Have you ever wondered if it’s a good idea to have your other children at your birth? I have attended many births where other children/siblings were present, and it was a powerful experience.
When choosing a home birth, I am in your home doing home visits quite often and listening to baby’s heartbeat, feeling your tummy for baby’s position. I love it when your other children are a part of the appointment. I try to include them by letting them push the blood pressure monitor and the doppler button etc. I am always in teaching mode. If I have a placenta to bring, I like to teach all about the placenta and its job for this baby growing in mama’s tummy. By the time birth comes the children are as excited to be a part of the birth as anyone.
That being said, it’s not for everyone and having children there can have its own set of challenges. Your little one’s are asking non-stop questions, wanting your partner’s or really anyone’s attention, wanting to rub your back when you just need space.
I’ve seen many mamas get pulled out of labor land and labor only really gets going again once the children fall asleep or go off to grandmas. Most of the time children will only take in as much as they can. They are in and out of the room only experiencing what they can handle.
When my daughter gave birth to her 3rd baby, she went into labor around 5:30 am. Her first two where there in the room, her two-year-old was up with her daddy at mama’s head and her 5-year-old was helping me with oils and getting things ready. Labor was progressing very fast, and I was the only birth attendant there. Little 5 Kaytlyn was a great helper, helping me get everything set up. She even put helichrysum in a small bowl with fractionated coconut oil to help with crowning. As birth was getting closer, her dad asked if she wanted to come up to the head of the bed to help her mom from up there, she said very affirmatively, “No it’s okay, I can see just fine right here”! She had a birds-eye-view and was so happy about it.
Another birth I attended, mom’s two boys were in and out of the room throughout labor, when they went to school the next day and passed out mini chocolate bars to announce “hersHEys”, excited about their baby brother, one told his class in a “share’n-tell that his mom screamed like Tarzan! We all laughed so hard. This was over 20 years ago, and I still remember how excited he was!
In both stories these children handled themselves perfectly.
If you choose to have your children present at your birth, here are a few tips to keep it smooth:
Involve your children in the prenatals and prepare them for birth in an age-appropriate way. Be open and talk about what they might see and how they might feel. Let them know it’s okay to feel emotions. Look at photos and watch videos. Talk about loud sounds, screaming, pushing, blood, and explain that although it might look intense, mom’s okay! Labor is hard work just like lifting a sofa or chair. It takes concentration and focus.
We know all too well labor can be a long process; sometimes hours but sometimes days and having your little ones there the whole time can be overwhelming for both mama and the children. I always recommend having a backup plan for your children. Always have someone there whose sole responsibility is to your other children. Have a trusted support person they love, not your doula, partner, or other support person who is there for you. Also, just in case you have to switch to plan B and need to transport to the hospital or decide it’s best not to have your child in the room, and you don’t have to worry about their welfare.
Grandma, Dads, Doula’s and Kids Blend
- 8 Vetiver – Helps those supporting mom be centered and emotional connected.
- 8 Black Spruce – Helps those supporting mom remain stable and grounded
- 8 Cypress – Help release emotions after the birth experience.
- 8 Balance – Helps those that love mom the most not take on the intensity of birth.
Put in 10mL roller bottle and fill to top with FCO. Apply to pulse points, back of your neck and inside forearms.
Birth is powerful and beautiful, teach your children this! Let them see just how strong their mama is and let them help you welcome their new sibling into your family.