A Guide to Creating Your Hospital Plan as a Birth Mother in Kansas
The birth of your child is a major turning point in your adoption journey. Emotions are high. Feelings of relief, anxiety, or even grief, may start to set in as the time of birth approaches and reality suddenly starts to set in. As a birth mother, an effective way to prepare for your child’s arrival is to create a hospital plan. Also known as a “birth plan”, a hospital plan is a comprehensive checklist of your preferences during your hospital stay. While putting together a hospital plan is optional, planning ahead can make the birthing process more manageable and less stressful for you. By creating your hospital plan, you are helping the hospital help you to maximize your comfort and minimize any challenges that might come up.
When creating your hospital plan, it may be helpful to use a pre-prepared template as a guide for you. Keep in mind that you don’t have to limit yourself to what you see on the template. Also, you can change your hospital plan at any time as you see fit. For example, even if you initially put down that you want to deliver completely naturally, you can change your mind and opt for an epidural. While a hospital plan template can be effective in prompting you to think about how you want your hospital stay to go, your adoption agency is also a great resource for you to help you think through and nail down all the details.
At Adoption Choices of Kansas, we will gladly assist you in putting together your hospital plan so that this transitory time for you goes as smoothly as possible. Whether or not you use a pre-prepared template when creating your hospital plan, there are some general things that you will want to consider including in your plan.
Including Basic Information
The first thing you will need to include in your hospital plan is some basic background information such as your name, your OB/GYN, the hospital in which you will deliver, the name(s) of anyone you wish to be in the delivery room for support, and the contact information for all those listed.
You will also want to include the due date and any medical issues, if you have any, so that the hospital can make the proper accommodations for you. Such issues can include: allergies to any medications, chronic illness, or difficulties with previous deliveries.
Planning for Labor
You actually have many options as to how you want to go about the labor process as you wait for your baby to come. A major concern that might be on your mind is how to manage any pain you will experience. Some women want to experience the birth of their child completely naturally without receiving any pain medications which is entirely fine. There are a variety of ways to ease a natural labor such as: aromatherapy, breathing exercises, walking around, shifting positions, playing soothing background music, having your back massaged or chewing on ice chips. It can also be helpful to have someone be present throughout your labor process, such as a family member or the adoptive parents.
You can still use the previously described pain-management methods if you are delivering vaginally, but opt to take an epidural to make yourself more comfortable. One other medical intervention you might consider is having your labor induced by medication. You might opt for an elective induction meaning that you will undergo a medically induced labor despite not experiencing difficulties with labor. Elective inductions are scheduled in advance and can bring the birth mother a sense of assurance and control over the progress of her labor.
When the time finally comes for your baby to be born, do you envision members of your support system or the adoptive parents being present? Do you want the birth to be photographed or recorded? Do you want a mirror positioned so that you can watch the birth of your child? Would you consider giving birth in a warm tub?
Deciding on any of these items ahead of time might make your delivery experience feel a little less overwhelming. If you are undergoing a C-section, you might have different anesthesia options available to you that you might want to consider. If you are delivering vaginally, you may opt to undergo an episiotomy — a surgical incision of your perineum and posterior vaginal wall that usually heals within a few weeks. The purpose of this is to widen the opening of your vagina to make it easier for the baby to pass through while reducing the risk of excessive tearing. Unless it is deemed necessary by your doctor, it is entirely up to you whether to undergo this procedure.
Following the Birth
Immediately after delivery, you may want to hold your baby, or you may opt for the adoptive parents to be the first ones to hold him or her. You may choose who will cut the umbilical cord and when it will be cut. You will also want to think about whether you would like to deliver the placenta naturally or via medical induction. You may want to take advantage of the opportunity to spend some alone time with your baby and even experience breastfeeding or bathing your baby before he or she goes home with his or her new family. You can also use this time to take plenty of pictures as keepsakes of your adoption journey.
Implement Your Adoption Hospital Plan
When you tailor your hospital plan to your needs and desires as a birth mother, you are owning this very personal and crucial part of your adoption journey. Taking control over this moment can be very empowering and can be an effective way for you to cope with this emotional and life-changing experience. Remember that it’s okay to be flexible as you implement your plan, since no birth goes 100 percent as expected.
No matter how you decide to approach your plan, Adoption Choices of Kansas is here to support you and to ensure that you have a successful hospital experience.
Meet the Author: Mary DeStefano is an Ohio native currently living in northern Virginia and works in the litigation consulting industry where she has experience in antitrust, product liability, and mass torts matters. She holds a B.A. in Economics (‘15) and an M.A. in Applied Economics (‘16) from the University of Cincinnati.
Mary finds great meaning in wielding the written word to develop impactful narratives and to help people stay informed. In her spare time, Mary can be found beachcombing and going on other adventures with her dog along the shores of the Chesapeake Bay. She also has an affinity for antiquing and loves a good 80’s movie marathon.