5 People You Don’t Want in the Delivery Room

When push comes to shove, these are the people who mean well, but shouldn’t be on your labor-party guest list.
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Updated February 28, 2017
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Your super-chatty mother-in-law

Even if you super-love her and she’s warm and nurturing and embraced you as if you were the actual fruit of her womb — and not just the chick her son knocked up — any fuzzy feelings you have for her may fly right out the window when you’re trying to hee-hee-hoo-hoo through painful contractions while she recaps the entire last season of The Real Housewives of New Jersey. Since she’s probably not the type to respond to a simple request for silence, explain to her in advance that the hospital or birth center has a strict delivery-room head count cap, but you can’t wait to share every glorious detail with her when you bring home her shiny new grandbaby. (That last word alone is guaranteed to lessen the blow of being uninvited.) The same goes for a super-chatty mom, sister or friend. Keep. Them. Out.

The grumpy nurse

You took time and energy to pick out the warmest, most skilled ob-gyn in town, but the reality is, on delivery day, you’ll be lucky if you see her for more than 15 minutes (sorry). It’s actually the nurses who will hold your hand, mop your brow and cheer you on through most of your labor. And the majority of nurses are pros at all of that. The exception: your hospital’s “grumpy nurse.” She’s cold, she’s cranky, and when you request a simple ice-chip refill she acts as if you asked her to carry a rhinoceros uphill on her back. You can try asking your doctor in advance if she knows or recommends certain nurses (or ones to avoid); in a medium-to-large-size hospital, you may be able to request in advance not to have her. If you get stuck with her anyway, it can’t hurt to ask to speak with a supervisor. Try something like, “I’m sure Crabby McCrankypants is a fabulous nurse but we’re just not clicking. Is there someone who could switch places with her?” If you get shot down, remember that most hospitals work in eight-hour shifts (and most labors last much longer than that), so at least you won’t have her in the room the whole time.

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Your squeamish sister

Anyone who gets queasy at the sight of blood or spaghetti-legged at the thought of seeing you in pain should be asked to stay away. The last thing you need is your team of medical experts caring for your passed-out sis when you, you know, kind of need their attention. Explain to her that as much as you appreciate her support, she can help you best with this Other Very Important Task. It might be ordering and delivering your postbirth meal, designing the birth announcement or picking out baby’s homecoming outfit — whatever best fits her unique skill set and can be done from a distance.

Your well-meaning (but overbearing) mom

She’s going to want to rub your feet and squeeze your hand and tell you you’re doing a great job. If you can’t fathom what on earth could be so bad about that, maybe ask your partner. Chances are the dad-to-be is already feeling like a tiny bit of an outsider, and wants to be involved in the birth as much as possible. He’s probably not excited about your doting mom eclipsing him during delivery. Explain the situation gently and with lots of compliments. Remember, she’s one of a handful of people you’re going to be able to call to babysit for free on a moment’s notice, so be nice.

Your #socialmedia #obsessed #friend #OMG

She’s the first one to upload the party pics and “check ins” at the restaurant before you’re even seated. Normally, you love being buddies with a social-media butterfly — but you won’t be so much when you’re sweating and panting and trying to push a baby out of your body. Ask yourself: Do you really want her posting selfies of her perfectly made-up face with your feet in stirrups in the background? Are you going to be thrilled when she uploads the first 382 (unedited and unapproved!) photos of your newborn before you post your own first photo? Do you need the entire virtual world to know when your #waterbreaks or how many #centimetersdilated you are at every hour? Promise her she can be baby’s official historian, after you’ve both cleaned up a bit.

Please note: The Bump and the materials and information it contains are not intended to, and do not constitute, medical or other health advice or diagnosis and should not be used as such. You should always consult with a qualified physician or health professional about your specific circumstances.

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