or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Archives › Pregnancy and Birth Archives › Due Date Clubs 2009 - 2012 › November 2011 › Visitors during and after childbirth --- thoughts?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Visitors during and after childbirth --- thoughts? - Page 3

post #41 of 67

I feel the same way as philomom. The calm I felt when my ex(husband at the time) was with me, helping me, coaching me was awesome. It was indescribably intimate and at the time brought us closer together.

post #42 of 67

DDCC.  I have two children.  My two cents is that you'll never really know what you want until you are in the situation and the kind thing to do might be to tell people that...you may want support and a crew and you may want solitude.  For me, it was impossible to know ahead of time.

 

 

post #43 of 67


I think this is a great idea.  I have heard other mamas in other DDCs say that they have a "no passing baby" policy for the first couple of weeks.  You could just tell visitors that you'd prefer to hold baby this time but next time they visit they can spend time holding your LO.  

 

I'm not sure that would go over well with everyone, but if it keeps baby from getting influenza (YIKES!) then so be it.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by birdhappy85 View Post

So has anyone invited family/friends over once your baby arrived and didn't allow them to hold him/her yet -- just take a look? I have a feeling I'm going to have this first baby and be very protective and possessive in those first days, lol. I wonder if family would be okay if they just looked that first day... I'm nervous about cold and flu season at that time like others have mentioned, too. If someone got my baby or me sick in that time, I'd be sharing some not so kind words with them and quarantining us so NOBODY can visit for a while. lol



 

post #44 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by philomom View Post



For me, yes.

And I think far too many woman do not require their men to "step up" and be a great support person. They just write him off and delegate the chore/responsibility to other women. In my life, most of the women I know either had pitiful birth experiences themselves or think doctors are gods.. I wasn't willing risk having any of that energy at my birth settings. Also, if you write a husband out of baby's earliest moments... what else are you willing to write him out of? Why co-parent or be married at all, hmm? I wanted to raise my kids with a caring, involved daddy from the very first... and that's what I did. My births ...were amazing and my partner was amazing and we both brag years later about how awesome the both of us did during birthing.


I disagree.  I think this is taking it too far, to be honest.  My husband and I trained for the Bradley method with our first son.  We ended up being induced, however, which was a far different experience than the one we had prepared for.  To be clear, it was very different for both me and my husband.  He is an autonomous person with his own feelings and emotions.  He is not a laboring woman.  We both also have different impressions from that birth- many are the same, but we have different perspectives because we are two different people who experienced the same event in two different ways.  That is normal.  Also, as a first time mother I didn't know how to have him coach me in a way that was best for me.  This is not something that we could have known previously, since neither of us had ever experienced childbirth.  So, I am glad he was there, trying, and as actively participating as he could have been BUT it was still not ideal.  He couldn't massage just right- the midwife did it better (because she has more experience with laboring women).  He was coaching me like a sports coach, which I thought I'd like, but in the moment I needed more compassion.  The nurses were so impressed with his coaching, but I felt like I would have done better with a different coaching style.  This time we are talking more about those things but we are also having a much different birthing experience.  I will have 3 midwives attending, so essentially one head midwife and two "doulas".  I am pleased as punch that my husband can be my ROCK during labor- that's exactly the role that I envision and desire for him, and it's the role that I feel he is best suited for.  He can be there to support me physically in the most literal sense (helping with birthing positions) instead of trying to massage just the right spot.  The midwives can do that.  He can gently and compassionately affirm me throughout labor.  He is also going to catch the baby if it works out well that way (if we are in the water we'll have a midwife do it).  

Just because there will be other laboring assistants there that may be doing some of the comfort care that husbands CAN do doesn't make him a less caring, involved parent.  It does not mean I am writing him off.  It does not mean he is not stepping up.  It does not mean we do not co-parent.  It does not mean he is not a wonderful partner in marriage.  

 

All daddies are different.  Some husbands might put their babies to bed each night- mine doesn't.  That doesn't make him less of an involved dad, it just means that I like that to be my role and he has a different role.  Same in labor- he is best suited for a certain role, and I wouldn't try to push him into a different one.  Ina May Gaskin talks a lot about woman's touch and presence during labor being so beneficial for a laboring woman.  I don't think it's bad at all to have a female doula or birth assistant help out at a labor.  

post #45 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by jbk21 View Post

 Ina May Gaskin talks a lot about woman's touch and presence during labor being so beneficial for a laboring woman.

But what if only your husband's touch makes you feel comfortable?

Ina May also talks about couples finding that loving groove during labor.. the kind that helped get the baby in and will help get the baby out. All Ina May's moms in the first book lived together very closely.. like a commune. I don't think I'd feel comfortable kissing and caressing and being caressed in front of others that way. In front of my CNM, sure.

Oh, and we did Bradley, too but the "coaching" part we dropped. I don't like coaching of any kind.. no matter how benign.. it seems like bossing to me. Instead, we concentrated on being a team.
post #46 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by philomom View Post



But what if only your husband's touch makes you feel comfortable?
 


If that's the case for you then fair enough. Even better if you solely want your partner and they can step up and provide everything you need.

 

But not every woman feels that way. Some women labour better only in the presence of other women. Others prefer to be alone. And that can change from hour to hour and birth to birth. Some people genuinely can't provide their partner with what they need 100% of the time for a multitude of reasons. And unless that reason is something like being too busy getting drunk with his/her friends to give a toss about the birth of his/her kid then that reason isn't making him/her less of a great partner. Not to mention that in a long labour it can be helpful to have someone to take over from the partner so that they can get some rest.

 

Not rubbing your back in exactly the right place at exactly the right time doesn't make a person less of a wonderful partner or less of a fantastic co-parent.

 

 

As it happens I didn't want my partner anywhere near me during labour. The one time he tried to rub my back I kind of growled at him. If he'd tried to coach me I'd probably have punched him. But post birth, when I had some issues, he was great.

 

 

Getting back on topic, I don't see birth as a spectator sport. Not a chance that I'd allow the whole family there. Each to their own, however. If you don't want them there then don't tell them when you go into labour (or are induced) if at all possible. It's dreadful behaviour for anyone to try and make you feel guilty for not allowing them to watch. Seriously, what kind of person would do such a thing? One benefit of ending up with a hospital birth was that they only allow two birth partners and visitors aren't allowed on the delivery floor.

 

Be firm about visitors if you decide you don't want them or want to play it by ear. Again, anyone who tries to make you feel guilty is an inconsiderate fool. We had parents visit in hospital (thankfully short visiting hours) and then nobody else for a couple of weeks. I'm pretty sure some people thought I was selfish, but I really did not care. I didn't want to be bullied into entertaining people whilst leaking from every orifice.

 

 

 

post #47 of 67
I want no one there. I am trying to go without drugs and I don't want to show my privates. I never want anyone else retelling my birth story.

As far as after the baby, I say no one now so that no one plans to be there. But, if I feel great after, I will call people then. But I don't want the pressure of a bunch of people around or waiting to come up if I want no one.
post #48 of 67

I haven't read all the posts.  I think it should be totally up to you who you want there, and that everyone else should respect that.  Personally I had just DH and hospital staff.  Birth can be really primal, and if I need to moo like a cow, I need to be comfortable doing that!  Not to mention being naked, breastfeeding....  Also I just don't want to share those first couple of hours.  They are precious and raw.

 

You may not know how you feel until it happens.   It's generally easier to invite people over if you feel like you want it than to send them away if you don't.  You didn't say how far it was to travel if they would need advance notice or not.  I'd try to figure out some polite way to say you need some time to yourself if it ever does become an issue. 

 

With my first, we lived halfway across the country -- a 20 hour drive, and it's not like you know when to buy a plane ticket for.  So we had people from church bring us meals about every other day for the first 2 weeks and it was wonderful!  Just a short visit and a meal with leftovers.  My mom and dad came at 5 weeks and ILs at 6.  MIL had casually offered that she could come help earlier, and it wasn't that I didn't want the help.   I'm just extremely practical, and the thought of her having to take off work and not know when to come and get a last minute plane ticket seemed really ridiculous to me. 

 

With my 2nd we lived in the same area as ILs and almost 3 hours from mine.  They brought DD to visit us as the hospital a couple of hours after DD was born and stayed maybe an hour.  Our pastor also ended up being there about that time.  I really needed that time with my older child and she was wonderful with the baby.  I didn't love that ILs were holding the new one, but I could deal with it.  I also didn't feel comfortable breastfeeding with company.  ILs truly are great, but an hour was plenty.  I did the 24hr hospital discharge and as soon as we got home FIL, SIL and her BF came over, and I didn't like it.   I personally believe that if you visit a brand new baby, you should stay for less than an hour, bring dinner or something else very helpful, and not ask to hold the baby.  My parents came for the weekend at a week and a half. 

 

My SIL had all of her and her DH's family at the hospital but not in the room.  Personally, I would have felt guilty making everyone sit around waiting all day, not to mention losing that time with my baby.  Still, I had a "hey, aren't my kids important?" moment -- mostly about my first birth.  At over 2 months, she still has only had a couple of hours at a time alone with the baby.

post #49 of 67

I wanted to be alone.  I tried to accomodate DH's family after the birth, but it was overwhelmingly stressful and I'm afraid I wasn't very pleasant.  After my second's birth (VBAC) I asked everyone to stay away except for one brief visit.  I got some flack for that because, as my sister claims, "the baby is everybody's!"  I beg to differ.  When I am stressed or in pain, I need zero distractions or I can't focus and I can't cope.  Our comfort level is paramount.  If you are the kind of person who wants to invite everyone in, great.  If you are like me, you might have to deal with hurt feelings from family.  I hope your friends and family respect your decision.  

post #50 of 67


Absolutely- but I don't think it's either/or.  You can have a supportive, loving, present husband as a birth partner AND have a doula and/or any other women as support persons as well.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by philomom View Post



But what if only your husband's touch makes you feel comfortable?

Ina May also talks about couples finding that loving groove during labor.. the kind that helped get the baby in and will help get the baby out. All Ina May's moms in the first book lived together very closely.. like a commune. I don't think I'd feel comfortable kissing and caressing and being caressed in front of others that way. In front of my CNM, sure.

Oh, and we did Bradley, too but the "coaching" part we dropped. I don't like coaching of any kind.. no matter how benign.. it seems like bossing to me. Instead, we concentrated on being a team.


 

post #51 of 67

My husband is HORRIBLE labor support. He tries, he really does. But in the same way I am on my own labor journey preparing to birth this baby and bring forth a new life, HE is on his own journey of becoming a father to the baby I am birthing. We both are already SO in love with and SO bonded to this baby. It is as intense of a journey for him as it is for me, though it may not be as much physical as it is mental and emotional for him. I already have an advantage in that area because I can feel the baby, the baby has been a part of me for 40 weeks. To me, it's not fair to expect him to take his journey AND be my main/only support for me on my journey. And to tell him he isn't stepping up and being a father if he can't do that. 

 

Thankfully, I don't feel a lot of need for support in labor. I have had dreams of going into labor when I'm all alone (which is how I know it's a dream...when am I ever all alone, lol!), and birthing before anybody could get here. That sounds AWESOME to me. If I had been prepared and known more about transition with my first, I would have never woken DH up (I was in the tub in the hospital room bathroom, he was right outside the door napping), or called the nurse. I would've just birthed and loved on my baby alone for a bit. I'm anti-social, almost to a fault. I want to be connected to people, but on my terms and as I choose to be. So in a way, by him not being a huge emotional support, it helps. He gets to do his process of preparing the house for the baby (man's a neat freak!), getting me what I need as I need it (counter pressure, someone to lean on, more hot water for the tub, etc), and I get to labor as alone as I need or want to be.

 

In the same way, I'm a horrible support person for him in his chronic pain issues. My own dealings with chronic pain have been to suck it up and keep quiet. It's just how I am. He isn't like that, and my brain has a hard time finding a balance between being supportive, honoring my own feelings on the issue, and coming off as callous. We all have our faults, our places where we aren't physically or emotionally equipped to be EVERYTHING our spouse/partner needs. Part of a loving relationship is accepting your partner for who they are and what they CAN offer, not faulting them for what they aren't capable of bringing to the table.

post #52 of 67
Thread Starter 

Well said, Justamama!!! biggrinbounce.gif

post #53 of 67

Totally personal preference, but i am incredible thankful that i did not allow any family at the birth, or even to come over for 1 week.  the grandmas were hurt by this, but we just made it very clear that it was A) not abnormal to make family wait and B) a special, irreplaceable time for the new family to integrate.  i was totally in mama bear mode and didnt want anyone holding baby except me or papa.  IMO, i dont think it is good for baby to get passed around right after birth ... this is a special bonding time and enormous transition period for baby.  my ds is almost 2 months old now and i still dont like the "pass the baby", but it seems like my family all expect it,  

i loved being alone with baby and boyfriend for a whole week, and next time id like even longer (2 -3 weeks)

i made lots of meals before the birth and froze them so we didnt need others their to make food for us.  i also put a sign on  the door that said something like this "our home is a sanctuary for the new baby and his parents.  please be respectful and gentle in our home.  if you have come to peek at the newborn please plan to stay no longer than 15 minutes.  if you want to stay longer, be prepared to help out around the house (a list is on the fridge)", then i had a chore list on the fridge.  i kept this sign on the door for 3 weeks so that neighbors and friends who brought meals could see it. 

post #54 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by justamama View Post

 I have had dreams of going into labor when I'm all alone (which is how I know it's a dream...when am I ever all alone, lol!), and birthing before anybody could get here. That sounds AWESOME to me. If I had been prepared and known more about transition with my first, I would have never woken DH up (I was in the tub in the hospital room bathroom, he was right outside the door napping), or called the nurse. I would've just birthed and loved on my baby alone for a bit. 

I realized after the birth of dd2 that having my husband there, or at least so close, was really distracting for labor.  I was always thinking about him instead of diving into the experience alone.  I didn't want to be touched, or look at anything.  I really lost my groove.  I'd never tell him this, that I wish he was at least on the other side of the room.  But who knows?  Maybe he secretly felt the desire to go wait in the waiting room until the baby came?  Sometimes you learn things about yourself after the fact.

post #55 of 67

My advice would be to use your relationship with the people involved as your guide.  If you are truly close, you may value their presence more than you realize. If not, better to leave them out of it.  I had not really wanted my Mom at my homebirth because I knew the idea terrified her and I thought that might cause friction.  But we are close, and at the very end, hers was the only voice I heard, out of a melee.  And I was gratefull.  On the other hand, my MIL screaching in the background did break through at one point and still annoys me when I think of it to this day. 

I also second what others have said about time of notification - only tell the people you want there at the time, or who you would not mind having on hand in case it goes long and your primaries need a break.  Having a few such people waiting in the kitchen was helpful to us, but it need not be your Mom, or anyone else who stresses you out. 

post #56 of 67

Re: the original post-

 

I had an amazing, natural hospital birth with only my husband in attendance.  The nurses came in from time to time but from my birth plan, I assume, knew to just let us be.  My husband and I prepared with Lamaze.  I knew early I didn't want any visitors during the labor and delivery phase (I'm the type of person who cries in private, thank you very much, and knew I needed privacy to just let loose and get through the labor portion with as much grace and efficiency as possible).  My mom and inlaws were in the waiting room, and my mom popped in once, which was ok, but knew to leave once a contraction started.

 

In the mother ward, my parents, husband's parents, sister-in-law and her boyfriend visited us.  (I was slightly annoyed by the boyfriend - I mean really, they're married now, and that's nice, but I'm not his friend, so...)  They all knew that they could stay for as long as they wanted (except the boyfriend) or until I needed alone time with my babe, whichever came first.  wink1.gif

 

Once we were home (after two days in the hospital), we requested everyone stay away for two days so we could bond and get the hang of parenting on our own.

 

Like so many previous posters said, the key is to be clear, direct, and unapologetic about the way YOU want the day and the days after to progress.  Aahhhh :), thinking about it makes me want to do it all over again!  love.gif

post #57 of 67

Just have to reply to the comments about pros/cons of having a woman as labor support.  I do not believe that having a doula or another caring woman present in any way detracts from a father's role during the birth.  But a man can never, ever, truly understand what a woman is experiencing during labor.  He just can't, no matter how much he's read, how many videos he's watched, even how many births he's been present for, understand how labor feels, how the hormones affect your body and mind, how you interact with your baby during that time.  It makes me think of reading stories about climbing Everest; while I can logically grasp the idea that, yes, oxygen deprivation makes you weak and stupid, I will never "get" what it's like to be there and do that (and honestly, I don't want to, which is probably true of most men w/ childbirth, LOL).  He also doesn't have the hormones being released that allow him to stay alert and active for hours, or heaven forbid, days, and will need to rest, eat, pee. . . possibly at the times when Mom needs someone present. 

 

He can and absolutely should be there as a FATHER and HUSBAND - loving and caring for his wife and baby.  And just as some of us don't want visitors during the birth, some of us really don't want coaching or support.  We only want the touch and voices of specific people.  But for those of us who do want or need more support, I truly believe that having a like-minded, experienced woman present is so very beneficial. 

 

I really think a doula shines during a hospital birth.  Hospitals are scary places, where people want to do things to you and typically don't understand the normal birth process.   They have their rules and procedures and are likely to impose those upon a birthing woman.  How is Dad, even a well-read dad who's go to all the classes and talked in depth about what sort of birth Mom wants, supposed to know whether the push for an IV catheter, say, or breaking the water bag, is really going to help his wife and baby or is simply the typical routine in that hospital?  A doula is trained, typically with years of experience, in normal birth and in understanding and avoiding typical hospital interventions.  If I were to give birth in a hospital again, I'd want someone there on my team to translate for my husband and for me and help us make decisions and avoid interventions.

post #58 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by CheriK View Post

Just have to reply to the comments about pros/cons of having a woman as labor support.  I do not believe that having a doula or another caring woman present in any way detracts from a father's role during the birth. 


That is your opinion. I have personally witnessed two births in which doulas interfered with the couple groove. One dad was aware of the energy shift and fought to get back in.. the other dad gave up and flipped on the tv. How incredibly sad is that?
post #59 of 67

That's anecdotal "evidence", philomom- I could say that I have seen homebirths that have gone awry and thus form an entire philosophy about how all women should birth in a hospital, but that was just those women's experience.  (I don't know of any homebirths that were anything short of perfect, by the way, just an example).  I do think it's sad that those fathers were left out of the experience that they desired but that is certainly not indicative of every birth with a doula.  Every woman is different, every man is different, every relationship is different, every birth is different.   

I feel bad for the OP that her post has been hijacked, and honestly, philomom, your opinion is only relevant to the very few women who aren't in touch enough with their husbands to know what role they are best suited for in labor.  Doulas are wonderful, especially for hospital births like a PP said, and to continue to rant about how they are all-bad-all-the-time does nobody any good and it is offensive to the women- and couples- who have had wonderful experiences with doulas.  To each their own, and I hope that every woman has the birth experience she desires whether that is in the hospital or in her backyard, with or without a doula, with or without a birth assistant for that matter.   


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by philomom View Post



That is your opinion. I have personally witnessed two births in which doulas interfered with the couple groove. One dad was aware of the energy shift and fought to get back in.. the other dad gave up and flipped on the tv. How incredibly sad is that?


 

 

post #60 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by jbk21 View Post

and honestly, philomom, your opinion is only relevant to the very few women who aren't in touch enough with their husbands to know what role they are best suited for in labor.

Sigh, you are missing my point. Daddies should be educated, wonderful and everything a woman needs.Men who are invested in their families shouldn't even blink when it comes to stepping up. Especially if you are already paired with an awesome midwife. I'm here to say that I find the MDC "every woman must hire a doula" attitude offensive.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: November 2011
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Archives › Pregnancy and Birth Archives › Due Date Clubs 2009 - 2012 › November 2011 › Visitors during and after childbirth --- thoughts?