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Mom in the Delivery Room: Yay or Nay?

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I'm getting ready for the delivery of my baby, but I'm wondering if there is a right or wrong thing to do when it comes to who is invited to the delivery room.

husband watching wife in the delivery room

Momlogic's Talitha: I will be delivering my baby in just a few weeks, and though I realize there is not much I can control when it comes to that day, I'm wondering who should (and should not) be in the delivery room. Help!

There are some women I talk to who allow their moms to videotape their deliveries, and there are others who say "absolutely not" to having family in the room at any point at all (besides the baby's daddy). I don't want to exclude anybody, or hurt anybody's feelings, but if I wanted nobody there at all, would that be my choice to make or are people's expectations to be taken into consideration?

Of course there is my husband, too, and though I am the one that has to push this baby out, he will hopefully be a big part of the delivery. What if he is set on having his sister or someone that will support him through it (what if he passes out??)? Does he get a say?

In my gut, I feel like giving birth is a very private experience and it would seem better to just have my husband, doula, and medical staff there. We are starting our family together, and though our extended family will be a huge part of our baby's life, it may make sense to me to keep it just between the three of us. What do I do?

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68 comments so far | Post a comment now
littlepeapie July 13, 2009, 7:36 AM

Your body, your baby, your decision….the only say your hubby has in this is whether or not he accepts your invitation to the party….personally, I had my DH, mom, and mother in law… and it was great, my DH ended up doing the oxygen mask and since my mom and MIL had both given birth, they were comforting and could look at me and give me encouragement I needed. They knew me and knew what I could and couldn’t do where the nurses didn’t….but let me say this, make sure that the people you choose to accompany you breathe, my mom was holding her breath and pushing herself when I breathed and pushed and she about passed out….my MIL was just in the room away from the excitement until this happened and that’s when she stepped in while my mom gathered herself…all in all a personal decision.

Barb July 13, 2009, 8:39 AM

Do what your gut says. The last thing you want during labor is the stress of having people around that you don’t want. But if you’re feeling that these people will help you—wait on you, calm you down, help you—and you WANT them there, then try it out. It’s a very personal decision, but based on your post, it sounds like you should keep it small. They can see the baby once your privates are covered.

My personal decision was husband-only (but I ended up having c-sections, anyway, and they only let one person in with you… my husband).

Jenny July 13, 2009, 8:42 AM

I did not want my mother in the delivery room, the plan was that she could stay while I was in labor but go into the waiting room for the delivery. Honestly, by the time I got to the delivery part I was too tired and in far too much pain to give a flying fig about who was in there. The pope could have been there along with the entire Eagles team and I wouldn’t have cared so she stayed.

PS-my hubby passed out. They are used to this though and tend to have ammonia inhalants nearby.

Nikki B July 13, 2009, 9:06 AM

We kept it private between me and my husband and I’m so glad that I did beause it was something we felt that should be between me and him.My mom was fine infact she phoned and I just happened to be giving birth so she just stayed on the phone and listened in.There were others like my mother-in-law {she had it in her head she was going to be there for every grand childs birth NOT MINE!!!} but I put my foot down yes she was mad but got over it becasue it was ultimatly MY CHOICE! and she realized this after the fact!

aclark721 July 13, 2009, 11:25 AM

Oh I remember tossing this around for months before my first born. And I’m so thankful of the decision I made. Like you stated you are starting this together and it is your family, not your extended family but just your own. I obviously had just my husband. I thought about having my mom, she wanted to be in there so bad, but thank god I didn’t because as soom as she did come in the room to see how things were progressing I turned back into her little girl, and I just wanted her to take the pain away. But once she left I was my strong self again. It’s very much up to you this is your experiance, your baby and wether anyone else likes it or not doesn’t really matter. They should understand and support your decision. If not let them know that you are the keeper of this child and you can choose when if ever they see this baby, j/k. Honestly don’t let anyone get into your head about it. It’s a very emotional time, and amazing. Don’t let anything or anyone ruin that for you. Best of luck!!

jackie July 13, 2009, 2:36 PM

OMG There is no friggin way i’d let my mom or MIL in the delivery room-just the hubby and any medical staff please! You and only you have to do this, so serously—whatever you want! Your hubby is there to support you —whatever you want!
He’s not the one going through this, so —whatever you want! Seriously. It’s hard enough, the last thing you need is this type of stress.

LLW July 13, 2009, 3:22 PM

Whoever has their hoo-hoo on display makes the decisions! :-)

Jenny July 13, 2009, 5:01 PM

I had my husband and my mother in the room with me when my baby’s were brought into this world. and i was thankful to both of them for being there for me. but its your body and your say.

Mandy S. July 13, 2009, 5:11 PM

This is SUCH a personal decision. I personally had said that I was going to allow only my husband and my mom in the room (because I knew my husband would need a respite himself!) and I wanted both of their support. I knew without question that I didn’t want any other man (besides my fabu OB) or anyone else present, as in my MIL or sister…but when the time came, my daddy stood on the other side of the curtain in the doorway, waiting patiently and whispering to my mom to ask if I was okay, and that kind of support is what got me through a really hard labor and eventual emergency c-section when my baby went into distress.

So, I would say, have a plan, but be willing to let that plan change if you want or need it to!

Good luck, and congratulations on your impending arrival!

hartleyrg July 13, 2009, 5:14 PM

I did not want my mother or mother-in-law in the delivery room. Unfortunately, they were both EXPECTING to be invited to the delivery room, without ever having discussed it with me. They have gossiped about this to other members of both families and are still not over it after 4 years.
I am now 35 weeks pregnant with baby #2 and will still only have my husband in the delivery room. It’s about what is most comfortable for YOU, not what will make everyone else happy.
I feel that at least in our situation, it created a more special bonding experience between the 3 of us because we didn’t have anyone else in there getting in the way.

Patrysha July 13, 2009, 5:22 PM

I invited my mother in law for our first, but the key word is invited. It wasn’t forced, it wasn’t done because of a guilt trip or a sense of duty. It was a choice I made. And so it should be with yours, no matter what that choice might be.

I chose to invite her because this was her first grandchild and my husband and his brother were adopted, so she had never experienced a birth of her own. She stayed by my head and had no interest in seeing what was going on “down there” - and it all worked out in the end.

Maria M. July 14, 2009, 12:53 PM

To each her own. I stood my ground from the get go that it would only be me and the hubby. Everyone else would have to wait for the call. My mother is still mad to this day that she was not allowed in the delivery room for the birth of any of my 5 children. My mother is a very difficult person to deal with and the last thing I wanted to have was the added stress of her during my deliveries. Make your decision and don’t let any make you feel bad!

Anonymous July 17, 2009, 10:15 PM

It’s 100% about you and your baby. Yes, your husband should be there too, but he doesn’t get a vote in my mind. I told mine flat out that he and the medical staff were the only ones coming in - not any other family or anyone else. He supported that and it worked out. If YOU want someone else there, then go for it. But don’t worry about hurting other people’s feelings… and really, your husband can deal with hurt feelings (if he’ll even have any) - he’s there to support YOU and start your family together, not to get support from someone else.

b July 19, 2009, 11:00 PM

I had my mother and husband and one good friend with me. My mother was helpful where my husband couldn’t be, and my husband was a comfort where my mother couldn’t be. And my friend? Well, she just stood at my head and once the baby was born was my photographer so that the people who were really important could be in the pics. I would never had wanted my sister/sis-in-law, MIL, or anyone else in there….not even my dad, who is a Dr.

julie August 14, 2009, 10:44 AM

It’s all about what you want. Honestly, once you get towards the end, you don’t care who’s there! You just want it to finish. When my daughter was born, my mom, 4 sisters, and stepdad were in and out the whole time. For the last couple of minutes my stepdad went into the hall but I wouldn’t have cared if he’d stayed. My older sister was the first to hold the baby, and even 10 years later they have a special relationship.

In my opinion, what matters is having the people who are most important to YOU and the people who will be most important to the baby. In my case, my husband passed away shortly before the birth, so I needed my mom and sister. In yours, it may be that all you need is your husband.

It’s a personal decision and NEVER let anyone else make it for you. If you talk to the nurses beforehand, they will make sure that your wishes are followed.

Claire September 18, 2009, 12:45 AM

“I feel like giving birth is a very private experience and it would seem better to just have my husband, doula, and medical staff there.”

Good luck with this part. There’s nothing private about medical staff coming and going and fiddling with your nether regions, doing a blood draw, changing shifts, etc. If you want a very private experience, I’d suggest you stay home! Or at least, get a doula to help you create the privacy you want. The father’s job is to protect the mother-baby space from unwanted intrusions, so he should know and agree to your wishes and not be intimidated by people in white coats/scrubs!

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