A Guide to Maternity Leave for Birth Mothers

Choosing adoption for your baby is an important choice and many of the traditional views of childbirth are altered during the process. Even though you plan to choose adoptive parents for your baby, you still have the right to maternity leave for yourself.

Learn about the post-birth process, how maternity leave will help support you both physically and emotionally, and what to expect during the weeks following the birth.

Maternity Leave Start Date

In many cases, your maternity leave will start shortly before the birth. The time before the birth allows you to relax, focus, and prepare yourself for the emotional journey. You may use the extra time to focus on your birthing plan and the way you want events to proceed in the hospital.

For example, you may plan to hold the baby first or allow the adoptive parents to hold the baby right away. The extra time allows you to focus and have a clear state of mind without the extra pressure and stress from work.

You also can use the extra time to plan out any birthmother gifts you choose for the baby. For example, you could write a letter for the child to read when they grow older. You could prepare a photo album of your life or the journey through the pregnancy. The extra time gives you a chance to really focus on the gifts and how you want to share your story with them.

Physical Healing

Traditional maternity leave is not just for a mother to spend time with the new baby. The time off gives a birth mother enough time to heal through the birth process. No matter what type of birth you go through, you will have physical healing to go through. The extra time allows you to recover and avoid spending extended time on your feet.

If you have a C-section, your body will need to heal from the large incision and stitches used for the birth. A natural birth could result in tears, pains, and healing needed. Just the process of pushing alone could lead to leg pain, back pain, and body aches. Going back to work right away could make the injuries worse.

Your body may have also developed a milk supply. As the supply drains out, you want your chest area to heal as parts of the body could become painful and sensitive. The weeks you take will allow your body to go back to normal without any extra strain. The last thing you want to do is go back to work early only to leave again and lose out on vacation time.

Emotional Healing

After any birth, the emotions of a birthmother are all over the place as hormones shift up and down and mothers go through the common stage known as “baby blues”. For birth mothers who choose adoption, the emotions multiply as you go through many more layers of the adoption process.

During a day, you could find yourself at the lowest lows and highest highs as you try to navigate through the hormones and your actual emotional feelings. During the time, you will have access to doctors and counselors to help monitor your progress.

The maternity leave also gives you the chance to surround yourself with family and friends through the process. For example, you could stay with a parent or relative who will help you through the post-birth journey. If you didn’t have maternity leave, you may not have the resources or ability to travel to different locations to stay with others.

Post-Birth Support Plan

Along with extended maternity leave from work, a post-birth support time also includes several weeks for mothers who choose adoption for their children. The plans include several follow-up options to help you through the journey and many of the options are financially covered through the adoption process.

For example, you may seek out a birthmother support group. The group allows you to communicate and spend time with other birthmothers who went through the same process. Having someone in a similar experience is incredibly important for healing. You can prepare questions, go to multiple sessions, and have a free schedule to connect with others.

Open Adoption Plans

If you plan on an open adoption with your new child, maternity leave will give you some clarity on the plans. As the adoptive parents settle in with the new baby, you can work on various forms of communication and start a schedule early on.

The communication could be through letters, calls, or in-person visits. Setting healthy boundaries between the adoptive parents and yourself will go a long way in establishing a relationship and building an open adoption plan that works for all parties. The extra time on maternity leave will help clear your thought process and focus on what’s best for the baby.

For help through the whole adoption process, contact us at Arizona Adoption Help. We have an extensive list of resources, will answer any questions you have, and help you receive the maternity leave you deserve for your post-birth process.