Anticipating your delivery can feel like you’re on an emotional roller coaster. You are likely excited to meet your child, but also nervous about how your delivery will go.
When the big day arrives, you can put your hopes and fears for this momentous occasion in God’s hands. You can go into this day with even more confidence by creating an adoption hospital plan ahead of time. This will help you express what is most important to you so that everyone involved knows how to best support you.
Your adoption hospital plan is a roadmap of your wishes for your hospital stay. It clearly outlines your expectations so that the hospital staff, the adoptive family, and Lifetime Adoption are all on the same page. Giving birth is both physically and emotionally draining, so you may not be up for making decisions on the fly. A hospital plan takes that pressure off of you.
You have many choices for how your hospital stay can look. Each choice you make is a part of your hospital plan. Use this checklist to go through your choices, and write them down. You may want to hold off on finalizing your plan until later in your pregnancy since your wishes could change as your relationship with the adoptive family grows. It’s OK if your plan evolves as you move through the adoption process. Just be sure to update your adoption coordinator. Good communication is the key to making this the best experience it can be for you.
Once you have finalized your plan, give a copy to the adoptive family, and bring a copy with you to the hospital. A helpful way to organize your adoption hospital plan is to think about your requests before, during, and after delivery.
Your Adoption Hospital Plan Checklist
Requests Before Delivery
- Who do you want to accompany you to the hospital?
- Do you want to be admitted to the hospital confidentially?
- If you have other children, will they come to the hospital? Will you need to make childcare arrangements if your children do not come to the hospital with you?
- What items from home will you bring with you? What birthing equipment do you want the hospital to have available for you?
Requests During Delivery
- What type of birth are you planning?
- Are you open to an epidural or other pain medication?
- Who do you want in the delivery room with you? You may want the baby’s father, a family member, the adoptive parent, or another member of your support system with you. Space will be limited, so find out from the hospital how many people are allowed in the room.
- Who will cut the cord?
Requests After Delivery
- Will you or the adoptive parents be the first to hold your baby?
- Do you want to spend time with your baby in the hospital? You can spend time with your baby alone or with the adoptive family, or you can place your baby with the adoptive family right away.
- Will you breastfeed your baby in the hospital? If you choose to breastfeed, you can request to work with a lactation consultant.
- Will you be open to visitors who want to see you and the baby in the hospital? It is absolutely OK if you wish to make this a private experience.
- Will you take any pictures with your baby at the hospital?
- Do you have a gift or a Letter of Love for your baby?
- Do you want to leave the hospital with or without the adoptive family?
Your adoption coordinator at Lifetime Adoption is here to help you create a hospital plan. Often, the most helpful advice comes from someone who has been in your shoes, so we can also connect you with a peer support counselor to guide you through the process. A fellow birth mother can provide you with the insight you may not have considered by sharing her own experience with you.
God’s plans don’t always line up perfectly with our own, so there’s no guarantee of exactly how your birth story will go. Even the most detailed hospital plan can veer off course, so it’s equally important to be flexible when it’s necessary.
Lifetime Adoption is here to make sure that this is your experience. By walking into the hospital with a clear plan of your design, you can focus your energy on what matters most: a safe delivery for you and your baby and welcoming one of God’s children into the world.
Want to learn more? The caring Christian adoption professionals at Lifetime are just a phone call or text message away at 1-800-923-6784.
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on August 2, 2020, and has since been updated.
As the Vice President (VP) of Lifetime Adoption, Heather Featherston holds an MBA and is passionate about working with those facing adoption, pregnancy, and parenting issues. Heather has conducted training for birth parent advocates, spoken to professional groups, and has appeared on television and radio to discuss the multiple aspects of adoption. She has provided one-on-one support to women and hopeful adoptive parents working through adoption decisions.
Since 2002, she has been helping pregnant women and others in crisis to learn more about adoption. Heather also trains and speaks nationwide to pregnancy clinics to effectively meet the needs of women who want to explore adoption for their child. Today, she continues to address the concerns women have about adoption and supports the needs of women who choose adoption for their child.
As a published author of the book Called to Adoption, Featherston loves to see God’s hand at work every day as she helps children and families come together through adoption.