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Adoptive Parents: Following your Birth Plan during Labor

ClementsThe emotion of labor can cause behaviors that aren’t always rational. This means that you might get the urge to change some things and not stick to the birth plan. If you want to prepare yourself for the experience here is a short guide on how to do exactly that.

Organizing and preparing for a new baby are probably one of the two hardest things during a birthmother’s pregnancy. A way that Birthmothers use to help them prepare for the baby is developing a birthing plan. A birthing plan is a document which expresses the desires, needs, and beliefs that a birthmother has for labor. This is always carefully reviewed with talk with their doctor.

One of the most important things in the birth plan for you, adoptive parents, will be issues surrounding you and your involvement in the labor and post labor issues. One of the questions that birthmothers are asked for their birth plan is whether they want the prospective adoptive parents to be present for the birth. They have a range of options, from having adoptive parents stay at home, to having them be in the waiting room, to having them in the hospital room itself.

Commonly birthmothers decide to have some time alone at the hospital. This gives them a chance to feel settled in their decision and make peace before placement. If your birthmother decides to do this, remember that even though the birth is an emotional time for you, you definitely should stick with her plan and try to make this event as comfortable as possible for her. The experience of birth and the moments after belong to the birth parents and you need to allow the birth family to have their moment before you are given your parental responsibility. Childbirth is physically and emotionally intense, so respect their time and space, and allow them to do what is organic to them at the hospital.

Additionally, the birthmother might decide to keep you away from the baby after birth and have staff take care of it, or have herself or her family do it. They might also decide to bottle-feed the baby and skip breastfeeding. While there is no doubt that you have your preferences, remember that until the birthparents finalize the paperwork which terminates their parental rights, your care for the child is still a privilege. You need to respect her ability to make that decision in peace.