When you are expecting a baby, it can be overwhelmingly exciting. So much so that planning out the details of how the baby arrives is sometimes glossed over. However, the details are important during birth with the use of a surrogate. There needs to be consideration for the desires of the intended parents, as well as the wishes of the surrogate. Just as important, you need to make sure that the legal requirements are finalized ahead of time. Birth plans are important. They address your preferences, as well as the details of the surrogacy journey.
What are birth plans?
Birth plans are simple and clear outlines that highlight the ideal scenario during all phases of the birthing process. When it comes to surrogate delivery, it is important to approach these details before the day the baby arrives. This way, all parties involved have their needs met. That is what a birth plan is, a guideline of how the event should unfold. It is also worth noting that having back up plans will help you adjust to unforeseen circumstances.
The goal of the birth plan
While the number one goal is a healthy baby, the surrogate’s needs take priority in the planning as well. The process can be taxing, both emotionally and physically, so it is best to be as prepared as possible. The better prepared you are, the less you will have to worry about the unexpected.
In order for the birth team to be able to prepare and follow your plan accurately, given whatever circumstances arise, it is best that you keep your plans short and specific. This makes it easier for the nurses, doctors, doulas, midwives, and support people involved with the process.
The birth plan benefits
When it comes to a proper birthing plan, you will find many benefits. Some benefits come long before the delivery of the baby. One of the primary benefits you will reap from a birth plan is the reduction of risk from unknown factors. You will get to streamline the total process, and you will be creating additional actions to take in the event of an emergency. There are important questions that factor these benefits, and it is important to cover them all in your plan. Such questions are who gets to be the first to hold the baby, potential medical intervention preferences, and who will be there during labor and birth.
All hospitals have differences, so make sure that you inquire about your hospitals’ specific routines, protocols, visitor guidelines, and pain relief options. It is vital that you are aware of this information when making your plans, it will help you to avoid unnecessary surprises.
What is included in a birth plan?
Make sure you are considering all the details and requests of all parties involved before, during, and after delivery. Here are a few specifics for you to think about:
- Tub labor, walking labor, bed labor
- Who will be present
- Videos and/or birth photos
- Who holds the baby first
- Birthing type
- Epidural or pain medication
- The use of tools that assist birth
- In the event of a C-Section, who is present
You can often inquire about a birth plan worksheet from hospitals and/or your doctor’s office. You are able to find many plan samples online, and even find birth plan generators that will create a document for you to work on.
A surrogacy birth plan
Birth plans are important, especially in the case of surrogacy. The reason being is that there are more people involved in the process. You have to plan according to the needs of the surrogate, as well as the intended parent(s). You must confirm the legal paperwork process prior to the delivery day.
The legal details are a primary focus for surrogacy births, because of the impact that they can have on the intended parents. Legally establishing with HIPPA, and important documents from the hospital, that the parents are making the medical decisions is important for the order to be maintained at the hospital.
You are establishing an identity. This identity is for the surrogate and partner, as well as the intended parents. Make sure that this plan is filed with the personnel at the hospital in advance, but be sure to keep copies of the necessary documents in hand.
A 30-week birth discussion is ideal to go over other details and preferences. Even if they are addressed during matching, revisiting them when the time of delivery comes closer is important.
You must take everyone into consideration when you are making a plan — making sure that all voices are heard, and concerns are addressed. Just remember, a plan is just a plan, and babies have their own plan too.