While I was pregnant for the first time there were a lot of decisions I had to make. What doctor was I going to? Where would the baby be born? How did I want to deliver? Was I getting an epidural? Would I deliver all natural? Each of these decisions have their own set of difficulties, each have their own controversial issues, and everyone has their own opinions on what is right. The one question I did not understand would have so much lash back is who would I let in the delivery room? I did not understand how to say no to extra guests.
Delivery is raw, painful, and I foresaw not wanting people around. I am not the most comfortable around a lot of people even on the best of days, labor and delivery is NOT one of those days.
Babies are loved by so many, being there for their delivery is an amazing experience, I understand friends and family hoping to be a part of that. But, the experience is not wholly about the baby, but about you, the pregnant mother. You should feel comfortable, if that means less people, then you’ll need to know how to say “no.”
For me it wasn’t completely a question about the amount of people but also who the people were. If I’m not comfortable with you on any given day, if I do not have the closest relationship with you, I do not see it being a wish to have you in the room while a very large baby is being pushed out of a very small hole by me.
How do you say “no” without hurting relationships?
Do not tell others when you are in labor.
The easiest way to avoid unwanted visitors while in labor is not telling them until the baby is born.
Check with the rules of the Hospital
Often times hospitals only allow 1 or 2 support people in the delivery room. This may help in the decision not to include more than the people you absolutely want. For me it was my husband and my mom.
It’s much easier to make your choices clear when you’re not actually in the middle of labor and in a ton of pain due to contractions. It’s also easier to get your point across in a calm and respectful manner. Make your wishes clear before the baby is actually coming.
Make sure you have a strong advocate for your wishes
Whether or not it is your husband, your mom or your best friend, make sure someone is with you that knows what you want and is willing to be forceful if needed to make sure those wishes will happen. This includes to doctors and nurses if need be.
Make your wishes clear to the labor and delivery team
Your nurses and doctors can be your advocate as well. If they need to be the bad guy and kick out friends and family, they can. Tell them who you do want in the room and give them the okay to kick out any extra bodies.
Make a post-birth visitation plan
Make some guidelines and expectations for visiting while in the hospital and during the first couple weeks home. For me, I was more than welcoming to visitors but would prefer knowing ahead. That only meant sending a call or text and asking if it was a good time rather than just popping in.
Labor and delivery can be intimidating on so many levels. Your family and friends should not make it worse but rather should be there to support you. Remember if you are asked to not be in a delivery room the best thing you can do is be respectful and supportive.