8 Things a Nurse Can Do For a Woman Choosing Adoption
If you are a nurse who works with childbirth, you may encounter women giving their children up for adoption. Adoption can be a scary process for some mothers, so you may be wondering how you can help. As a nurse, you may encounter unique challenges when interacting with adoption-birth mothers. Let an adoption agency be your guide to know how to best support birth mothers.
Although you are equipped to deal with pregnancy, there are other ways you can assist women who choose adoption. Ultimately, as a nurse, you can aid and assist these mothers when they have many needs. Here are eight things you can do for women choosing adoption.
- Be Familiar with State Adoption Laws
There are several different legal requirements that women pursuing adoption need to fulfill. When a woman has given birth, she may need to sign documents before giving her child to the adoptive parents. As a nurse, it would be helpful to know what your state requires. There are other legal aspects of adoption, such as laws regarding the birth mother’s family and the baby’s father. Certain situations can cause conflict at the hospital, so being familiar with the laws will help quell any drama.
- Speak Using Positive Adoption Language
You might be unfamiliar with the term “positive adoption language.” There can be some harsh negativity and criticism toward adoption. Some people may refer to adoption as giving up on a child or escaping from parenting. You never know what a woman has been through or why she got pregnant in the first place. Using positive adoption language will let the mother know that you aren’t condemning her actions. Some phrases you can use are:
- Placing a baby up for adoption
- Unplanned pregnancy
- Providing for a child
- Finding a child a home
- Be Connected With an Adoption Agency
Some women decide to pursue adoption after their baby has been born. In these cases, you need to be familiar with local adoption agencies. Some women may approach hospitals while pregnant, expressing interest in adoption. Other women may not know what to do with an unplanned pregnancy, and you can refer them to an agency. Being familiar with adoption agencies will help you serve your patients better.
- Know the Adoption Policy of Your Hospital
Some hospitals have an adoption policy in place already to help nurses deal with adoption cases. Being familiar with the rules in your hospital’s policy will help you when you encounter situations in the future. Birth mothers already have a lot on their plate and so much to remember. If you take the time to learn your hospital’s policy, this will help reduce the birth mother’s stress.
- Know Your Patient’s Preferences
Giving birth can be scary and overwhelming for mothers. As a nurse, you need to ask what your patient’s preferences are before she gives birth. For example, some women are fine with the adoptive parents present during the delivery. However, other mothers may want their delivery to be more private. Additionally, you may want to ask how many contacts the mother would like with her baby after birth. For some women, many contacts may make it harder to separate. For others, they want to spend as much time with their child as possible.
- Encourage Your Patient
What your patient is going through is very difficult. It is important for you to encourage her as she gives birth, reminding her of her strength. Adoption shows a huge amount of love and humility on her part, and you can remind her of that. Ask her if she needs anything from time to time and checks in on her.
- Seek Out Adoption Training
Some agencies and hospitals may provide hospital staff with adoption training. Taking time to learn more about adoption will increase your impact on the lives of birth mothers. You can learn a lot from adoption professionals about serving birth mothers in delivery.
- Ask Your Patient How You Can Help
Ultimately, the best thing for you is to ask your patient how you can help her in specific ways. Each woman has different preferences, so asking her how she wants to be treated will help you serve her better. Adoption is very difficult for birth mothers, but you can make a big impact by being intentional.
Content Author Kyla Helwig