Have your children attended you prenatal appoinments? Was it a good idea? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 20 Old 05-05-2007, 08:37 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi! I'm about to tell dd, 5.5, the big news. Will have first prenatal in a few weeks.

I'm wondering if people think it is a good idea to have children this age attend prenatal appointments (mine will be with a midwife at a hospital birth center). I want her to be involved, but not bored, or freaked out by all my internal exams and stuff. Should I just bring her to a few, or bring toys, or bring an adult to be with her incase she wants to leave? I do hope she's going to want to attend the birth, so it seems like going to the appointments would get her ready for that...

But there ares some questions I wouldn't be comfortable asking in front of her--do you think the midwives/docs let you call them with questions later?

Any insights/tips?
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#2 of 20 Old 05-05-2007, 08:39 PM
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My mother had my brother when I was 5 1/2. She started bringing me to prenatals when the heartbeat could be heard. She says I was unimpressed... So I would do it, but expect a 5 y.o. to behave like a 5 y.o. and not go all transcendental on you...
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#3 of 20 Old 05-05-2007, 09:16 PM
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My three year old son has been coming with me to prenatal appts. off and on throughout the pregnancy. He likes the heartbeat on the doppler, and he also liked the 20 week ultrasound. Some of the more boring ones in between he didn't go to and I used those times to ask some of the questions with words I didn't want him to get quite yet (like sex and the big O stuff). But he knows all the details and that's fine. He even came for an internal (you shouldn't be having more than a couple of those with a good midwife) and played with toys happily oblivious...I thought. Afterward we went to the shoe store and he proceeded to lay on his back, stick his legs in the air and say, "Go ahead and check me, mommy!" Gotta love it!

But he'll be attending the birth and I figure, if birth is natural and I really believe that, then let's just act naturally. So we do!
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#4 of 20 Old 05-05-2007, 09:28 PM
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DD is 2.5 and has been to all of mine also. The first time we heard the HB she was amazed and touched my belly gently and said "baby in there". It was so sweet. Last time when my MW used the feteoscope, DD was a but upset to not "hear the baby" So we'll use the doppler when she asks just so she can hear it and be involved I love having her there, but make sure you do what is comfortable for you!
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#5 of 20 Old 05-05-2007, 10:09 PM
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My dd came to all my appointments when I was pg with her brother (she was 2 1/2 to 3 years old at the time), and now both kids come with me to all my appointments. My MW has a basket of toys they can play with. My ds likes to sit on the exam table next to me while we listen the the baby, do my bp, and all that, and dd gets to put the gel on my tummy. They really like being included, and it makes it all more real for them that there's actually a real baby in there.

I do sometimes talk about what will be happening at an appointment, and I remind them right before it happens if there will be something that might freak them out (like finger pokes for hemoglobin testing) and I use it as a teaching moment on how our bodies work and how my body supports the baby.

mom to dd (5 1/2), ds (almost 3!) and #3 due in June
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#6 of 20 Old 05-05-2007, 10:43 PM
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I brought dd to my 2nd one, when we could hear the hb. I plan to bring ds to the next so he can have a turn.

My mw is also a friend, so the kids will end up playing together if I bring them with me.

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#7 of 20 Old 05-05-2007, 10:46 PM
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My 3 year old has been to every visit with me. No choice really, I don't have a sitter for day time. He's been fine I just bring some toys for him.
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#8 of 20 Old 05-05-2007, 10:54 PM
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Depends on the child. My dd came to every visit with me when I was pregnant with #2. She was great, she'd sit on the table with me, listen to the baby, help me pee in a cup, LOL.

My ds on the other hand...... he's a TOTALLY different kid. He'd be climbing on everything, not so sure about him, LOL.
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#9 of 20 Old 05-06-2007, 06:19 AM
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Dh is responsible for watching ds (3.5) when we're at prenatal appointments at our birth center. Ds loves to hear the baby's heartbeat, but when they draw my blood or do a vaginal exam (if they do), dh goes with him to the on-site playground or they play in the ante-room where the center has blocks and other toys for children.

The last time we went, dh thought that ds would like to play outside better, but when we got home ds was anxious and asked, "when do we hear baby girl?" and indicated he wanted to hear her heartbeat and be involved. So next time we're doing that.

He also had a nightmare that we had left him alone to go the hospital : I couldn't figure it out until I asked dh if he had been reading to him from a standard "new baby" book from the library. I improvise and read it to him telling him we're all going to the birth center together, but dh apparently didn't and read it to him verbatim

Oh well, to make a long story short, I think it's important and beneficial to involve your dd as long as she feels comfortable and have an extra person there just in case she doesn't want to in a particular situation.
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#10 of 20 Old 05-06-2007, 08:42 AM
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I left dd, 3 in July, if I knew it was going to be a long appointment or one involving a lot of internal stuff, like the first one when they do swabs and stuff. Other than that she has come to all of them. My OB is great and lets her squirt the gel on for the doppler and lets her help measure. She really likes coming, and I feel like it has helped a little in cementing the idea that there really is someone in there.

I am a pretty easy pg patient so none of my appts have been that long or boring for her.

Tracy, Wifey to Jeff . Mama to Maya-Papaya 7/04 and Carolina Bean-a 5/07 and Jack 7/4/10!!
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#11 of 20 Old 05-06-2007, 11:14 AM
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DS (4 yrs) comes to all of my appointments because I have no other choice. He gets really bored at the appointments. Sometimes he'll play nicely, but other times he wants to talk to me, climb on me, or use the MWs doppler and blood pressure cuff. If I had a choice I probably wouldn't bring him to all of the appointments. He's not interested in the pregnancy stuff, he's more interested in touching everything in the office

Does your dd do well at other appointments or does she get antsy after a few mins? Maybe you could take her to some appointments and not others. Where she's older you might not want her around for certain appointments, like appointments where you discuss sex and your fears about labor.

Zen doula-mama to my spirited DS1 (2/03), my CHD (TAPVR) warrior DS2 (6/07) & a gentle baby girl (8/09)
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#12 of 20 Old 05-06-2007, 11:24 AM
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My oldest two were 2 & 3 when my youngest was born, and they liked the appointments! They liked listening to the heartbeat and seeing the doctor. I just didn't take them in if I needed probed.

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#13 of 20 Old 05-06-2007, 11:46 AM
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For me personally, I love taking my 2 yr old. He gets pretty into it (he's like me!). I mean...what other 2 yr old begs to watch birth videos? He's like his mama.
But, some mamas need the time to themselves and end up bringing their whole brood and they don't get this time to be about them, they spend the time trying to make sure their kids don't burn the house down. So it depends on how you feel, how your kids feel and will behave, what you want accomplished.
I'd try it once- for preparation's sake. And if it doesn't go very well, schedule ti so it's just you or just your and your partner. It should be a special time and sometimes kids can inhibit that and it becomes unfair to everyone.
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#14 of 20 Old 05-06-2007, 11:57 AM
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DD (4.5 when I got pregnant, turning 5 this month) went with me to my first blood test, and my u/s. She was very interested in every part of it, she asked the doctor a million questions during the u/s, and enjoyed playing with the model uterus on his desk!

She has been very involved since day one. And I'm planning on a homebirth, just hoping that she won't be at school or sound asleep when I birth so she'll be a part of that too. We watch Baby Story, and Maternity Center, and she is very curious about the whole thing, almost scientific.

Overall, definitely been a good thing.
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#15 of 20 Old 05-06-2007, 12:04 PM
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My dd went to every appointment and was definitely very excited and well prepared about dd2's birth. She was 2.9 to 3.5 years old at the time and loved being included and involved. It was her baby too and she took pride in that. Maybe it's just her temperment and personality, but becoming a big sister was an easy and smooth transition with her and I always thought at least part of the reason was because she was so involved in the pregnancy.
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#16 of 20 Old 05-06-2007, 12:05 PM
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yeah... ds was 12 mos when I first started going to them and I stopped going altogether at 13 mos because it was too much of a pain to do it with him. :
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#17 of 20 Old 05-06-2007, 12:41 PM
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My kids are always with me.

But we don't do internals to I don't know if that would make a difference or not?
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#18 of 20 Old 05-06-2007, 01:12 PM
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My young kids have always come to my appointments. They're generally unimpressed by the prenatal stuff, and look forward to getting stickers at the end of appointments.
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#19 of 20 Old 05-06-2007, 04:11 PM
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my almost 5 yr old loves coming to the visits-and my ob and midwife always include her, like letting her hold the doppler or tell the number on the measuring tape, etc.

be prepared to answer questions about where babies come from though-i am straightforward and honest about the process and they are very curious about it. i dont know how well it would go if i refused to be honest about where babies come from , you know?

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#20 of 20 Old 05-06-2007, 05:52 PM
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Well, the last time, they came with me. It turned out that the embryo had died, so maybe that wasn't such a great idea. It was okay that they were there, though. Not traumatic for them. They were 3 and 5.5 at the time.
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