Delivery Room Guests
As you approach your due date your list of to do’s just seems to grow. 40 weeks flies by and before you know it the big day is here! When putting plans in place for the birth of your baby there is one decision that can sometimes cause expectant mothers some stress.
Who will be there as support in the delivery room?
First things first, check with your hospital as to what their policy is. Many hospitals have a limit to the amount of people that are allowed in the labour and delivery area when the time comes. Typically it’s limited to two people, your partner and one other support person.
When I was in labour with Mr. T. there were no limits communicated to me by my hospital and I didn’t think to ask. I was pretty sure that I wanted my mum to be in the room with us. Looking back, my gut feeling that all wasn’t going to go as planned factored into why I wanted my mother to be there. During the process I felt comfortable enough to tell her not to touch me when I didn’t want to be touched (which I did), to get her to run errands or to even ask her to leave if I started to feel uncomfortable.
I didn’t have a formal plan. I hadn’t put enough thought into visitors with exception of the actual birth, which means that nothing was really communicated to our loved ones. This lack of planning led to a parade of people coming into the room while I was in active labour. There were conversations happening around me but the pain was so intense that it prevented me from paying much attention to it. I do know that it was distracting to me and to my husband. It was difficult for him to focus on me when people were trying to talk to him and it was difficult for me to focus with all the chatter. To be perfectly honest I found the scene a bit chaotic.
When Ms. J was born it was the middle of the night and everyone was tucked into their bed. A grand total of three people, my parents and brother in law, were in the hospital waiting room. No one came in until after Ms. J was born. They soaked in the miracle of birth and showered us with love as Ms. J stayed tucked quietly under my hospital gown. There were tears and hugs but then, very quickly, everyone dispersed and we were left alone with our little angel. It was beautiful. There was no chaos and no stress. We whispered words of love to our baby and to each other. We cried with each other and thanked God that she was healthy.
It was the polar opposite of our first birthing experience. No chaos, no bright lights and loud noises. No code blues.
With everything else on your plate in preparation for your expanding family hospital guests may not seem like a top priority. It is, however, something you should think about and talk to your partner about. Think about what type of birth experience are you hoping for. Are you uncomfortable with people seeing you in pain, naked, in awkward positions? Do you hope for that quiet bonding with just you, your partner and your newborn baby? Then perhaps inviting the entire extended family to the hospital is not such a great idea.
However, if you are the kind of girl who feels the more the merrier then go ahead and celebrate with those who love you most!
Put together a plan so that you aren’t caught off guard the day of as you won’t be in a decision making position. Make sure your plan is malleable because circumstances can change. Communicate your plan with your partner, your family and your nurse. Your nurse will be your voice during the entire process and it’s very important for your nurse to be aware of your wishes.
Always remember this is your experience, it is not about anyone else. There is no etiquette to take into consideration. Your decisions are yours to make and the top priority in that room is you and your new baby.