If you've been faced with an unplanned pregnancy and have decided to give your baby to a loving couple who you feel will be able to give your baby a better life, congratulations! You've chosen another life over your own.
While there are many of the challenges of pregnancy you may not have much control over, such as morning sickness and an ever-growing belly, you can have some control over the birthing process. You'll need to develop a birth plan. Here are a few questions to ask yourself and the adoptive parents.
Will the adoptive parents be there or not?
If you are having an open adoption, which means you will be part of the baby's life in some way, you may wonder if you should allow the adoptive parents in the delivery room.
This doesn't mean the adoptive parents will see your nether regions, especially if you do not want them to. The adoptive parents can stay behind or beside you to support you through the delivery if you feel comfortable with them being there.
Your birth plan can include a privacy screen that is placed at your waist, similar to what is used in cesarean deliveries. That way, the adoptive parent(s) can be in the delivery room to experience the birth, yet your private areas are protected.
Most closed adoptions do not allow for interaction between birth parent(s) and adoptive parent(s). Since you may be asked to walk the halls during labor, you may be concerned about running into the adoptive parents accidentally. To avoid this, speak with your counselor or adoption agency about what can be done to keep this from happening.
Your birth plan can include your wishes to completely avoid the adoptive parents. They can then keep the adoptive parents in a separate area of the hospital. The hospital staff doesn't want any undue stress on you because it could affect the baby and result in complications during labor and the birth.
Who will hold the baby after you give birth?
It's important for newborns to have skin-to-skin contact, especially during the first hours of their lives. The contact promotes healthy physical and psychological development. However, when newborns are cuddled within the first hour of their birth, nature tells them to find their mother's milk so they can feed their starving bellies. After all, they worked hard to be born.
Therefore, if you choose to hold the baby immediately after delivery, do not do so with bare skin. It's a good idea to cover up your breasts so the baby doesn't smell your milk. This may mean draping up a heavy towel over your breasts while you hold the baby. However, be prepared for the baby to root around for milk, regardless.
If you choose not to hold the baby after the birth, the adoptive parents should be given the option to do so by the hospital staff. Given the importance of skin-to-skin contact, the adoptive mother may be asked to hold the baby to her bare chest.
As part of your birth plan, you'll want to state whether or not you want that to happen in front of you or not. That way, the hospital staff can whisk the baby (and the adoptive parents) to another room for the important skin-to-skin bonding.
After reaching what may have been the hardest decision in your entire life – to give your baby up for adoption – there are a few other decisions to make regarding the birth plan. Hopefully, the questions and answers in this article will help you reach a birth plan that will suit you, the baby, and the adoptive parents.
Click this link to learn more about planning your baby's birth and adoption.