Should I have my children at my homebirth?

Birth is beautiful and why wouldn’t you want to share it with your very favorite little people? Children can be great additions to a birth. I completely get it. Watching you give birth to their sibling will not only normalize natural birth to your child but could help them fully embrace the new baby. Sometimes moms feel comforted knowing their older children are all right there and taken care of. If they have little jobs to do, children are really helpful at labors. I’ve seen a 4 year old at her moms birth who silently and patiently poured water on her moms back for an hour until her sister was born. A child could also have the job of giving mom drinks of water or making sure music stays on.

Whether or not to have your children present at your homebirth is totally dependent on your relationship with your children and their personalities. It can be really good for all the reasons listed above or really bad. They can also be a big distraction. I’ve seen siblings yelling and running wild, consistently pulling their mom away from her labor. If your child likes to ask a lot of questions, and doesn’t know when to be quiet, you will probably get annoyed with the extra talking. If your child is very sensitive to your emotions, feeling them all with you, then labor may be completely overwhelming to them. If your child is very rambunctious, then they will probably be much happier at a park.

No matter what you choose make provisions for your children. Ensure that someone is with them who you completely trust so you won’t worry. With your children gone make sure the expectations are clear for what you want them to do, how long after the birth you may want them to stay and that it will be harder for you if they come home sugar crazed. With your children present make sure you have someone especially for them, so if the children need to leave at anytime, your partner isn’t pulled away too.

If you still feel confused then you can always play it by ear, but make sure no matter what, you have someone waiting to help with the kids if needed. Even if they are sleeping.

Comment below with great ideas, stories of children at births or questions for me.

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