Deciding who should be in the delivery room with you when you give birth is a big decision. It can have a big impact on how your experience goes. Birth is an amazing experience. You will be more exposed than perhaps at any other time in your life, you will likely spend at least part of the time mostly or completely nude. Make sure to take that into account when deciding who to allow into the room. The first hour after the birth of your baby is also a crucial bonding time for you, your baby, and your partner. You will be exhausted and most likely will just want quiet time with your partner and your new child. Use these tips to help you choose the perfect birthing partner or birth support team to help bring your baby into the world.
This is post 28 in my series, 31 days of tips for the mom to be.
who should be with you in the delivery room
1 – The first thing to remember is that it’s your birth, not your husbands/boyfriends, not your mother’s, not your mother-in-law’s. While your husband certainly has a big role in creating and parenting the baby his role in the birth itself is somewhat ancillary, don’t let him or anyone else pressure you into having more people than you want, or individuals you don’t want in the delivery room.
2 – Think about who is going to support you and the birth you want without pushing any agenda of their own. You want people in the room who will support you through this amazing but painful and challenging experience and help you to have the birth you want. If you don’t have a family member who can do that I highly recommend hiring a doula, especially if this is your first time giving birth. A doula will be there to support you and your husband/partner through the process and help you to have the best birth experience you can.
3 – Check with the hospital! Many hospitals have rules as to how many people can be in the labor and delivery room and they may have age restrictions as well. You don’t want to have your heart set on certain people only to find out that the hospital won’t allow it.
4 – Have a backup person. If you don’t have a doula then make sure you have a backup support person. Your first choice support person could get ill. Your husband could prove unable to handle it. Men fainting in the delivery room is a cliche for a reason. While birth is beautiful it can be an overwhelming experience. My husband’s friends told him that watching your wife give birth was “like standing across the street, watching your favorite pub burn to the ground” lol. He was supposed to stay up top and not look, but he looked, and he said it was just like that.
5 – Make rules about photo/video. Decide if you do or do not want photos/videos during your birth. I personally wanted no photos or videos during the process. But many women like to have photos or even videos of their birthing experience. Just make sure you let those who will be in the room know your desires. Having a separate individual there to take photos will likely count towards the max number of people allowed in the room. Check with your hospital ahead of time if you plan to hire a professional.
What to do about pushy relatives?
You are likely to have people who have opinions as to what you should do. A relative who is desperate to be in the room, lots of advice on who should not be in the room. My mother was quite upset when she learned that she was not going to be there. It was just my husband and our doula. I love my mother, but she has no chill, and prefers to push her own agenda and give lots of advice, whether asked for or not. Not what I wanted going on while trying to push out a baby
This is one time where it’s important to be selfish. The most important people in that room are the mother and the baby. If someone has their feelings hurt because they can’t be there at the birth of your baby then that’s on them. If they get that upset then it’s probably not someone you want in the room anyway. It’s also great for setting boundaries early with pushy relatives. Use these 3 tips to help.
- Be clear early on who will and will not be in the delivery room and be firm. That way there are no last minute hospital dramas.
- Sneak away. If you are getting a lot of pushback from relatives or you think they will try to disregard your desires simply don’t tell them when you are in labor. Call them once the baby has arrived and you’ve had your quiet bonding time and let them know when you will be open to visitors.
- Talk to your nurses. Let your nurses know if there are certain people you do not want in the room and they will keep them out. It’s also a great thing to have listed on your birth plan.
What to read next
What is a doula and should you hire one?