Birth is an incredibly intimate and special time. You may have several people with whom you wish to share this experience. Here are a few things to consider as you plan who your support team will be.
You are Never Obligated to Invite Anyone
No one “deserves” to be at your birth. If you are not comfortable with someone seeing you in labor then they should not be there. This person could even mean you mom or a sister that invited you to her birth. It doesn’t have anything to do with your relationship with this person. You can have a wonderful relationship with your mom and not want her at your birth.
Don’t be a “Watched Pot”
There is a saying that for every extra person you have at your birth you add one hour to your labor. You want to feel support during your labor but not like someone who has to “perform”. If you feel that people are waiting around for you to deliver your baby it can actually slow your labor down! Think about animals when they have their babies. They usually seek out a dark quite place where they will be left alone. This is frequently how we also need to give birth.
Don’t Call Everyone at the Beginning
If you are planning to have more than just your partner with you during labor you may consider having your other support people come when labor is really active. We find that spending those early hours of labor with just you and your primary support person allows for better progress and helps avoid that “watched pot” sensation. Calling other people closer to the time of delivery still gives you the privacy you need and lets them also be apart of your birth.
You Know Yourself Best
All of these things are just suggestions based of our experience as midwives. But you know you best! Some people really do need a tribe of people around them cheering them on. I have attended a birth where there was the partner, four sisters, and the grandma. That mama rocked her birth and needed everyone of those people there! Everyone woman is different and has different needs in labor. So keep these suggestions in mind but you do you mama!
Who did you have at your births? Is there anything you would add to this list?