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What is an Adoption Hospital Plan and What does it Entail for a Birth Mother?

A hospital plan is a common and effective tool used for birth mothers and her medical team to discuss the finer details of labor and delivery. Although hospital plans aren’t a requirement to give birth in a hospital, they are highly encouraged. This document lets the people who have the responsibility of caring for you and supporting you, know your preferences for birth. It’s also a nice memory refresher to having in the delivery room for your healthcare providers.

Your designated birth team will use your hospital plan as a guide to help plan what type of techniques to try for your breathing, pushing, delivery, and more. Keeping your plan short and simple is key. Many different templates are available for free online to help create your own hospital plan. Adoption Choices of Arizona has provided you with the basic concepts of what is a hospital plan and what it entails for a birth mother.

The Basics of an Adoption Hospital Plan

Start with the easy stuff! List your name, your doctor’s name, and all 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, along with any medications you are taking.

Your Hospital Room’s Atmosphere

Hospital rooms can feel intimidating, so think about what would help make you feel the most comfortable. Here are a few suggestions to make your labor and birth as comfortable as possible:

  • Music – Some birth mothers don’t like how quiet hospital rooms can be, or how the beeping machines can cause anxiety. Do you want music played to help make you more comfortable?
  • 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.
  • 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? Are you comfortable with your whole body being in pictures? Perhaps you just want pictures of your baby, and not of yourself. 

The Process of Labor

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.

  • 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.
  • Comfort – What type of comfort measures do you want to use? Common comfort measures include: aromatherapy, patterned breathing, massage, and certain beverages. It’s also important to note if you’d like comfort assistance from your nurses. 

Delivering Your Child

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?

  • 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 you’re 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?

After Delivery & Recovery

One of the biggest moments during delivery regards is the umbilical cord. Do you have a preference on who cuts it? The adoptive parents, nurse or doctor? The placenta is also important right after birth. Would you be more comfortable delivering the placenta naturally, or managed with an injection?

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.

What is an Adoption Hospital Plan? 

A hospital plan is a birth mother’s guide to your labor and delivery in the hospital. It’s a helpful tool to make sure your stay is nice and seamless by letting everyone involved understand your preferences. 

Remember that a hospital plan is not set in stone, and your preferences may change or unforeseen circumstances may arise. It’s helpful to talk out your hospital plan with your medical team and your support system. Take time to create your hospital plan, and contact us if you’d like more help or have any questions!

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.