Planning Your Birth Party
By Brandi Wood, DEM, CPM, CCE, CD
Your Needs MUST Come First:
· Birth is an extremely intimate and private time. Not having strangers at your birth is another benefit of birth at home.
· Homebirth is very different than hospital birth – people do not come and wait in the other room until the baby is born. Actually (with the exception of your birth party) we would discourage you from having visitors the first 24 hours.
· Please and thank you are always implied by the mother in labor. There may come a time where you can’t say please stop that – all you can say is STOP or DON’T. That is alright we appreciate any way in which you can communicate your needs.
· Are you inviting them for you or because they want to come or you don’t want to hurt their feelings? Your birth is not the time to show others that you like them, to teach them what normal birth is, or to allow guilt to push you into having someone there who wants to be there more than you want them to be there.
· If you are considering inviting someone that has had a rocky relationship with you or your spouse in the past we would caution you all against that.
· Do both you and your significant other want this person at the birth?
· What role will this person play in your birth? Birth is not a spectator sport everyone there must have jobs. You have hired us to be your and your baby’s primary care givers. Other jobs can include. Cook, gopher, photographer, childcare for other children, etc.
· Are they 100 % committed to your family no matter how long this labor takes (remember average 1st time labor is 24 hours) and no matter when this labor takes place? The only person that birth timing is convenient for is the baby!
· Is this person supportive of natural birth? Is this person supportive of homebirth? Worry, anxiety and fear can dramatically impact a birth environment.
· Would you be comfortable being naked, making noises and / or going to the bathroom in front of this person?
· Your significant other is your main support person. Anyone else attending should be supporting both of you as you do this hard work together NOT replacing your work together.
· Every birth is different there are times prenatally where a family will think they want 4 or 5 others with them but when it comes down to it they decide that they only want it to be them and the midwives. Everyone attending a birth needs to know that not only are they on call and expected to put their lives on hold for the duration but also that at any time people can be asked not to come or asked to leave by the birthing family.
· If you have someone that you all want to involve but don’t want at the birth they could be the 1st person to bring you all a meal after the baby is born (usually about 2 hours PP).
If you have other children:
· How old are your children? How involved do you want them and do they want to be?
· Are you planning to have your children present? Will you be able to relax while they are gone?
· How will you and your significant other do with allowing someone else to meet their needs while you all are busy doing the work that only you all can do?
· If they are not at home where will they be?
· Who will be with your children?
· If birth is in the middle of the night will they sleep through it or do you want them woken to leave the house or for the birth?