Deciding who should be in the delivery room with you can be a difficult decision at that time. How do you choose? Here are some tips to prepare you for the big day.
You may be completely prepared for the arrival of the baby–nursery, diapers, and cute little rompers all in place. But have you thought about the birth itself?
As your labor day nears, you’ll need to take a decision about who you want to have in the delivery room with you—your partner, best friend, mother, perhaps a birth coach (trained nonmedical support person). Do you want just one of them, or all? Your first (easy) step: Ask the hospital how many people are allowed in the room with you.
Do you want a full house or an intimate moment?
Many couples decide to keep the intimate birth experience to themselves. The benefits: the focus stays on the mom-to-be during labor and delivery. Then post-birth, mom and baby can enjoy skin-to-skin contact in a quiet manner before bringing in friends and relatives to meet the baby. But if you do decide to have more people in the room, set ground rules.
Set visitor rules.
Once you decide who should be in the delivery room, set some ground rules. No outgoing phone calls during labor and delivery? No social-media status updates until after the baby is born? Or would you like the full photo and video experience of the birth? Whatever your preferences, decide and share them ahead of time.
Address different birthing opinions.
If you’ve decided to invite several key people to join you in the delivery room—say, your mom and sisters—share your birth plan or philosophy ahead of time. Let them know that the hospital is not the place for debate, even if they have differing views. What you need from them is non-judgmental support, no matter what labor and delivery path you take.
Share your support list.
There are people you don’t want in the delivery room, you or your partner should tell them ahead of time to avoid any miscommunication or hurt feelings. Just explain that this is a very personal and intimate time, but you’d love for them to see the baby after. Also, let the on-call nurses know of your wishes. They are used to running interference. More importantly, nurses are well-versed on patient’s privacy rights and will do their best to make sure your wishes are followed.
Remember, it’s about you.
Be firm about your decisions—labor and delivery are about you and your comfort, not worrying about hurting anyone’s feelings. It’s important for both you and your baby’s health and stress levels to put into action the kind of birth experience you want. That includes who is—and is not—present in the delivery room.