How to Create A Hospital Plan as a Birth Mother in Arizona
A hospital plan, also known as a birth plan, is an effective tool for discussing details with the people who have the responsibility of caring for and supporting you. A hospital plan is not necessarily a requirement, but it’s encouraged. This document lets your medical team know your preferences. It also helps refresh the memory of your healthcare provider when you are in labor. Your team uses this plan to decide on what techniques to try for your breathing, pushing and delivery, among other things.
There are many different templates available online that help you create a hospital plan, but they have a variety of differences. Adoption Choices of Arizona has provided you with the basics of how to create a hospital plan. Keeping it short and simple is key, as it’s easier for everyone to read.
Start with the easy stuff! List your name, your doctor’s name, and contact information. If the birth father or your significant other will be in attendance, list their name as well. Write down any allergies or health conditions you have.
Think about what would help make you feel the most comfortable. Hospital rooms can feel intimidating. The neutral colors, the sterile, uncomfortable beds, and the loud noises. Here are a few suggestions to make your labor and birth as comfortable as possible:
- Lighting – Do you want the lights dimmed? Bright as can be? Perhaps you want to go through labor in the darkness. If so, consider bringing a sleeping mask.
- Music – Some birth mothers don’t like how quiet hospital rooms can be. Sometimes the beeping of all the machines can cause anxiety. Do you want music played? What type of music would make you feel the most comfortable?
- Personal Items – Perhaps you have a lucky charm that you want to hold in your hand or be displayed in your hospital room. Maybe you want some holistic crystals next to your bed. Some expectant women even wear their own hospital gown that they made or bought.
- Photo/Video – Do you want your support person to be taking pictures or a video during your labor? You can put up a tripod to capture this miracle moment. Are you comfortable with your whole body being in pictures? Perhaps you just want pictures of your baby, and not of yourself.
In your hospital plan, include any preferences you have for your labor. For example, do you want to walk around freely? Use a birthing ball? Two of the most important things to consider is your pain and comfort levels and measurements.
- Comfort – What type of comfort measures do you want to use? Common comfort measures include: aromatherapy, patterned breathing, massage, and certain beverages. Find out what brings your comfort and plan on bringing it for labor. Putting this on your hospital plan will help your medical team provide the necessary comfort. It’s also important to note if you’d like comfort assistance from your nurses. Do you want your nurses to give you recommendations for comfort measures?
- Pain – Pain management during labor is a very important consideration. You may not plan to have an epidural, which is completely fine, but may change your mind as your labor continues. Are you into a holistic approach to pain and healing? Perhaps you know you definitely want an epidural, but for whatever reason, it’s not possible in the moment. Think of how much you’d like your nurses to be involved. Are you comfortable with them giving advice and recommendations for pain management? As you’re creating your hospital plan, ask your doctor about your options for pain relief.
There are a variety of options to consider for your baby’s birth.
- Vaginal birth – Think about what type of pushing techniques and positions you’d like to try. Laying down, squatting, on your knees? Do you want a mirror so you can see your baby being born? What about an episiotomy? Would you be happy to follow medical advice, prefer not to have one unless medically necessary, or maybe you don’t want one at all, even if it means tearing naturally.
- C-Section – If having a cesarean, would you like your partner or spouse to be in the room? Think about if you’d like the screen to remain in place or lowered so you can see your baby’s birth. If you don’t have plans to give birth via cesarean, it’s still important to be prepared for the likelihood of it happening. What would make you the most comfortable and how can your medical team help?
Giving birth is a lot of hard work, so having support is vital. Who would you like to be in the room while you give birth? How can this person assist you with your comfort?
One of the biggest moments during delivery regards is the umbilical cord. Do you have a preference on who cuts it? The adoptive father, nurse or doctor? Perhaps you’d like it to be attached for as long as possible. The placenta is also important right after birth. Would you be more comfortable delivering the placenta naturally, or managed with an injection?
What about the sex of the baby? Some birth mother’s decide to wait until the baby is born to know whether she is having a boy or girl. If that’s the case, how would you like the news to be delivered to you? Do you want the doctor to tell you, your baby’s birth father, or would you rather find out yourself? Be clear in these instructions so the surprise doesn’t accidentally get ruined.
Do you want your baby to be placed on your abdomen or chest immediately after birth? Would you like your baby to be cleaned up straight away, or only after you’ve had a nice cuddle with him or her? What about feeding your baby? Many birth mothers prefer to breastfeed, but it’s hard. Sometimes milk doesn’t come in and the baby will have to be fed by bottle. Don’t be discouraged or ashamed if you experience this! It doesn’t mean that there’s anything wrong with you.
How to Create An Adoption Hospital Plan
Creating a hospital plan is very beneficial to all parties involved. It’ll bring you comfort and help assist your medical team. Review said plan with your doctor, and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Always keep in mind that a hospital plan is not set in stone. You can’t predict everything that will happen on that special day. Labor and delivery can be intimidating, but we hope creating a solid hospital plan can help ease some anxiety.
For adoption resources or to begin your adoption journey, birth parents can visit us at Adoption Choices of Arizona or call or text us at 1-480-900-5520. If you are an prospective adoptive family hoping to adopt a baby, please instead, visit us here!
Meet the author: Sarah Aguilera, a Northern Arizona University linguistics and creative writing graduate, is an aspiring author with a passion for influencing others through written words. She has a healthy ardor for all things literature and is often found with a book in her hands.
When she’s not working, Sarah likes to spend her free time swimming, playing with her dog, going to concerts with friends and having crazy adventures with her family. Her love for her own family is what pushed her to join the adoption writing team. She looks forward to educating those hoping to grow their family through adoption.