There are so many decisions surrounding childbirth that are incredibly personal decisions. Where do you want to have your baby? Do you want to go natural? Do you want to be induced? Do you want to delay cord clamping? Do you want to save the placenta? And on and on and on! It’s exhausting!
One of the most important questions that needs to be decided is who you want in the delivery room. It sounds easy enough, but actually trying to decide who you want by your side can be a source of anxiety for a lot of women!
Today I want to talk specifically about how to decide who you want in the delivery room. It’s not going to be a particularly long post, but if it’s something causing you stress, I’ve got some tips for you!
The most important thing you need to remember is that this is your decision. You’re the one giving birth, you’re the one who is going to be pushing a watermelon out of your lady parts, and you’re the one who gets to make the decision. Don’t feel pressured by someone if you don’t feel comfortable with them being present during delivery. They can be there after your baby is born to visit, but who is there for the actual childbirth part is completely up to you.
The second most important thing you need to remember is that whomever you choose, they need to be supportive of your childbirth decisions. If you’re planning on having a home birth or going natural at the hospital and your mom doesn’t think that’s a good idea (or that you can do it), don’t invite her! You only want people around you who are going to support you in the decisions you’ve made and help you accomplish what you’ve set your mind to. Anyone spewing out negativity is not someone you want around you when you’re about to have a baby.
The third most important thing you need to remember is that you need to be comfortable with the very real possibility of them seeing parts of you that you don’t normally show other people (I think you get what I’m saying). If you think that it would make you feel awkward to have your father-in-law be there for your child’s birth and then to see him at Thanksgiving a few months later, don’t invite him into the delivery. Make sense? Good.
I also want to point out that this decision is going to look different for everyone. I’d say most people probably just have their spouse or partner in the room, but a lot of people choose to have their mom, sister, or friend there, too. Just because your sister invited your mom to her delivery doesn’t mean that you have to invite her to yours. Do what makes you comfortable, even if you have to ruffle a few feathers.
Now, who do you choose!? It can be tough to decide who you want there, but making the decision early on and being clear about what you decide will alleviate stress and prevent conflict when the time comes to have your baby. You might want your spouse or partner in the room (that’s what we did all three times!), you might invite a parent (most likely your mom, but if you have a good relationship with your dad then go for it), or you might even include an older, mature child in the process (especially if you’re having a home birth). You can also ask a sibling to be there, your best friend, or even another family member like a grandparent or aunt you’re close to. If you have a doula, you’re definitely going to want her to be there (I mean that’s what you’re paying her for, right?) As long as they’re all supportive and your’e comfortable with them being all up in your business, you could invite any of these people!
I should mention that most hospitals do have a limit on how many people are allowed in the delivery room at one time (usually 2-3). So if you have several people you’d like to come support you, you’ll probably have to rotate them in and out. If you are delivering in a hospital, make sure you check the limit before inviting your entire extended family to the birth.
How to decide who you want in the delivery room can be a challenge, but it doesn’t have to be something that causes you stress and anxiety! You’ve got enough of that going on just preparing for childbirth!