Bold Turquoise

Oct 13 2013

8 Guidelines for Choosing Who to and Not to Invite to Your Birth (Day 13- Bellies, Birth and Babies)

8 Guidelines for Choosing who to and not to invite to you birth- from 31 Days of Bellies, Birth and Babies from a Doula's Perspective

It is an incredibly personal decision- who will be attending your birth? Much of this decision is determined by where you are choosing to have your baby. While a homebirth will obviously ensure that you know each person present, it can also bring the added pressure of feeling like you need to invite more people than you may otherwise have. On the other hand, by nature you will have people attending your birth in a hospital who you have never met before, but there also may be built in cut off numbers for just how many people you can invite. Whether you're the kind of woman who wants your entire neighborhood or just your husband there for the birth of your baby, here are some helpful guidelines for making your final decision on who will be present.

How to Decide Who Will Attend Your Birth

1. Remember how vulnerable you will be and the massive job that lies ahead of you! Birth involves exposure, and while much of your modesty does fly right out the window, you may not feel like you can do what you need to do to birth your baby if your father, or mother-in-law or whoever it is, is in the room. The emotional state of the mother is incredibly important and influential on the progression of labor. If a mom does not feel safe it can actually stall her labor completely! So, be sure you only invite people who you feel completely comfortable with!

2. Think about the overall atmosphere and and energy (in the most un-new-agey way possible) that you want for your birth. You may love someone to pieces but if they tend to put a negative spin on things, react to situations very dramatically or just have a hyper personality, they may not be the best choice to have around during delivery. Protect your space and give serious considerations to the types of energy (because we all bring a certain presence with us into a space) that you want surrounding you during labor.

3. This moment is about you and your baby. Period. Everyone else is optional- you are the only two people who have to be there and you are the only one who has to push out a baby! So, when making your decision, do not feel pressured by anyone to invite people who you are not comfortable having there. Stick to your guns on who is invited and who is not and don't feel like you need to be apologetic about it.

4. If you aren't sure if you want certain people there during the birth, including your children, then give yourself the option to choose in the moment. Allow them to be somewhere close by, either in a separate part of the house, hospital or birthing center, or completely different nearby location, so that if you want them there they can be but if you don't want them there they know that there was a possibility they would not be welcomed into the birthing space. If they know it could go either way it can be easier for them to swallow.

5. If you want certain people at your birth but aren't sure how they will handle it, give them a job! Designate them as your birth photographer or the person in charge of making sure nice music is playing. They will feel more purpose and you won't feel like you're just being watched.

8 Guidelines for choosing who to invite to your birth

6. If you do want your kids in the vacinity or even present during the actual birth, be sure to have someone there whose main focus is caring for them. We have had our other children present for both of my homebirths, but they all weren't necessarily in the room for the whole thing (Roman saw Emmerson actually be born but, so far, that is the only time one of them has seen it. And in case you're wondering, no, he was not traumatized 😉 ). We loved having them be able to meet their new sibling right after they were born but it was also nice to not have to worry about them in the time leading up to that moment or after it. They felt like a part of the process but had other structured activities and meals coordinated by someone else so that I could exclusively focus on my job of giving birth and then bonding with my new baby. It was an incredibly smooth transition for them.

7. Maintain your right to change your mind! You really don't know what each individual birth will be like and it is totally ok if in the moment you ask someone to leave or even invite someone in. Again, no one has to do this job but you, so people can't get offended if you need to ask someone to leave so that you can do what you need to. You can always come up with some sort of code with your husband, midwife or doula ahead of time so that they can do your dirty work for you and you don't have to feel that extra pressure during labor.

8. Every birth is different, just like every pregnancy and baby is. You need to make sure that the people you invite to each birth are the right people for that birth. Just because you invited someone last time or hired a certain doula or birth photographer last time doesn't mean that they are the right fit for this time. It can be any host of reasons why, but we change, our needs change and those people change so you need to use wisdom to reassess who should be there for each birth individually.

It's Your Choice

I hope this helps you get a little bit clearer picture of who you want and who you don't want at the birth of your baby. Take your time in choosing, you don't have to do so overnight and your decision will dramatically impact your overall birth experience. And remember, no matter what anyone says, this is your choice!

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Bellies, Birth and Babies Series

Are you keeping up with the entire 31 Days of Bellies, Birth and Babies from a Doula's Perspective series? Go to this page for the full list of posts so far and be sure to subscribe so you don't miss any more! Also, please come join the “Ask the Doula” conversation on the FB page!

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You can also email me at boldturquoise at gmail dot com or go to this page if you would like more information about private classes and consultations or having me speak at one of your upcoming events! You can also contact me in the same ways I just mentioned if you would like more information about getting wholesale prices on Young Living Essential Oils along with free essential oils coaching.

*I am not a medical professional- just a mom and doula sharing from my experiences and research.

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2 thoughts on “8 Guidelines for Choosing Who to and Not to Invite to Your Birth (Day 13- Bellies, Birth and Babies)

  1. Kristen

    What a perfect timing for this! I’m 4 months pregnant and had several conversations this weekend with people curious if I’d be inviting people to the birth. Thanks for reminding me it’s my decision – and it’s perfectly okay that I just want my husband and me at the birth!

    1. MacKenzie Post author

      Yay! I’m so glad it was helpful and made you feel supported in your choice! It’s good to know who you want and to stick by it!

      With my first my MIL assumed that she would be there since she was with my SIL when she delivered and it completely caught me off guard! I’m glad I stuck with my decision now because it was a very hard labor, but I also may consider having here there for a future labor since our relationship is now in a very different place. You have the freedom and right to choose!


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