or her home.
- Who Do You Want in the Delivery Room with You in Your Birth Plan?
Deciding who should accompany you to the delivery room is such a personal decision. You may just want one specific person, like your mother or partner or spouse in the room, or you may be comfortable with the adoptive mom in the room. That said, you don’t have to feel pressured to have the adoptive parents in the delivery room with you, if you don’t want them to. Giving birth is a private moment, and you should do whatever makes you feel comfortable.
- Who Gets to Hold the Baby First in Your Birth Plan?
Figuring out who will hold the baby first can come down to personal preference, or emotions that may arise after labor. If in your birth plan you mention that the adoptive parents should hold the baby first, but then, on the day of, change your mind, that is okay. Your adoption caseworker is prepared for last minute changes, as these can happen when emotions are high.
Some birth mothers do not want to hold their baby first initially, but change their mind after giving birth. So, whether you have just given birth, or are still going through the planning stages, think about what option may be best for you. What you may need. Ask yourself: if you didn’t get to hold your baby, would you regret it?
Holding your baby for the first time is such a special moment for you as a birth mother and sharing this experience with the adoptive mother, or simply having this moment alone with your baby, will form a special bond that will grow.
- What Questions do You want to Ask the Adoptive Parents in Your Birth Plan?
As you consider everything you want in your birth plan, you may have questions that you’d like to ask the adoptive parents. These questions may include, but are not limited to:
- What expectations do you have for the hospital experience?
- How would you like to be involved?
- Would you like to have a group picture taken after the birth?
- How do we each decide on a name for the baby?
Many of the questions mentioned above may be on your mind or be ones that you have not considered before. However, you can discuss any questions or concerns you have with the adoptive parents’ involvement in your birth plan.
- Do You want Someone to Take Photos of You with Your Baby in Your Birth Plan?
Having a private or joint photoshoot with you, your baby, and the adoptive parents can be such a memorable moment, and one that can help you document this moment forever. Choosing to remember the day your birth child was born and seeing the look on the adoptive parents’ face when they first held him or her can become a special part of your adoption journey. It can also remind you that you made the right decision.
- Who will Keep the Baby’s Delivery Momentos in Your Birth Plan?
After your baby’s birth, deciding who takes home your baby’s hospital ID bracelet, hospital hat, blanket, and other hospital favors is a hard decision. On one hand, your child’s adoptive parents will become your child’s parents, so they may want to keep certain mementos to remember such an important day. On the other hand, you may want to keep one or all of your baby’s birth momentos as a reminder of your birth child and your adoption journey. Maybe you decide to keep one and give the adoptive parents the rest as a way of bonding with them and strengthening your relationship and connection with them and your child.
- Do You Want to Leave Before or After the Adoptive Parents in Your Birth Plan?
Choosing to stay in the hospital while you know your child is in another room bonding with his or her new parents can be such a hard thing to go through as you are experiencing grief and loss, while the adoptive parents are overjoyed at becoming parents. As a birth mother, you may want to be distant from the adoptive parents and leave before them, so it is not as painful knowing your child is no longer legally yours. However, you may want to say goodbye to your child and their parents.
Whatever you are feeling during the last few days or moments with your child is perfectly okay. You should embrace these feelings because you have gone through a difficult, but rewarding, adoption journey that will be a part of you forever.
Advice to Expecting Birth Mothers Making a Birth Plan
Remember, as a birth mother, your choices matter. Whatever details you want to put into your birth plan is totally up to you. If you ever feel like you need assistance in creating your birth plan, you can consult with your adoption caseworker, who will assist you with all your questions and concerns.
Adoption is an already hard decision, but making your birth plan doesn’t have to be. Take some time and talk with other birth mothers in your area, research online birth mother groups or speak with trusted friends or family members about what you want or should think about. More importantly, give yourself time to step away and carefully think about the eight things to consider when creating your birth plan that we’ve mentioned here. Remember your birth plan will be unique to you and only you, so listen to your heart when thinking about how you’d like your hospital experience to go.
Meet the Author: Samara Wiley is a published author of poetry, essays, and an environmental children’s storybook called, Waiting for the Water Fairy. She graduated from Benedictine University in 2018 with a double Bachelor of Arts in English Literature and French.She has been published in three small poetry anthologies one was called Talented.
Her other writing accomplishments include: winning a high school poetry competition and $2500 for her high school, having two out of her five novels be considered for publication and writing movie critic reviews for her university’s newsletter.
Although she has Cerebral Palsy and has had a turbulent childhood, Samara puts these small specs of herself into her writing to personally connect with her audience. She prides herself on pushing the boundaries in her writing and in her personal life with everything she does. Samara writes with her heart and a voice of compassion, and loves to pull from her top passions in life.
She currently lives in Yorkville, Illinois with her mom and two sisters.