Does it matter how many people are at your birth? Honestly, that’s your call! Let me get my shovel and we’ll dig into what that means.
But hold up. Right now you might be raising your hand like “Um, Molly, the hospital I’m giving birth at only allows two visitors in the room. That is not up to me!” Totally hear you. If there’s a policy that you need to work with, you’ll want to choose those visitors carefully! Not only does it matter how many people are in the room, but it matters who they are. So keep reading for thoughts on how to make your choice well.
Okay, back to the shovel.
First we’re gonna want to think about you as a whole person (you’ll want to do this with lots of birth decisions!). In this case, how do you feel most safe and happy?
Are you the type who feels the most safe and happy when you’ve got your people surrounding you? Things just feel right when you have all the people who have been with you for years… supporting you in hard times, celebrating in good ones, just hanging out whenever, and you just want to be in the middle of them all with a shared plate of ultimate nachos and that fancy lemonade your bestie makes?
Or do you feel the most safe and happy when you are just you on your own, enjoying whatever you please in the moment, not worrying about anyone else? Maybe it’s nice to have one person, the person who gets you the absolute best and when they’re around you can feel totally relaxed and completely yourself and maybe you don’t even need to talk, but it’s easy when you do.
I ask because at your birth it’s essential that you feel safe and happy. The way you feel about your birth space matters and the people there are a massive part of that. How does this play out in birth?
I bet you are picturing the connection already!
Some people love having a supportive group with them during birth to give them encouragement during labor and to celebrate with them at the moment baby comes into their arms.
They feel best when their mom is there and sister and best friend and of course their partner. She may very well be chatting up the nurses and getting a dance line started to get everyone involved in her amazing labor movements! And when baby is out, these moms love that their whole group is there to say hello, shed a few tears, and give a few laughs of joy and relief with you.
Some people feel best when no one else is watching and things feel intimate and focused.
They love it when they can completely focus on the moment at hand, going deep inside. She wants to lean into her partner, touching foreheads or receiving a massage and feeling free to make whatever sounds and movements she wants and knowing that she’ll receive quiet affirmation from her most supportive person and nothing else. These parents may prefer that the nurses stop in only when necessary or that the midwives give them plenty of time to labor on their own.
Neither of these is right or wrong! And somewhere in the middle is an option too! It may even change some from one birth to another.
So does it matter how many people are at your birth? Yes! It matters to YOU!
Okay one more thing. What about doulas and photographers and the other kinds of roles people might play in your birth?
That’s a whole other series of thoughts. I’ll bring my shovel again next time and we’ll dig deeper to look at a variety of different people you might want at your birth plus the affects they may have so you can get a clearer idea of who YOU want at your birth.