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Forum: Natural Childbirth

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  #1  
December 6th, 2008, 06:20 PM
June Cleaver Wannabe
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Posts: 121
I do not know whether the birthing center I am going to use allows young children to be present during childbirth but this is something that I would really love. My daughter is my best friend and I feel like having her there with me will comfort me. I mentioned this idea to my mother and she said that she didn't think it was a good idea because my daughter is only three years old and that it could be traumatic/stressful for her. My daughter is rather mature for her age; she understands pain and when someone else is in pain she tries to comfort them - I personally think that she would do very well with the situation. What do you mamas think? Is it a good idea to have a young child in the room while birthing or should they be brought in after the baby is born?
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  #2  
December 6th, 2008, 06:26 PM
Kelllilee's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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I had my DD there. SHe was 23 months and also very mature for her age. She fully understood there was a baby in my tummy. We planned for someone to be in charge of her that could comfort her if she freaked out or was upset for any reason.

That said, I went into labor in the middle of the night and had Nola at 7:30am, Courtney pretty much was only there for the 1 minute I was pushing, but she got to see her be born and I think it had a LOT to do with how easily she accepted her sister. Can you imagine how odd it must feel for a little kid to have thier mom go away for a day and come back and suddenly there's this new person that you HAVE to adjust to. I think being there are being a part of the process is very important.

Of course, not all kids can understand what's going on or will want to be there. But if they understand what's going on and are comfortable with it, I think it's a great idea. Just be sure you have someone designated for her. NOT someone who is part of your support group. FOr me, it was my sister.

I refuse to let my daughters grow up feeling the negativity and fear felt toward birth that is so prevalent nowadays. She watches birth videos often, if she hears me watching one she runs over and watches the baby come out. We talk about it. I want her to be comfortable with it and understand that its a normal thing and not something scary. Being part of her sister's birth was a step in the right direction for us.

ETA: I also did a lot of prep with her. Talking about the birth and showing her videos so she could see what it might be like. I also knew that I was a very calm and quiet laborer so I wasn't worried about her seeing me screaming or crying. If you think she'll be comforting to you, go for it. Just don't force her to stay in the room if she seems upset.
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  #3  
December 6th, 2008, 06:37 PM
June Cleaver Wannabe
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Brooklyn, NY
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Sadly it's just my husband, my daughter and myself so if she were to be there, it would be my husband watching her as well as trying to support me.

I was actually hoping that you would reply to this post because I finished watching Nola's birth video a little while ago and I noticed that Courtney was there as well! It was actually what inspired this post!

My daughter knows that I have a baby in my belly (she actually says that it's HER baby!) but I hadn't thought of letting her watch birthing videos. She watches her Daddy play SoCom of the Playstation so I think if she can handle that, she can handle watching babies come out of... hehehe
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  #4  
December 6th, 2008, 06:44 PM
DoulaMama's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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I personally think it is wonderful. But it is also really important that you have a designated person there to support her, take her out of the room/center if need be, tend to her needs, keep her occupied.

You know your daughter best- so follow your instinct. If you feel like she can handle it and it may help you feel better, then have her there!

Oh- and I'ld bet the BC will be fine with her there- it's one of the big perks of BCs.

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  #5  
December 6th, 2008, 06:48 PM
Kelllilee's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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I would definitely encourage letting her watch some videos and talk about what's going on. Let her know that even though it hurts and mommy may yell/scream/whatever it's OKAY and not something to be scared about.

Does the birth center have a waiting room area? Maybe set up a "safe zone" for her there, bring some toys or a favorite video and let her know if she's uncomfortable or scared she can go there. She's old enough to understand that. Let her know it's OK to leave the room if she needs to.

Maybe also talk about what a good helper she is and talk about what she can do during the labor to help (using a fan, rubbing your back, singing songs, etc..). Maybe figure out a project she can be doing during labor, like coloring a picture for the baby.

are you planning a waterbirth? If so check with your center, they may allow her in the tub with you (mine would have if I wanted). most bith centers are pretty open about who you want there with you including children.

Do you have a friend or babysitter that you are comfortable with to have there for her? I think it's important to have someone available for her, you and DH may be too involved in the labor to notice she is distressed.

For your situation I would encourage a lot of preparation, but definitely don't worry what anyone else says about her being there. YOU know your child, YOU are the one who can make the decision.
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  #6  
December 6th, 2008, 06:55 PM
June Cleaver Wannabe
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Nope, there is no one else that could watch her. When I was in labor with Angie I didn't even really notice that my husband was there - he wasn't one of those "you're doing good!" types, he just watched silently - he was a little mystified by the experience! So I don't think I need his constant attention. My daughter would totally get a kick out of being in the tub with me! She's a serious water baby - she could stay in the shower for hours! I'm calling the birthing center tomorrow to get a run down on their policy on the subject - even if she cannot be present, it's still a good subject to bring up here so that other mamas can see opinions about it.
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  #7  
December 6th, 2008, 07:31 PM
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I see nothing wrong with it. I think every child is different though, and it's a situation you have to play by ear. That is what we'll be doing with Abigail when I'm in labor. I plan to let her into the room and gauge her reaction and how her presence affects me. If there's a problem, we'll distract her and have her go to another room. I think it would be wonderful to have her in the room, to see her baby sister be born. I'm not sure if she would understand it, but I think it would really help the way she bonded with her from the start.
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  #8  
December 6th, 2008, 07:39 PM
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Location: TEXAS
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I thought about having my DD there. I prepared her with birth videos and talking, etc. When the time came though I was too busy working the baby down and out that I was glad someone else had her. Towards the end I was screaming like a lunatic too (and I definately didnt think I was going to scream). Either way it is up to you. Maybe you could just plan on her being there and if it doesnt work out then just have her go in the next room. My birthing center had other rooms and we just planned on bringing toys to keep them busy if I didnt want them in there. Good luck!
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  #9  
December 6th, 2008, 08:38 PM
DoulaMama's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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maybe you could hire a doula or ask the center if they have a birth assistant who would be "on call" for you to watch your little girl, unless you're 100% ok with having your DH possibly leave.
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Cheryl, mama to Noah Paul born 12/26/09, wife to wonderful hubby Rob
I am proudly a homebirthing, excluively breastfeeding from the tap, constantly babywearing, bed sharing, attached mama to a high needs baby. He is a part time diaper-free baby!

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  #10  
December 7th, 2008, 06:53 AM
June Cleaver Wannabe
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Posts: 121
I spoke to the birthing center and they said that my daughter could be present as long as there was someone else there to supervise her, excluding my husband who would be my support person. She suggested that maybe I find a doula that will volunteer services since paying for one is definately out of the question for us. I'll look into that when I know for sure that I can birth at the center! See my introduction for details on that little issue!
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  #11  
December 7th, 2008, 07:15 AM
Husher's Avatar B & E complete me.
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I too don't see anything wrong with it. I agree that it would be easier if there was someone there designated to watch her if she got upset but like someone else said, you know your daughter best and if you think she can handle it well then I say go for it. Good luck!!
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