Planning for labor and delivery
Your hospital stay doesn’t begin in the hospital: it begins with your adoption plan. Once you know that adoption is the right choice for you, I will work with you and the adoptive parents to create a plan for the hospital This plan will be provided to the hospital and your doctor so everyone is on the same page. The hospital plan outlines who will be at the hospital when you deliver, who will be in the delivery room, and whether you want to hold the baby.
Privacy and confidentiality
You can protect your privacy during your hospital stay by requesting a no release of information. When you register at the hospital, or show up for the first time to deliver, tell the admitting staff that you want your stay to be confidential. This means that when anyone calls or shows up to the hospital and asks for your name, staff will respond that you are not registered at the hospital. Every hospital has its own protocol regarding this. They may assign you an alias or a number. Keep in mind that your friends and family will need to contact your cell phone to talk with you. You will need to let nursing staff know the names of people who are allowed to visit with you.
During the birth
Your birth plan might include everything from the contents and location of your hospital bag to instructions for your support people and hospital staff about how you’d like the birth to proceed. You can add information about what interventions you feel comfortable with and when you’d like them. Would you like an epidural? Do you want to be able to hold the baby immediately after birth? Write down these things in your birth plan, and let your support person know about it before the birth.
After the birth
After your baby is born, you can use your adoption plan as a guide. We will work together to help you decide whether you want to feed the baby, spend time alone with the baby, stay on the maternity ward or be moved to another floor. Making this plan helps you think about some of the questions that you might otherwise miss.
In the days after the baby is born, I will also start the legal documentation surrounding the adoption. We will plan your discharge from the hospital and baby’s discharge to the adoptive parents. You will decide the name that will go on the baby’s birth certificate, or you may ask the adoptive parents to do this. Shortly after you are discharged, you will sign your consent to the adoption. I will outline all of this for you so you will know what to expect. There will be no surprises.
Images Courtesy of Family Formation: Client photos printed with permission.