How to Be a Guest During Birth
How to Be a Guest During Birth
Discuss the Mother’s Preferences in Advance
Not every woman will want the same level of interaction or participation during the birth of her child. If she has invited you to be a guest at the birth, consider discussing her preferences for the big day so that you will feel prepared to address her needs and so that she can inform you of how to most be of assistance to her. Having a discussion about her wants and needs will also prevent you from being in the way or behaving in a manner that she finds unhelpful or upsetting.
Ask about the mother’s guest list.If there will be other guests present at the birth, ask the mother who she has invited so that you can anticipate the environment during delivery.
- If she has invited her children, ask if she would like you to take charge of watching them or taking care of them during and shortly after the delivery so that she is not worried about monitoring them.
- If someone with whom you do not get along well has been invited, consider whether you should attend the birth; inviting your personal drama into the birth experience may be uncomfortable for the mother and other guests at the birth.
Find out how she expects you to behave.Some women may want your encouragement while others may prefer to simply have you stand back and stay quiet. Although this may always change once childbirth begins, it is good to have an idea of what the mother expects your role to be in advance.
Do not assume the invitation is extended to your family or significant other.If you are close friends or siblings with the mother, do not assume she included an implied invitation for your spouse or children to attend.
- If you are the partner of the woman delivering, do not assume that you can invite your parents or additional guests without the mother’s permission. She may resent you for doing such during or after birth.
Prepare Yourself for the Delivery
Being armed with the knowledge of what to expect during the childbirth of a friend or relative will help you be a supportive and prepared guest. Take the time to learn what you can prior to delivery to make your time as a guest as pleasant as possible.
Consider attending a childbirth preparation class with the mother.If you are the partner or principle guest of the mother, make sure you are ready to assist her during delivery with helpful tips, reminders, and encouragement.
- A childbirth preparation class will teach you the stages of delivery, options for pain management, breathing techniques, assistance tips you can use as a guest during birth, and even what to bring with you to the delivery.
Learn the biology of birth.If you have been invited to attend the delivery of a child, it may help to learn how labor and delivery function.
- Knowing the basics of what the mother is experiencing and how labor is expected to progress can help you calm the mother, prepare yourself for the sight of blood, and inform you of how long you can expect to be on your toes as a guest.
Prepare ideas of what to do during the waiting period.Many times, labor can begin hours before delivery occurs; as a guest, you may wish to think of strategies for keeping the mother pleasantly occupied during dilation.
- Write down a list of things to discuss or safe activities to do while she is waiting to begin delivery. Suggestions include talking about future vacations, taking a walk, giving her a massage, listening to music, taking a bath (you may wish to pack a swimsuit), sitting on an exercise ball to relieve discomfort, watching the mother’s favorite movie on your laptop, and other low-stress activities to kill time and calm everyone’s nerves.
Be a Polite Guest During Birth
Whether you have been invited long in advance or whether you were welcomed into the delivery room shortly prior to delivery, it is important to remember that you are a guest at an intimate and often stressful life event of a loved one. Minding your manners and respecting the wishes of the mother can go a long way toward making the experience enjoyable for you, the mother, and any other guests.
Remember that the focus is on the mother.Think of nice things you can do to put the mother at ease or increase her comfort.
Recognize that the mother may change her mind.Labor and delivery can be challenging and even upsetting for many women.
- If you sense the mother is no longer comfortable with your presence, offer to leave for a moment or temporarily give her some privacy.
- If the mother requests that you leave, obey her wishes and remember that she is probably just overwhelmed; it is not necessarily a reflection of your relationship with her. In some instances, she may just want a few minutes without her guests, after which you may be able to return.
QuestionHow big is the chance that a baby will be born on her/his due date?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerAbout one in five babies are born exactly on their due date. Most are born in the five days before their due dates. If labor hasn't started in 10 days after the due date, then it can be induced.Thanks!
- Be patient, as childbirth can be a long and exacting process. Remind yourself to be grateful that you have been invited to participate in such an important experience.
- Do not presume to know the mother’s wishes about taking control of childcare, rearranging her bedding, or even holding her hand. Every woman is different, so asking prior to acting will give you the best chance of being a welcome and appreciated guest during birth.
- Do not communicate with physicians or nurses about the mother’s preferences for pain medication or medical intervention unless she specifically requested you do so.
Video: How to Be a Guest During Birth
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