A Doula's Warning: Make sure your visitors pass our test
Too many times I have seen labors negatively impacted by very well-meaning visitors. A very kind grandmother to be can sit quietly in the corner of a birthing room wringing her hands and biting her nails which only makes the laboring mom concerned. A sweet sister might ask nicely about when laboring mom will be getting her epidural which is the last thing that mom wants to hear. I've seen labors slow and even stop when a well-meaning visitor arrives.
Before you extend invitations to your friends and family to be part of your labor and birth please consider this warning. I have developed a very quick and easy test to weed out the visitors that might not be right for this occasion.
Labor/Birth Visitor Test
1) I feel comfortable doing the following in front of this visitor?
i) All of the above
If you answered i) All of the above then you should consider the following list of to-dos.
1) Talk everything over with your partner. You both should be in agreement when it comes to this important aspect of the big day.
2) Tell all visitors what you expect of them. Do you want them to support, comfort, help your partner, get food etc.
3) Tell visitors about your birth preferences. They should know how you want it to go.
4) Make sure all visitors know that you can change your mind at anytime and kick them out of the room. Reserve this right up front!
If you aren't 100% confident in your selection of visitors then don't invite them to be part of this big day. There will be plenty of time once the baby arrives for visitors. You are allowed to keep things quiet, personal and free from company. Your birth is not a baby shower or a party. It is a once in a lifetime day. Choose your visitors (or lack of) wisely! Check out our Infographic on this topic.
- Alice Turner