As the arrival of your baby draws near, you will want to consider who is going to be sharing this most precious day with you. The decision of choosing who will be in the delivery room or birthing room is not one to be taken lightly and can have a significant impact on the entire birthing experience.
The birth of your baby is a very personal experience and should only be shared with those that you want to be there with you. Many people refer to the birth of a baby as a beautiful experience that they want to share.
Others consider it a medical procedure and are more comfortable surrounded only by competent doctors and nurses. Either way, it is YOUR experience, and it should be all about you. This is one time in life that it’s okay to be selfish!
Choosing Your Birthing Team
Your birthing team should be people you are comfortable with and that you feel have your best interest at heart and not their own. They should be there to support, encourage, and guide you. They should not be there merely to “be a part of the experience.”
Your attention and focus will be on the birth and the safety of both yourself and your baby. You need people around you who share this common focus. The people you choose should know and support your decisions about your birth plan even if they don’t agree with it. They should be there to take care of you, think about you, and put you first.
You should know that you can choose to not announce your arrival at the hospital until after your baby arrives. It is easier to stick with your plan when there are fewer distractions.
Birthing Center Or Hospital
Where you choose to have your baby will impact your decision when selecting your birthing team. Hospital regulations generally allow for three people or less in the delivery room with the mother. If you want to include a lot of people in the delivery, consider having your baby at a birthing center rather than a hospital. Birthing centers encourage you to invite as many people as you want.
“There are two great days in a person's life - the day we are born and the day we discover why.” ~ William Barclay
For obvious reasons, your partner or spouse will probably be one of the people you want to include. Your partner can be the most helpful support during the birth process, even above nurses, the doctor, midwives, or doulas, especially if they know you well and understand your birthing plan.
The decision is up to you, though, and even the father of the child or your partner should not be present if you don’t feel that they would be helpful to you throughout the process. Some women find that their spouse or partner is the only person that they want or need at the delivery while others want more support such as a voice of experience.
Mother or Mother-In-Law
Many women find that having someone present who has been through the labor and delivery process is comforting. They can talk you through the various phases of labor, ease your fears and concerns, and answer any questions. This person can be your mother or mother-in-law or a close friend who has had a baby.
You may want to include the baby’s older siblings in the birth. This can be a wonderful experience for you both as long as they are mature enough to enjoy and handle the situation. If you have a teenage daughter, including her in the birth can help prepare her for the birth of her own children someday.
Coach, Midwife, or Doula
Hiring a professional birthing coach can help with pain management which can decrease the likelihood of medical intervention and possibly eliminate a cesarean. They can communicate your preferences to doctors so that you can focus on the birth. If your goal is a natural childbirth, a professional doula or birthing coach can be an essential part of your birthing plan.
Sometimes, there is that one friend that you want to include in the birth, but you really don’t even understand why yourself. Maybe they make you laugh during tense moments. Perhaps, when you’re around them, you feel grounded. There doesn’t have to be a reason. If your heart tells you that you want them there, that’s enough. They will likely be honored to be there for you.
“A true friend is someone who lets you have total freedom to be yourself - and especially to feel. Or, not feel. Whatever you happen to be feeling at the moment is fine with them. That's what real love amounts to - letting a person be what he really is.” ~ Jim Morrison
If you desire to share the birth of your baby with as many friends and relatives as possible, then, by all means, go for it! Even if regulations only allow for three people at a time, those 3 people can rotate in and out and change as often as they like.
You may also want to have your baby at a birthing center rather than a hospital as they usually encourage many family and friends to be by your side.
You can hire a birthing photographer to capture this most joyous occasion for you. Make sure they know all of the hospital rules, and it is best if they have photographed births at that hospital before.
Preparing For The Unexpected
If you should have to have a cesarean delivery, only one person will be allowed into the operating room. You should also decide before the delivery who that person is going to be.
Questions To Ask Yourself
- How do I feel when this person is around?
- Do the people that I chose create positive dynamics together?
- Do I need physical or emotional support more?
- Will this person support me the way that I need?
- What atmosphere do I want in the room during the birth?
- What do I actually want?
Ultimately, it is up to you to create the perfect team of people for the birth of your baby. That team will support you, encourage you, make you laugh, cry with you, and welcome your baby with you. What faces did you see when you read those words? That’s how you know who to choose. Now, go and choose wisely.