Kids at a birth?

iris427iris427 Posts: 6,002Registered Users
I was at a birth this past weekend where the woman had lots of family in the room--including her two nieces (they were around 5 and 8). To get the girls to sit still and be quiet during the delivery, a family member told them "If you're too loud when the baby comes out, he'll get scared and go back in" :lol:

Anyway the older girl actually watched the delivery. She seemed really fascinated and not at all upset by it or anything. I thought it was really cool that the girls got to be there for the delivery and watch the mom breastfeed her baby for the first time. I hope the experience will convey to them that birth and breastfeeding are normal (the woman's family tried to talk her out of breastfeeding while she was pregnant).

What do you think of children being present at a birth? I think it would depend on the child's age and personality. Is it ever something you would do? Just curious about others' thoughts.
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Comments

  • DarkAngelDarkAngel Posts: 2,671Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    Like you, I think it would depend upon the child's personality and maturity level. Some children would never want to be there but I think it could be a great experience for everyone when the child does have an interest.
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    "Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." -- Theodor Seuss Geisel
  • AmnerisAmneris Posts: 15,117Registered Users
    I remember seeing my sister be born when I was 8, and it was a really cool experience for me. I saw mama breastfeed all the time and that was never a big deal. I would definitely do it with my kids!
    Get used to me. Black, confident, cocky; my name, not yours; my religion, not yours; my goals, my own; get used to me. -Muhammad Ali


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  • SystemSystem Posts: 39,060 Administrator
    I have no problem with it.
  • picklesgirlpicklesgirl Posts: 1,955Registered Users
    I have no problem with it and thought about having max in the room with me be I'm too afraid he would freak out so he's not going to be in there for the birth or atleast that's the plan for now
  • Oregano  (formerly babywavy)Oregano (formerly babywavy) Posts: 5,297Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    This is just my personal opinion on the matter, but I'm against it. I don't think it's natural to see one's mother in that kind of state, or that kind of pain, and you just never know how the child is going to react to it.

    But, I'm also of the opinion that no one who wasn't there for the conception should be there for the birth.
    ~ the artist formerly known as babywavy ~

    Please excuse any typos. For the time being, we are blaming it on my computer.
  • medussamedussa Posts: 12,993Registered Users
    DarkAngel wrote:
    Like you, I think it would depend upon the child's personality and maturity level. Some children would never want to be there but I think it could be a great experience for everyone when the child does have an interest.

    ITA.
  • AmnerisAmneris Posts: 15,117Registered Users
    babywavy wrote:
    This is just my personal opinion on the matter, but I'm against it. I don't think it's natural to see one's mother in that kind of state, or that kind of pain, and you just never know how the child is going to react to it.

    But, I'm also of the opinion that no one who wasn't there for the conception should be there for the birth.

    It's very natural!
    Get used to me. Black, confident, cocky; my name, not yours; my religion, not yours; my goals, my own; get used to me. -Muhammad Ali


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  • Oregano  (formerly babywavy)Oregano (formerly babywavy) Posts: 5,297Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    Amneris wrote:
    babywavy wrote:
    This is just my personal opinion on the matter, but I'm against it. I don't think it's natural to see one's mother in that kind of state, or that kind of pain, and you just never know how the child is going to react to it.

    But, I'm also of the opinion that no one who wasn't there for the conception should be there for the birth.

    It's very natural!


    What I said was, I don't think it's natural to see your mother in that kind of state. I know that childbirth is natural, but people react very differently to the pain of childbirth, and it's not necessarily something a child should see happen to their mother. It could be upsetting.

    But again, just my opinion.
    ~ the artist formerly known as babywavy ~

    Please excuse any typos. For the time being, we are blaming it on my computer.
  • SystemSystem Posts: 39,060 Administrator
    I felt the same way too. But after hearing my fiance's experience of watching and helping his mom give birth to his sister (he was about 3 at the time), I think it's ok to have children see their parents as vulnerable people, who do feel pain.

    I think I'd feel differently about it if I was at high risk, or needed to give birth in a hospital.
  • shellibeanshellibean Posts: 4,500Registered Users
    I know it would be very upsettign to me to see my mom in pain and i'm sure it would have scared me to death as a child. Also, I don't think I would want my kids to see my girly parts. I know I have no interest in seeing my mother's tootie.
    A closed mind is a wonderful thing to lose.

    "...you could have a turd on your head and no one would notice."~Subbrock

    "I had an imaginary puppy, but my grandpa ate him."~Bailey
  • RedCatWavesRedCatWaves Posts: 31,259Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    But, I'm also of the opinion that no one who wasn't there for the conception should be there for the birth.



    So, you're doing an unassisted birth at home? The doctor and nurses weren't present for conception...were they?
  • RedCatWavesRedCatWaves Posts: 31,259Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    When I had my homebirth, my older kids were ages 14, 9 and 2. They all saw me in various stages of labor and were fine with it. My SIL was in the house to help care for them. I would have been fine with any or all of them seeing the actual birth, but it started getting late and they went to bed, so it was only my husband and I and the midwife present. We tried to wake the kids up to see their new brother right after, but they were all un-wakeable. They saw him the next morning.
  • RedCatWavesRedCatWaves Posts: 31,259Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    Also, I don't think I would want my kids to see my girly parts. I know I have no interest in seeing my mother's tootie.


    No one saw my tootie during my water birth. It was all very modest.
  • M2LRM2LR Posts: 8,630Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    A friend of mine ended up going into labor unexpectedly and family couldn't get there in time to watch her three year old while she was in labor. So, her three year old was her "coach" and the dad was down by the doctors watching the birth. The three year old was doing a great job cheering mom on, and telling her to push and breathe.
    I think that it's sweet, and ITA with Webbie that it's okay for children to see their parents as normal human beings who experience emotions and pain.
    :rambo:
  • Oregano  (formerly babywavy)Oregano (formerly babywavy) Posts: 5,297Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    But, I'm also of the opinion that no one who wasn't there for the conception should be there for the birth.



    So, you're doing an unassisted birth at home? The doctor and nurses weren't present for conception...were they?


    Sorry, I forgot we have to be extremely clear on this board. Someone always manages to find meaning in what you DON'T say.

    No, I mean other than doctors and nurses. For instance, I will not bring my own cheering section to the birth.
    ~ the artist formerly known as babywavy ~

    Please excuse any typos. For the time being, we are blaming it on my computer.
  • AmnerisAmneris Posts: 15,117Registered Users
    babywavy wrote:
    Amneris wrote:
    babywavy wrote:
    This is just my personal opinion on the matter, but I'm against it. I don't think it's natural to see one's mother in that kind of state, or that kind of pain, and you just never know how the child is going to react to it.

    But, I'm also of the opinion that no one who wasn't there for the conception should be there for the birth.

    It's very natural!


    What I said was, I don't think it's natural to see your mother in that kind of state. I know that childbirth is natural, but people react very differently to the pain of childbirth, and it's not necessarily something a child should see happen to their mother. It could be upsetting.

    But again, just my opinion.

    I think it was very normal and natural in many traditions and past times for kids to see their siblings born, when home births were common, and I think it just made people more aware of the cycle and mystery of life and so on.
    Get used to me. Black, confident, cocky; my name, not yours; my religion, not yours; my goals, my own; get used to me. -Muhammad Ali


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  • RedCatWavesRedCatWaves Posts: 31,259Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    No, I mean other than doctors and nurses. For instance, I will not bring my own cheering section to the birth.

    I'm not a fan of spectator-births either, either the kind where people bring their entire extended families (aunts, cousins, friends) to stand around and watch, or the kind where extraneous medical personnel stand around and watch either. Plenty of voyeurism goes on with hospital staff. I've had hospital labors where there were strangers in my room, trying to give me a vaginal exam. Um...no...and who the hell are you anyway? Ick...

    I don't equate any of that with having my very own children present for birth.
  • marielle448marielle448 Posts: 1,823Registered Users
    Ian (2 at the time) and my husband were the only family I had and wanted at my birth for Ryan. To be honest I could have done without the nurses but that's what the next birth is for LOL.

    Of course, when a child doesn't have hangups already about birth, sex and skewed modesty for them it is pretty natural and not upsetting to see. I did talk to Ian before what would entail when his brother was to be born, he watched a pretty laid back video of a homebirth, waterbirth and natural hospital birth my doula lent me and so it wasn't like he was there without planning.

    also, my doula was my main support person, my husband was there mostly for the toddler and holding him, talking to him and making sure he was doing okay.
  • SystemSystem Posts: 39,060 Administrator
    I draw the line at Youtube.
  • AmnerisAmneris Posts: 15,117Registered Users
    Ian (2 at the time) and my husband were the only family I had and wanted at my birth for Ryan. To be honest I could have done without the nurses but that's what the next birth is for LOL.

    Of course, when a child doesn't have hangups already about birth, sex and skewed modesty for them it is pretty natural and not upsetting to see. I did talk to Ian before what would entail when his brother was to be born, he watched a pretty laid back video of a homebirth, waterbirth and natural hospital birth my doula lent me and so it wasn't like he was there without planning.

    also, my doula was my main support person, my husband was there mostly for the toddler and holding him, talking to him and making sure he was doing okay.

    I agree that that is the key.
    Get used to me. Black, confident, cocky; my name, not yours; my religion, not yours; my goals, my own; get used to me. -Muhammad Ali


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  • Oregano  (formerly babywavy)Oregano (formerly babywavy) Posts: 5,297Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    I draw the line at Youtube.

    :lol:
    ~ the artist formerly known as babywavy ~

    Please excuse any typos. For the time being, we are blaming it on my computer.
  • iris427iris427 Posts: 6,002Registered Users
    Just to clarify, at the birth I was at, the kids (and the rest of the family) didn't even get there until the mom was fully dilated. She also had an epidural and was not in any kind of pain. So, at least in this birth, the kids did not see their aunt in pain for hours on end or anything like that.

    I can see how it would be upsetting for some kids to see their mom or another family member in a lot of pain. I see the advantages of having children present as well. Again, I think it is whatever is best for that child and that mother.

    How sweet is that story of the three year old helping her mom though.
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  • internetchickinternetchick Posts: 6,191Registered Users
    I don't like the idea. If something were to go wrong, I wouldn't want the kids scared which in turn would raise my stress level. In my home birth the kids saw me laboring, but they were out of the room when it came time to push.
  • curly_keltiecurly_keltie Posts: 791Registered Users
    I think whatever your personal preference is. You also know your children and how they might handle the situation.

    I didn't like having a lot of people in my room at once. I know it sounds weird but it felt like when there were too many people, they were towering over me.

    I think I would be open to the idea of having my son present for the next baby's birth - but I will make that decision when the time comes.
    Long, blonde, 3a/mostly b hair.

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  • rainshowerrainshower Posts: 4,420Registered Users
    no.

    i tore both times and required stitches. my labors were short and my babies were pushing out on their own, making my body have to give in to their movement. i couldn't stop so that my doctor could gently pull them out. i wouldn't have wanted my toddler son to witness such an unpredictable thing like my flesh tearing and bleeding (small tears that bled a lot). i can imagine that that could have traumatized him or negatively affected him in some way.

    plus, i didn't want any external stimulation in the room during my labors other than what/who had to be there. i didn't want anyone stroking or patting or touching me. i didn't want anyone talking to me or forcing dialogue from me that required more than a simple nod.

    i wanted to be free to moan, grunt, wince, and roam about at will, which is what i did. and as i did that, i wasn't focused on anyone but my own body and birth. i think had my toddler son been in the room during my second delivery, he wouldn't have understood why i couldn't have focused on him and answered questions or anything else he would have wanted from me. his presense and him needing and expecting my undivided attention would have made it impossible for me to tune in to my body.

    my mother was part of my first delivery because i didn't know what to expect and i wanted her presense there, even though i didn't want her interacting with me. i could barely tolerate my husband patting my hand or stroking my back, even though he meant well and was doing what he thought i needed. i was short-tempered with him because although i wanted him to soothe my back pain with massage, i didn't want him touching my skin, which became very sensitive to overstimulation during labor. i expected everyone to breathe with me (and they did) through my contractions. i can laugh about it now. but i told everyone to breathe with me in an authoritative tone! :lol: i wouldn't have wanted my son to see me being curt and short with my husband and not understanding why i was acting that way.

    my second labor was even shorter than the first. i still didn't want dialogue with anyone. my husband created my focal point in front of me. he reassured me without physically engaging in me (he'd learned his lesson :wink: ). i told him to call our doctor who had stepped out of the room because i was ready to push (i had actually started pushing, but didn't tell him in fear of scaring him to death!). my plan was to catch my baby, but the pushing happened so fast and the sensation of my baby pushing her own way out was so overwhelming, that i couldn't even think about reaching my hands down. my legs were trembling (i wasn't in pain, but that was my body's natural reaction during the final contractions and pushing).

    not all labors are beautifully choreographed like the ones on a baby's story on t.v. some can be graphic, involving vomiting, and other bodily functions that would be inappropriate for anyone, especially children to witness.
    "Dogs stink too, but I like dog stink." ~ rileyb
  • medussamedussa Posts: 12,993Registered Users
    Those moaning sounds coming out of me scared me. I didn't even sound like myself. Can't imagine what it would do to my son. My husband felt helpless.

    That said, it really does depend on the child.
  • rainshowerrainshower Posts: 4,420Registered Users
    medussa wrote:
    Those moaning sounds coming out of me scared me. I didn't even sound like myself. Can't imagine what it would do to my son. My husband felt helpless.

    That said, it really does depend on the child.

    ha! my husband still teases me when he reminds me of the sheep-like sounds i was making when i hit 8cm with our first! i can laugh about it now. i was addressing my mother because i wanted to know when i'd know it was time to push, but it came out as, "maa-aa-aa-aa!" :lol: :lol:
    "Dogs stink too, but I like dog stink." ~ rileyb
  • picklesgirlpicklesgirl Posts: 1,955Registered Users
    I said after I had Max that I would probably be able to handle having other people in the room with me the next time but as the time gets closer and I feel myself being annoyed by almost everyone around me I'm thinking it's going to end up just me and Kevin and maybe my mom again. I've said it 1,000 times but I NEEDED my mom in there to get me to focus on the task at hand again rather then how much it hurt. She's good at the tough love stuff :wink:
  • marielle448marielle448 Posts: 1,823Registered Users
    I did the toning (also barfed multiple times) and last time around no drugs at all. There were moments when I was in transition that Ian asked "Mommy are you okay" and after a contraction I would answer him that I was okay and that the baby was working his way out.
  • three rivers curlythree rivers curly Posts: 994Registered Users
    I was high risk and had chance of major complications. I didn't want anyone other than the essentials involved simply because I didn't want to have to worry about anyone else. That may sound selfish, but even while delivering, I was more worried about being a burden to those around me.

    If the situation were different, I don't know what I would do. It never was or will be an option. I think it may traumatize my daughter, though. She is very sensitive and would probably be disturbed by mommy being in pain.
    Better everyone think your a fool, than to open your mouth and prove them right.

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