Planning Your HomeBirth

 szegedi sisters

 

Planning Your Birth Party

By Brandi Wood, DEM, CPM, CCE, CD

 

Mom’s 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 when 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 and 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 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 a job. You have hired Home4Birth to be your and your baby’s primary caregivers. 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 first 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 four or five others with them, but when it comes down to it they decide that they only want it to be them and the midwife. Everyone attending a birth needs to know that not only are they on calland 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 want to involve, but don’t want at the birth, they could be the first person to bring you a meal after the baby is born (usually about two hours PP).

sisters & brothers

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?

Postpartum:

  • Consider putting some meals in the freezer.
  • Please make a list of chores you will need to be done for you.
  • Ask those who you have invited to pay lots of attention to your other children. The new baby will never remember being oohed and aahed over, but their siblings might.
  • Make a list of foods you like or things you don’t eat or are allergic to.
  • You and your significant other make a list of people you really want to see in the first couple of weeks, and another list of people that wait longer for an invitation. This time is SPECIAL! It will NEVER come again.
  • When you welcome visitors after birth and let others into your birth bubble they are not coming over to hold the baby. They may be coming to congratulate you, bring you food, play with your other children, and do some laundry or other tasks. If you are not comfortable nursing your baby in front of someone, then you probably aren’t ready for them to visit.
  • Hospitality is important, but your family cannot be hosting people within the first week or two after the birth.
  • A baby’s schedule is different from the rest of the worlds and we encourage you to nap when your baby is napping. Don’t miss a nap or change baby’s schedule to suit visitors. Instead, say “we would love for you to come tomorrow, but we will have to call you when we are ready for company, as we don’t know what time that will be.”

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