Often, amid adoption plans, the plan for the birthing experience is completely forgotten. For an expectant mother, the time in the hospital is the most integral part of the adoption process. Agencies will advise a mother who has chosen adoption to create a birth plan—a list or document containing what the expectant mother would or would not like regarding the birthing process.

In practical terms, a birth plan will help you plan your labor and delivery, and it may even help the process go smoother. Emotionally, a birth plan helps you remember that the birthing process is solely about you and the baby.

Where to Start with Your Plans

It’s important to note that things might not always go as planned. So be mentally prepared for that. Nevertheless, forming a plan can help diminish the unknowns that often come with labor and delivery. Do you want an epidural? Do you want to birth in water? Is that possible in your facility? Do you want to cut the cord yourself? What about skin-to-skin bonding, or breastfeeding? Who would you like in the room when the baby is born? How many people are allowed to be there?

Some women choose to have the hopeful adoptive parents in the room, but this is not a necessity. Since birth should be strictly about you and the child, it can be argued that having other people present may be a distraction. Make the best choice for you based on your comfort level. Every decision should render more support for you, the potential birth mother. If any decision or piece of the plan makes you uncomfortable, you might want to reconsider.

If you are unfamiliar with the birthing process, contacting someone you trust who has gone through it may enable you to create a more comprehensive and realistic birth plan.

Making Your Adoption Plan

Another “plan” that you might consider drawing up is your plan leading up to completing the adoption while in the hospital. Would you like a private room? Are you okay with having visitors? How long would you like to have with the baby before you sign the relinquishment papers? Or would you like the baby taken to the nursery immediately instead? Is there someone you’d like to spend the night with you to help in taking care of the infant?

Both plans must be written down and multiple copies made so that doctors, nurses, and anyone else involved will have a clear understanding of your wishes.

It’s important to remember to be flexible with your plan and with yourself. You may go into the hospital with detailed plans in hand, ready to go forward with exactness, and then find that circumstances or feelings negate many of the desires you had written down. That is perfectly normal and perfectly fine.

The process of writing your birth and adoption plans may be emotional and difficult. Remember that the goal of both plans is to provide you, the potential birth mother, with the opportunity to prepare and feel in control of what you are about to do.

Are you considering adoption and want to give your child the best life possible? Let us help you find an adoptive family that you love. Visit Adoption.org or call 1-800-ADOPT-98.