You’ve had the bag packed for weeks. Relaxing music? Check. Favorite pillow? Check. But have you given any thought to who you’ll bring into the delivery room? It may sound like a pretty simple consideration, but some women find it surprisingly tricky to negotiate—particularly when family members take the liberty of inviting themselves. Here are a few things to think about and some advice from moms who’ve been there:
Many have a two-person rule (mom-to-be plus two); others have no official limits and leave it up to the doctors to decide. But when it comes to dealing with potential crashers, the two-person rule makes a great excuse…regardless of whether your hospital actually has this policy. By placing the blame on hospital regulations, you’ll be able to sidestep any possible hurt feelings.
Head of the bed, foot of the bed, or the waiting room?
Now’s the time to be completely frank about what you’re comfortable with. Maybe the whole family is welcome as long as they stay near the head of the bed, or you’re totally fine with your little brother witnessing “the miracle of life” at close range. Just be sure to establish the ground rules ahead of time and don’t assume your partner (or anyone else) can read your mind.
Timing is everything
Be ultra-specific about when you want to have other people with you. Maybe you’re happy to have a full house during the labor, but when it comes to the actual delivery, everyone but your husband needs to vamoose. Those first moments spent bonding with baby are very special, and many parents don’t want anyone intruding.
And what about the period after the birth, when families just love to swoop in? If you deliver via C-section, you may not want visitors for a few days or more; if you delivery naturally, you may be up for entertaining by the end of the day. Troubleshoot these situations in advance, and you’ll be able to focus on what really matters…your new baby.
Still not sure what to do? Check out these words of wisdom from moms who’ve been there
98.4% of users want to share this intimate bonding experience with a spouse or partner…
“I was pretty strict about NO guests in the delivery room (besides my partner). I can’t imagine someone not intimately involved in the process of creating the child being in the room during the birth!” …while some worry that hubby could be a little clueless “My husband’s been warned that he's out as soon as he begins comparing me to livestock or anything that happens at our ranch!”
29.5% want the experience and support of parents or in-laws…
“Beforehand, I told my mom that I wanted it to be my husband and me. But when the time came and she left the room, I wanted her back in. She’d been through this before and was so encouraging! My husband ran after her, and she started bawling when he asked her to come back.” …though they’re also known to commit some of the worst sins “I kicked my father out of the delivery room when he asked, ‘So…how exactly do contractions feel?’ while I was right in the middle of one. We laughed afterward, but at that moment, I wanted to kill him!”
9% like the comfort of siblings…
“My sister is my very best friend, and since she already has a child, she was really able to help me through it. I’ll be in the delivery room with her when she has her next one.” …but be careful: some brothers and sisters make themselves too comfortable “My sister not only took a picture of me while I was in labor, she keeps giving me copies of it for my birthday! Gee, just what I wanted.”
4.9% found laid-back, low-maintenance friends the best option
“I’m inviting my best friend because I know she won't expect me to talk to her, but she will be there for me.”
10.2% invited someone else altogether — the latest trend: doulas and labor coaches
“I had only a doula, who massaged my head and told me exactly what was going on during my c-section. She was a dream. My husband was banned (I didn’t want him to view the birth lest it spoil our sex life). So I took care of myself, and I heartily recommend it to every future mommy.”