"I don't know I was thinking ..., ...., ..., ..., & ..."
"I don't know, who should we invite?"
"I think my mother in law wants to be there... and my mom..."
Who is going to be at your birth is usually a huge question of discussion
during our prenatal planning sessions with our birth doula clients.
So, when you don't want to hurt feelings or you really want everyone there,
How do you make a decision about who to have at your birth?
Imagine your birth.
Who do you see being there when you close your eyes and dream of the moment?
How does the room look and feel?
Who is there and being supportive?
You, your partner, your doula, your medical team, and ....
Imagine pooping in front of whomever you're thinking of inviting.
Because honestly, that will probably happen.
Leave the invitation open ended.
Let everyone know that you may change your mind at any point and to not pressure you.
This way if you are mid active labor and decide there's just too many people or too little support, you can change your mind no questions asked.
Think about technology.
A lot of people lately have chosen, for distance purposes or room purposes to Facetime or Skype in family during birth for a while or for the entire time. It gives everyone the opportunity to be "there" you'd like, but keeps everyone from feeling like sardines packed into a tiny room.
Even having a birth photographer there, so you can share in some of the moments later can really help those who wanted to attend, but you just really didn't want to be there in the moment.
Check the policy.
Your hospital or place of birth (unless at home) has a policy in place of the amount of people allowed into the room. Especially during flu season, it can vary greatly, so checking with them can make the decision for you sometimes.
Think hard about who you WANT there.
Not just who you think might like to be there or who wants to be there,
but truly who you want to see your baby first and share in those intimate moments with.
Think about the people you feel the most comfortable with and who will be the most supportive.
No matter who you end up having there for your birth,
you want to help make sure you feel supported and as prepared as you can!
Let us know if and how we can help.
Jessica Anne Dill
Mom of 5, Wife, Doula trainer, Professional Birth and Postpartum Doula, Placenta Specialist, and best friend of coffee and long naps!