Written by Jana Angeles
Childbirth is an experience with a mixture of emotions – excitement, fear and happiness all at once. You probably have kids already that have grown up or you may have a little toddler you’ve had to juggle raising during the second journey of your pregnancy. The question is, are you comfortable enough to have them in the delivery room when you’re about to give birth? It’s a complex question that not many parents have the answer to. Depending on your preference, you should definitely take into consideration a number of factors before you decide that you’re comfortable with your child being in the delivery room. The last thing you want is to scar them for life with something that could have been easily avoided.
The Effects of Birth Can Be Distressing – Be Prepared
If you have younger children, it’s good to walk them through the process of childbirth and anticipate the sights and sounds they may experience when inside the delivery room. Take the time to find sounds that describe labour and use images (not the graphic ones, obviously) to provide a visual aid of childbirth. Despite the preparation, your child may freak out and may want to leave the room immediately. As for older kids, they may brave it out and stay in the delivery room. During the term of your pregnancy, you might need to explain to them where babies come from – ‘the birds and the bees’ talk.
Ask Someone Else From The Family To Be Present With The Children
Having a member from the immediate family (auntie, uncle, grandma or grandpa), can be extremely helpful when it comes to having your children in the delivery room. This could mean having someone to show support and care while you’re in labour – to rest and reassure them that everything is going to be just fine. Also, a person that can take them out of the delivery room as soon as possible when your child is starting to feel distressed and/or nauseous about the process of childbirth.
Ask The Health Professionals To Be A Tour Guide of The Delivery Room
To get your kids up to speed with everything, ask your local health professionals (doctors, nurses, midwives) to give a quick tour guide of the delivery room before you start giving birth. Being familiar with their surroundings and knowing the do’s & don’ts of the place can be extremely helpful if they are aware of where everything is. Also, if your children have some pressing questions to ask about childbirth and the health of the baby, the health professionals can help guide them through the process.
Prepare Them for The Look of The Baby
Babies are meant to look ugly when they first come out. There will be blood, mess and umbilical cords and it’s not exactly the prettiest sight for a child. Make sure you tell your children beforehand that they will see mess in the delivery room and that their baby sibling will look weird at first. Just keep in mind that this is all new to them so showing them close to accurate photos can help meet their expectations. At least then they’ll have something they can use as reference instead of what’s portrayed in TV and Film.
Once The Baby is Born, Ask If They Want To Hold Them
This one is applicable for older siblings but younger siblings can participate too with close supervision. It’s an exciting and overwhelming experience for the children who have witnessed you giving birth to their sibling. Holding the baby could help start their sibling bond straightaway and they can feel a sense of closeness from the very start. It can be a special moment to reach this stage post-birth, bringing a whole new meaning in their lives. It’s also an opportunity where curious children can take the time to feel amazed about the human body and on what it can do.
Having your children in the delivery room is your call to make but also consider asking your child if they want to be in the same room as you. It’s important to consider the factors above and to not let yourself be swayed by another person’s decision just because it seemed to work for them. You know your child best so if you feel like this is something they just aren’t ready for, stick to your decision. If your child ends up being in the delivery room, provide support and guidance and communicate with your immediate family members so they can prepare for the big day their younger sibling is born.