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I have been hired by both a birthmom and adoptive parents to support the birthmom in her labor. Even though I have been a doula for some time, I have no experience in this area. Has anyone supported a birthmother during her pregnancy and birth who had plans to give up her baby for adoption? How did it go? Any advice that you can give me is greatly appreciated!<br><br>
Warmly,<br><br>
Lisa
 

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I've been a doula for many teens/women who have chosen an adoption plan for their baby.<br><br>
Language is important. "Give up their baby" can be a hot phrase, the more "PC" term would be chose an adoption plan/chosen an adoption plan or adoptive family.<br><br>
Some women are very settled in their choice, others not so much. Emotional dystocia can be an issue for those who are not confident with their choice or those who are being coerced. "holding onto" the baby isn't uncommon.<br><br>
Encourage her to see/hold/take pictures of her baby, even if she doesn't want them now, hold them for her, someday they may be her lifeline. Give her the opportunity/permission for some alone time with her baby.<br><br>
Give her the choice of having one or both of the adoptive parents there for the birth, or not. It's her choice, she needs to do what she feels is best for her, not anyone else.<br><br>
Try not to use platitudes like "you're so strong/brave" as often they don't feel strong or brave and being told that over and over can cause some to feel guilt over the emotions that they do feel. (Platitudes about her choice of adoptoin, which is different than telling her how strong she is in labor!)<br><br>
Be prepared that she might change her mind, it's always a possibility and if she does she may look to you for local resources that will help her parent her baby. Likewise, she wouldn't be deciding to "keep her baby" but instead she will have "chosen to parent."<br><br>
Hope this helps.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you for your feedback. One thought that has come to mind is having my back up doula present at the birth for the birthmom and myself there for the adoptive parents, so that both parties are being supported throughout the process.<br><br>
Any other ideas, feedback, advice would be great!<br><br>
Thanks,<br><br>
Lisa
 

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Interesting. What sort of support would you do for the adoptive parents? Do they plan to be there at the birth?<br><br>
I would know clearly what every one expects at the birth. Does the birthmom want to hold, cuddle, nurse the baby? Do the adoptive parents want to hold the baby first? Really get detailed with the plan, and then know that it all can change if the birthmom feels differently in the moment.<br><br>
What a very interesting and potentially empowering situation. Let us know how things work out.
 

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The adoptive mother has been invited to the birth and to be in the room while the birthmom is laboring. There is a social worker involved who is working with both the adoptive parents and the birthmom on all of the decisions in terms of holding the baby immediately after birth, etc. On Sunday, I going to be going over some of the birth plans and postpartum plans with both parties to see what has been agreed upon. I see that both sets of parents will need much care in the postpartum period. Even though the adoptive mom won't be giving birth, she does have a relationship w/the birthmom and this is her first child. I feel that having a doula present at the birth and during the postpartum period, it could help facilitate feedings, care, emotions and the transition to home for the family.<br><br>
Warmly,<br><br>
Lisa
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>lisamarie</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10530260"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">The adoptive mother has been invited to the birth and to be in the room while the birthmom is laboring. There is a social worker involved who is working with both the adoptive parents and the birthmom on all of the decisions in terms of holding the baby immediately after birth, etc. On Sunday, I going to be going over some of the birth plans and postpartum plans with both parties to see what has been agreed upon. I see that both sets of parents will need much care in the postpartum period. Even though the adoptive mom won't be giving birth, she does have a relationship w/the birthmom and this is her first child. I feel that having a doula present at the birth and during the postpartum period, it could help facilitate feedings, care, emotions and the transition to home for the family.<br><br>
Warmly,<br><br>
Lisa</div>
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Lisa, I don't disagree with you at all, I just wonder if one doula can do it and do it well. You might be onto something with bringing in another doula to focus on the adoptive mom.<br><br>
Someone needs to have unconditional focus and support for the birth mother, and you may find that your attention might be divided if you try to fill both roles. If birthmom needs your whole focus during the birth but adoptive mom becomes overwhelmed and needs her own attention, what's a doula to do?<br><br>
Defining your role and to who you are obligated is essential.
 

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we had a birth mom laboring at the bc with the adoptive family present,in and out of the room.finally she hit a point where she could not do it anymore.she had birthed her last 2 babes here w/o problem. she only had a friend to support her,but the impression seemed not terribly close. so transfer to hosp for epidural. i think that journaling would be beneficial prior to birth,include fear releasing.i did the post partum home visit<br>
with the adoptive family in the local hotel,mostly on the care and handling a newborn,and then i saw the bio mom and let her know how wonderful everything was and that SHE CHOSE awonderful family for her baby... i was allowed to give that follow to the mom by the adopted parents, we also discussed the very real possibility of pp depression and the need of self care and counseling #s were given. one year later we recd a happy birthday card from the faimly again thanking us..<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love">
 
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