Birth mothers do not just walk away and forget about the child they gave up for adoption. The pregnancy and birth experience is as life-changing for them as it is for any mother, and the memory of the child and the concern over his or her welfare remains with the mother for life. There are ways to make it easier to cope with the emotions around adoption and to be more comfortable with the process.
Remember the Reason
Economic standing, the age of the mother, and the relationship with the birth father are all reasons why women choose to not keep their baby. The circumstances may be different, but women ultimately choose this route because they feel it is the only way to guarantee a happy life for their child. Birth mothers should remember the exact reason to help alleviate any guilt or remorse over the decision.
Get Some Support
Post-adoption support gives women the chance to work through the complex emotions that arise once the pregnancy is over. Meeting with others that have experienced the same events allows women to realize that their feelings are normal. It is not unusual to feel remorse, guilt, or even depression.
Support groups and therapy sessions are not just for reassurance. Birth mothers learn skills that help them to overcome the anxiety or other harmful emotions they feel and to use their energy in a more constructive manner.
Adoption counseling prior to the birth is available from many agencies, but it is usually the responsibility of the birth mother to find help after the adoption is finalized. There are many free support groups that meet locally around the country as well as online groups and forums to join. Some birth mothers have established non-profit groups that aid others who need advice, acceptance, and support.
Consider Open Adoption
Open adoption makes it possible for the birth mother to stay connected. How much contact takes place is a decision made and agreed to by all of the participants. Some choose only occasional updates with all of the communication done through an agency or a lawyer. Other are very open and include regular visitation with the child and other forms of direct contact.
Not everyone wants this type of agreement, and a birth mother should not feel obligated to accept contact. An open adoption may cause heartache as the woman is repeatedly reminded of her decision. It may also become less comfortable if the birth mother has additional children.
Open or closed adoption is a personal choice that every birth mother has to make, but it is important to select adoption parents and an agency or attorney that will accept and work with the birth mother to give her the option that she prefers.
Monitor Your Health
Every woman that gives birth needs time to recover. Hormone fluctuations after delivery play a huge role in how a woman feels. Exhaustion, hot flashes, and extreme mood swings are common as the body attempts to return to its pre-pregnancy state. Allow time to recover emotionally and physically.
Postpartum depression (PPD) is a genuine concern for all women that give birth. It typically strikes several weeks after a woman gives birth. Women that have returned to their pre-pregnancy energy level may be surprised to discover they are back in a state of depression and exhaustion. Medical advice helps to determine if the sadness or feelings of regret are actually the results of PPD.
Birth mothers should only work with agencies that appreciate the emotions involved and the sacrifice birth mothers make. The agencies should do all they can to make the process as comfortable as possible.
At Arizona Adoption Help, we appreciate birth mothers and strive to give them the resources and emotional support they need. Please contact us if you believe adoption is the right choice for you. There is no obligation for women to learn more about their options.