Pregnancy planning can be complicated. It can involve everything from finding chic maternity clothes, to choosing a doctor, to taking birthing classes, to figuring out what to pack for the hospital. There's a reason why so many blogs, books, pages and forums exist when it comes to pregnancy: It's not easy to keep track of everything without some help!
One decision that might fall by the wayside when you're rushing around in the weeks before your delivery is who's actually going to be in there with you. Some moms could care less – as long as someone totally random isn't in there ogling their lady parts, they have no problem welcoming family and friends who want to be there for the main event. Others are mortified at the thought of having anyone but their partner in the room. Can you imagine your mother-in-law standing by the end of the bed watching as you struggle to push your little guy or gal out? Maybe not. So who's going to make the cut when you finally deliver? Here's how to make the choice.
First, check with the hospital
Some hospitals have policies about how many people can be in the delivery room with the mom to be. Many have a two-person policy, which allows two people besides the mom-to-be in the room. Others don't have specific limitations and leave it up to the doctors to decide. Find out what your hospital's policy is and go from there. It might limit your options or even make shutting some people out less hurtful – if they're not allowed, they're not allowed.
Ask yourself a few questions
When you're trying to decide who should be in your delivery room, ask yourself a few questions about each person you're considering, including:
- Do I like this person? (Kind of important.)
- Does this person support my birthing plan or beliefs?
- Will this person give me the positive support I need?
- Can this person act as an advocate and speak up for me if I can't?
- Will I feel embarrassed if this person is in the room?
Decide what you're cool with
Once you've narrowed down your potential list, it's time to consider what aspects of the situation you're OK with and what you're not. For example, do you want your best friend near the foot of the bed watching all the action or near your head holding your hand? Do you want to let people know beforehand that you might have to ask them to go to the waiting room if you feel uncomfortable? Do you want to tell people specifically not to try making your decisions for you or giving advice unless you ask? Do you want to ban video cameras? It's up to you to figure out what's going to fly and what's not.
Consider the timing
Not everyone has to be in the room when you're actually delivering your baby. You can have people hang out with you during labor and then decide to have them chill in the waiting room once it's time for you to actually give birth. After all, this is a momentous occasion. No one can blame you for wanting to spend the first moments of your baby's life alone or with your partner.
Control after-birth visits
Depending on how smoothly your delivery went, you may need extra time to recover – like if you had a C-section. It's OK if you have to tell people that they can't come visit yet until you're feeling up to it. Let people know beforehand that you or someone close to you will be in touch when it's fine for them to visit.
When it comes down to it, who's in the delivery room is totally up to you. Don't let anyone make you feel bad about it – it's your pregnancy!
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