When you've made the difficult decision to place your baby for adoption, there are still a lot of smaller choices to be made. As the date of delivery gets closer, you'll need to design a birth plan that fits the needs of your baby and the adoptive parents, but you'll also need to make a plan to works for you. Here are some things to consider when you're planning your delivery and hospital stay.
You can decide to take labor preparation classes before your due date to help prepare you for the process. However, on your birth plan, you should consider including you choices for the following:
- Support during labor.
Many women find it helpful to have someone there to support them during labor. It can help to have a close friend or family there who is supportive of your decisions. If you can't think of anyone you'd like to have present, consider hiring a doula who can help coach you and defend your choices during birth.
- Medical interventions.
Some women prefer to choose pain management options or Pitocin immediately upon getting admitted to the hospital. Others prefer to labor unmedicated. Remember the choice is yours to make. The adoptive parents might request one thing or the other, but since you have not yet terminated parental rights, it is still your decision to make.
You are still in control when it comes to delivery options. You can refuse medical procedures like c-sections or episiotomies if you feel they are not necessary. Keep in mind that c-sections are often needed in emergencies. However, if things go as planned and you have a vaginal delivery, you can choose:
- Who is in the room with you.
Sometimes, adoptive parents like to be there, but they don't have to be. You can opt to deliver alone if that is what you would prefer.
- If you would like to hold the baby.
This choice is entirely yours. Some birth mothers feel like it is easier not to hold or see the baby, but to immediately pass the child to the adoptive parents. Others like to take a moment to hold the baby beforehand. There is no right or wrong choice in this matter. Make it clear on your birth plan to make sure that the nurses know what to expect.
- What medical procedures your baby receives.
This is something you may want to decide with the adoptive parents. However, common procedures given immediately upon delivery are immediately cutting the cord, weighing and measuring, and administering medicinal eye drops. You can opt to forgo all or some of these procedures in favor of delayed cord clamping, skin-to-skin before weighing, and no eye drops.
Your postpartum care will depend a lot on your adoptive agreement and birth plan, but here are some things you should plan for:
- Whether or not you will breastfeed your baby while he or she is still in your care.
Some mothers opt to have the baby moved to a bottle and fed by the adoptive parents from the beginning. Others want to provide nourishing colostrum to the baby while in the hospital. This is again your choice.
- Getting help with your recovery.
Even if you don't bring a baby home from the hospital, you'll still need to take it easy as you recover from pregnancy and delivery. Have a friend or family member stay with you to help you during the first week or so after the birth.
- Finalizing the adoption details.
You probably had a plan for the adoption before delivery, but your feelings can change after meeting your child. For example, you may have thought you wanted a closed adoption, but now you might want to change the agreement to allow for some contact. Review your adoption plan one more time after the birth to make sure your desires have not changed.
Placing your baby for adoption is a courageous choice. With careful planning, the labor and delivery can go more smoothly. Contact a company like A Child's Dream for more information.