Planning for your hospital experience is an important step in the adoption process. Knowing what to expect gives you and your adoptive family peace of mind.
What is a hospital plan and how to prepare for your hospital experience?
A hospital plan is your plan when you are in the hospital. As a birth mother you are in charge and you have decisions to make. While you are in charge of your hospital plan some hospitals may have adoption policies that will need to be followed as well. Every birth mother is unique so hospital plan may vary. Its your plan your way.
A hosptial plan identifies what hospital you hope to deliver at.
A hospital plan identifies who you hope to have at the hospital for support.
A hospital plan identifies who you hope to have in the delivery room.
A hospital plan identifies the adoptive families role at the hospital and their contact with the baby while in the hospital.
A hospital plan identifies how much contact you want with your baby while in the hospital.
A hospital plan identifies if you want to name your baby on the initial birith certificate and if you want to write a letter or give the baby a gift.
A hospital plan identifies if you want to talk with an adoption counselor to help manage grief and loss.
How do I develop my hospital plan?
At Gift of Life Adoptions you have a Birth Mother Advocate that will help you through your adoption process. Your Birth Mother Advocate is there to help support you through your adoption journey. She will help you make your hospital plan and can contact the hospital you hope to deliver at in advance to review their adoption policy.
Here’s an example of a hospital plan to help you understand the adoption process.
Have your hospital bag ready. It will make the process go smoothly because you won’t be panicking about whether you have packed the essentials or not.
When you think you are in labor call your Birth Mother Advocate and who you want to meet you at the hospital.
Have a plan on how you will get to the hospital. Do you have someone who will drive you or will you need a ride? If you need assistance let your Birth Mother Advocate know and she will help you.
Your Birth Mother Advocate will notify your adoptive family that you are in labor and to make travel arrangements.
Your Birth Mother Advocate and adoptive family will meet you at the hospital based on the hospital plan you created.
Knowing your hospital plan in advance helps reduces anxiety. However, sometime babies come without a lot of notice so everyone must be prepared and be flexible if things need to change.
Having support from your family, friends, and adoption agency will make the hospital process easier. Having someone with you who understands your situation, will give you the moral support you need and the confidence you need. You can decide who comes and stays in your room after birth. Understandably, this is an emotional moment, and your Birth Mother Advocate will be there to help support you.
How Many People Are Permitted in the Room When You Are Delivering?
Almost anyone that you wish or whom you believe can be your support through this time. Your mom, your dad, your spouse, your Birth Mother Advocate, or even your adoptive parents can be with you, based on hospital policy. You can even invite them during labor and ask them to leave during delivery. The day is yours, so invite whomever you feel comfortable with. Hosptials may limit how many people are permitted in the room at delivery.
Who Will Hold the Baby First After Cutting the Cord?
Again, it is your choice. In most cases, the mother wants to hold the baby first, and the partner or the doctor cuts the cord. Usually, the parents or the mother need some personal time before they invite visitors in. However, it is not unusual to invite the adoptive parents into the room immediately after birth to share the joy of the newest family member.
How and When Do You Want the Adoptive Parents to Meet Your Baby During Your Supervised Stay?
You must decide how much personal time you want with the baby. The ultimate decision is yours.
There are a few options that you have with regard to how you want to interact with the adoptive parents:
- You can spend time with your baby in your the room or in the NICU.
- Many hospitals offer a room to the adoptive family so they can spend personal time with the baby. The room is usually provided on the next floor so the baby can be easily passed from the birth mother to the adoptive family. If you need some time to rest or sleep, you can instruct the nurse to give the baby to the adoptive parents.
- The third option is that the adoptive family looks over the baby the entire time in the hospital.
Note: Hospitals determine when you and the baby will be discharged based on medical necessity. In Florida adoption consents can be signed 48 hours after the birth of the baby or sooner if there is a discharge order from the hospital.
During your hospital stay, the hospital social worker may visit to see how you are settling in. She will discuss the plan to ensure you are fully aware of your plan.
Your Birth Mother Advocate is always available to answer any of your questions or help you in any way you need.
Gift of Life Adoptions will work with you through the adoption consent signing process and will be there to offer any assistance you may need. For more information, call 1-800-216-LIFE.