or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Pregnancy and Birth › Birth and Beyond › Homebirth › Should children have a babysitter/caregiver during homebirth?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Should children have a babysitter/caregiver during homebirth?

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 

I am planning a HB in 2 weeks and I have no one to watch my 4 1/2 year old twins. My friends, family and In-laws live out of town and I do not know anyone here that I trust. We did have help but it fell through and so my husband and I are on our own.


Do you think my kids will be fine not having someone to watch them.Do you think they will be old enough to understand? My husband says that he will be able to take care of them and me at the same time, but I am worried that one will have a meltdown and become overwhelmed. I have heard about student doulas that will watch your children while you go into labor,but not sure if that is true. I have been talking to them about birth and getting them involved to get them more secure about it,but I just do not want them having a tantrum because they are scared etc. I am also worried that my mind will be on our kids and not on the labor which will make it harder. 


Has anyone been in this situation and were your kids just fine not having a babysitter during labor? Any advice would be great.

post #2 of 23

I think they're young enough, and there are two of them, that it would be a good idea to have someone there for them.



post #3 of 23

If you are fine with your DH not being/attending to you but if you want him taking more of an active role with you then you'll more then likely need someone. My kids have done fine during homebirths but they do need someone solely attending to them. They get scared, want snacks, just need someone to keep them entertained. DH hangs out with them in the beginning of labor  and then we always call over someone later to child wrangle. He was dealing with two kids and fetching me things until the last hour DS was born, and it was rough on him. I should add that I don't need nor want him in the room while I am laboring, I like to be alone so that is how we made it work that long. 

post #4 of 23

We hired a doula for our kids for my last 2 births.  With the second birth, the doula met with my ds a few times beforehand so they would know each other and be comfortable.  When I was in labor, she picked my ds up from preschool and took care of him until I was ready for him to come into the room for the birth (when I was pushing).  I think her casual, laid-back style really made it possible for him to be present at the birth without being overwhelmed or scared.  As soon as he saw the placenta he said "I want to go downstairs!" and she took him out with no drama, etc.


My third kiddo was born in the middle of the night, so the 2 older kids slept through it so she ended up being more my doula than theirs, but it was a huge weight off my mind knowing she was there.

My third labor was way intense and there was no way I could have parented the older kids at all had they woken.


The other thing to consider is child-care arrangements in case of a hospital transfer.  In an emergency, I would imagine that you'd probably want your dh to be able to go with you and the logistics of dealing with kiddos in that situation would be difficult.


I might start trying to forma relationship with someone now so that by the time the baby comes, you will be comfortable having them in your house/watching your kids.


Good luck.


post #5 of 23

I plan on having the midwife, backup midwife, assistant midwife, and a doula at the birth and a friend close by that can come get Ki and take him to her house if needed.  Does this sound like I have it covered?  I think the assistant mw and husband will be taking care of son (will be 2 yrs 10mo) and the doula and midwives will be with me.  The doula is free (normally $1000) b/c she really wanted the opportunity to work with my midwife, so I don't think I can ask her to watch my son.  Also she is a massage therapist, so I think I might want her to myself;)  The idea of having someone else there dedicated to my son is starting to feel like too many people, kwim?  I have time to decide, but am hoping it is okay the way I have it planned.

post #6 of 23

I think I would just bring it up with everyone involved so that no one feels put upon or put on the spot. They may not mind at all, but I think you owe them the courtesy of running it by them so that they can decide.

post #7 of 23

It's up to you. I personally liked having someone to watch ds1, which was my MIL, so that my DH and mom could focus on me. ds1 was asleep when ds2 was born though, as it was 1:50 am.

post #8 of 23

I would try and find someone to come look after the kids. Even if your husband was able to manage, you (and your laboring body) may not be comfortable with it. And this:

Originally Posted by leanmarie View Post

'... but I am worried that one will have a meltdown and become overwhelmed. "

makes me think that you might be thinking about it during labor. 


Good luck!

post #9 of 23

Personally, I think it's a huge relief to know that all children have a dedicated caregiver (or someone easily accessible on-call) throughout the labor. I'd highly recommend it simply for peace of mind, even if you don't end up calling them, having someone on-call is ideal, IME. 


Best wishes! 

post #10 of 23

I've had homebirths and always had a dedicated caregiver for my other kids.  I can't imagine having to care for my kids during labor--and wouldn't want my dh to have to do so either.  Plus, what if there is a sticky or even emergency situation where you have to transfer care?  You don't want to be even thinking about what to do with your kids then.  I always liked having my other kids around for birth, and they liked watching the birth and greeting the newest.  But since they had helpers, no one had to stress about getting them fed, entertained, calmed down, whatever.  A friend of mine just planned a homebirth and really thought she'd want her 2yr old there--but her mw insisted that she have care available for him.  In the end, when he woke up in the morning and she was in hard labor, she realized she really didn't want him there after all.  She was glad she'd lined up people to call for him.  And since she decided to go to the hospital later (not urgent, just got nervous), she was even more glad her ds was already with someone else.

post #11 of 23

I think they would probably be fine, but it would be nice if you had backup.  If your kids can do things like grab a snack and a drink of water without too much help, and they can occupy themselves... it should be fine.  If it ends up being a long day, or you just decide you want someone there, it would be nice to have the option.


We had a uc when my dd was 2 and I had someone available to come if we needed, but since the labour was at night it ended up being fine.  This time I have a couple of people I can call if needed, but if we are fine I won't bother.


samhope, you sound well covered to me, but maybe check with your midwife.  I would assume with that many adults around your son would be fine, but some care providers insist that there is a specific person for the kids.

post #12 of 23

This is a concern for me, too. My daughter does not do well with babysitters and takes a very long time getting comfortable enough with someone to look at them or speak to them. Having another person in the house might freak her out rather than help her. If there is an emergency or we have to transfer to hospital, I have no idea what I'm gonna do! 

post #13 of 23

I would get double doulas . thats what Im planing for DS during my next HB

post #14 of 23

I would probably want someone to watch them if I was laboring while they were awake. We had a friend watch our 3 older kids when my 4th baby was born. It was a quick labor 2.5 hour labor but I didn't want myself or DH to have to worry about their care during that time. My other 4 homebirths where I had older kids, I was fortunate they occurred while the kids were asleep so we just let them sleep through the whole thing and didn't need to call anyone to watch them.

post #15 of 23

My midwife requires that you have a dedicated person there to watch your kids (if they'll be there for the birth).  Beyond just taking them away if it's too much, what would you do if you had to transfer for an emergency?  I have my Mom and sister on call for our birth, just in case one of them can't make it in time I want to be sure someone can take care of my DD. 

post #16 of 23

Also - make sure your caregiver knows that s/he is to stay with the older children NO MATTER WHAT!  I once supported a homebirth in which the mom had arranged for a beloved uncle and aunt to be caregivers for her 2 year old dd.  Unfortunately, when mama began to push baby out, the caregivers abandoned the older child to be in the birth room to see baby being born.  I wound up sitting on the stairs reading stories and cuddling with a very sad and confused toddler for quite a while.


I was at another homebirth where the parents did not arrange a caregiver for their older child  - they assumed the birth would be at night and she would sleep through it. or that dad could attend to her needs.  Unfortunately, the older child was sick that night and not sleeping, so my role evolved into snuggling in bed with their sick toddler (luckily she knew me and was okay with it) so mama would not get distracted from what proved to be a fairly difficult birth.

post #17 of 23

My dd is 6 and recently attended our homebirth.  We don't have many close friends or family nearby with whom we felt comfortable having at the birth to takecare of dd. But we were realistic in knowing that there needed to be some sort of backup plan especially if there was a hospital transfer or other complication.  We did not end up having someone there for her during labor as most of the labor took place while she was asleep.  During the last 2-3 hours of labor, she was fine entertaining herself and with my husband attending to her few needs.  However, she is 6 - she can get herself a snack, pour herself a drink, operate all of the electronics in the house, find toys and crafts supplies by herself.  if she was younger than 5.5, I don't think this would have been possible.  We did have several backup plans for caregivers if labor was during the day and/or if we needed help with her during a long labor.  Most of the backup plans included sending her to a neighbor's house for a while right up until tthe birth was imminent and then have them bring her home (she really wanted to be present at the birth).  All that being said, a couple hours after the birth was over, my husband and I were completely exhausted and dd was too much to handle.  We called the neighbors that have kids around the same age and they came and got her for several hours.  They also took her the next day and entertained her for most of the day.  She benefited from it just as much as we did. This really was a wonderful relief for us as I really needed to bond with the new little one and I desperately needed rest and recovery time.  SO, I would highly recommend some sort of caregiver plan for your child not jsut during labor and birth but also for afterwards. 

post #18 of 23
Thread Starter 

Thank you for all the responses.


I am going to call a few doulas in the area and see prices etc.

post #19 of 23

you also might want to look into a student doula for the kids just price wise

post #20 of 23
Thread Starter 

I called numerous doulas and there are no local student doulas around my area.


We decided to just get a nanny for the time I will be in labor or in case of a transfer. There is an agency near me and they said that they would be ready when I need them.


TY again for the advice.

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Homebirth
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Pregnancy and Birth › Birth and Beyond › Homebirth › Should children have a babysitter/caregiver during homebirth?