What can you expect from your childbirth experience? Take a look at what first-time birth mothers need to know about labor, delivery, and their childbirth options.
Where Will You Give Birth?
By now you may already have an OBGYN or nurse midwife. If you’ve already chosen a medical provider, talk to the doctor or nurse about what your options are. The most common places where women deliver their babies include:
- A hospital. This is a traditional option that’s often required for birth mothers who are at high risk for complications. Your doctor or midwife may feel more comfortable with you delivering in a hospital or need to move you to a hospital for a C-section, breech birth, or other medical issue.
- A birthing center. This healthcare environment has a home-like feel. Your doctor or midwife will need to agree to this option. This option isn’t advisable for someone with a high risk, and you may need to go to the hospital if complications arise.
- Home. Often viewed as the most comfortable birthing option, a home birth is not a choice for birth mothers who have risks or complications. Even though a home birth (like the name implies) is in the home, a doctor or midwife will deliver the baby.
Some birth mothers choose not to see the baby after delivery. A hospital birth may make this process easier. Before you decide on one birthing option, talk to your medical provider and an adoption counselor. The doctor or midwife can explain the health benefits of each option, while the counselor can help you to understand the emotional issues of delivery and the childbirth setting.
Who Is in the Delivery Room?
Obviously, you’re the primary person in the delivery room. But you don’t have to go through the childbirth process alone. Along with the doctor or midwife and other medical staff (such as an anesthesiologist, other specialist, and nurses), you may want a support person.
Before you choose a support person, talk to your medical provider, the hospital/birthing center, and your adoption counselor about the options and restrictions. The pandemic has added another layer to delivery room rules. Some hospitals or healthcare centers may restrict birth mothers to one support person.
If you’re not sure who should come into the delivery room with you, ask:
- Who makes you feel comfortable? Will your mother, aunt, best friend, or another friend/family member help you relax? Childbirth is a stressful time for any mother. The added pressure of post-delivery adoption makes it important to choose someone who you can trust and lean on for support.
- How many people can accompany you? Again, hospital pandemic regulations may restrict this number. But if there are no additional restrictions, consider who really needs to accompany you. While a room filled with friends may seem supportive, you may not want a large audience for this private time.
- Should the adoptive parents come into the delivery room? This is a tricky question with no universal answer. You need your own space to handle the birth process and separation. Talk to your adoption counselor about the pros and cons or if this is even an option.
- Should the birth father stay in the delivery room? If the birth father is still part of your life and is supportive of your decision, he may provide emotional support during this process. But if he routinely causes problems or adds stress to your life, you won’t want him there.
What should you do if you don’t have a support person or feel pressure to choose someone who makes you feel uncomfortable? Talk to your medical provider or counselor. The professional can help you make the best choices for your individual needs and connect you with support that matches your comfort level.
What Will Happen During Childbirth?
No two births are alike — even for the same woman. As a first-time birth mother, you likely have questions. Some of the top concerns to address before your delivery day include:
- Calling your doctor. When are you in labor and what should you do if you think your water broke or you’re having contractions? Contact your medical provider first. The professional can provide instructions and tell you what to do next.
- Pain management. Will childbirth hurt? Several different pain management options are available during childbirth. Talk to your doctor or medical provider about which one (if any) is right for you.
- Complications. Is there a chance you’ll need a C-section or have another complication? Again, talk to your doctor or medical provider about these issues ahead of time. The more you know, the more comfortable you’ll feel.
- The birth plan. Discuss your birth plan with your doctor/medical provider. The professional can help you create a plan or vision for how this day will go. While you might need to make changes, a general plan can add a level of comfort to the birthing process.
Even though you need to take advice from medical and counseling professionals, you shouldn’t allow someone else (such as a parent or boyfriend) to make decisions you’re not comfortable with. If you feel nervous, uncomfortable, or have concerns, talk to your adoption counselor or ask your OB/midwife for assistance.
Are you ready to explore adoption? Contact Arizona Adoption Help for more information.