Who will be at your birth?

Who Will Be At Your Birth?
It can be difficult to decide who if anyone to invite to your birth. The following are some thoughts to help you in making that decision.
-The birthing mother’s needs must come first.
-Some people may be requesting to come to the birth or even worse assuming that they are coming. Remember that this is your sacred event and you are in control. You have the power and courage to talk with these people so that your needs are met.
-Birth is not the time to mend old relationships, heal old wounds, or do favors. Tension during birth can slow or halt labor. Contractions are unlikely to be effective if mom is under stress.
-The mother should feel she has emotional space and safety wherever she gives birth. Anyone invited to be present must be prepared to follow the wishes of the mother.
-Those invited need to understand that the final decision of who will be present may change at any time at the discretion of the birthing parents. At the last minute, guests can be asked not to come, or to leave and those invited must be prepared for this and not take it personally.
-People who are present should come with positive feelings about birth.
-Generally it is not advisable to have a large number of people present at the birth. Birth is an extremely intimate and private experience.
-Those invited to the birth should have assigned roles such as cleaning, cooking, caring for children.
-Many couples don’t want anyone at their birth. They want the freedom and privacy to share this intimate experience without observers or family.
-If there are people you want to involve, but are hesitant to invite to the birth, you can ask them to come over shortly after the birth to bring food or help with household tasks.
-Any one who has been abusive to the laboring mother or has had a rocky relationship with the birthing couple, should not be present at the birth, unless a great deal of time, healing and effort has been made between all people to heal wounds. Women feel most vulnerable during labor, and they must feel safe and protected for labor to
progress steadily.
-When making decisions regarding siblings at birth, keep in mind the children’s ages and needs, when the birth occurs (if the birth occurs in the middle of the night, it may be best to let the children sleep), the mother’s comfort level, and the child’s feelings about being present. Some couples decide not to have their children at the birth.