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Homebirth - role for Grandmothers!?

(18 Posts)
gingebrightonmum2b Wed 28-Sep-11 13:23:47

Hi there - I need a bit of advice from you ladies with homebirthing experience! I am hoping to have a homebirth and would really like to involve our mothers (especially as they have expressed concerns about us having a homebirth), but do not want to be too crowded and have them with us the whole time. Can anybody think of a role we could give them so that they are involved with the process...but not too much!? Thanks for any advice you can give!

Purplebuns Wed 28-Sep-11 13:29:30

Making tea for the midwives? General dogs bodies? I am considering a homebirth I am yet to have one and I wouldn't like loads of people around, I was happy with just Dh at my hospital birth.
Is it really what you want, or are you just seeking approval? You could just give them some ground rules about which bits you don't want them there for and then let them get on with it.

OneTrickMummy Wed 28-Sep-11 13:30:28

One of the advantages of a hb is the privacy and feeling as if you are giving birth in your own home, on your own terms. Be very careful about involving other people for their benefit. I had DH and my best friend, and in the end felt a little crowded as both DH and bf were trying to 'help' and all I wanted was to be alone and silent.

Also, it could be that anyone who expresses concern about hb is the last person you want around.

How imminent is the birth? Your feelings about company may well change as you come very close to the date. From a while away it feels like a big adventure, the more the merrier etc. And it's very hard to uninvite a birth partner.

That said, it could be useful to have ONE of them if you feel truly comfortable with her. She could make food and drinks for you, DH and the mws, keep the hot water in the pool topped up, keep people away from the door, answer the phone etc while your DH supports you.

But birth isn't a spectator event. I kept my DM away because I didn't want DH to feel his precious moments as a father were impinged on by eager and emotional grandmother's. And I just didn't need extra people around.

OneTrickMummy Wed 28-Sep-11 13:33:10

There was a moment when I shouted, not politely, at the mw and my bf to stop chatting in the kitchen. It felt so intrusive at that moment. Don't have anyone present who would feel affronted by the lack of social skills of a labouring woman!!

metalelephant Wed 28-Sep-11 17:43:23

My advice would be to only involve somebody that you feel will help you feel calm and not burden you with any extra stress. If they feel concerned about the homebirth they might complicate things by either voicing their fears (when you need to be happy and unafraid) or simply look scared - which in turn might make you feel like you need to reassure them and distract you.

I gave birth in hospital, my mum and husband were with me till I was ready to push, then I asked my mum to wait outside. Will you be comfortable to have your mother and mother in law seeing you in all your labouring glory? I wasn't!!

There's lots for them to do right afterwards, maybe they could both be nearby and so they'd be the first to come in and greet the baby, make drinks and food for everyone etc.

Wishing you a lovely homebirth!

gingebrightonmum2b Wed 28-Sep-11 18:31:11

Thank you so much for all of your advice, it's given me a lot to think about!

pootlebug Wed 28-Sep-11 20:08:49

My Mum was in the house when I had a homebirth - but that was because she was there so as to provide childcare for my elder one in the event of me having to transfer to hospital.

I was fine with her being there, but she was in bed (although possibly not asleep....I may have been a bit loud) 2 floors up. She stayed there until my husband went up to fetch her to come and see the baby. I wouldn't have had my Dad in the house, as he is more of a worrier, and obviously hasn't given birth....I think any moan of pain from me would have had him a total nervous wreck.

I wouldn't have wanted someone there who wasn't comfortable with home birth, and I didn't really want any extra people to be honest. I find I have zero patience with anyone in labour, so anyone else faffing around me would have driven me nuts.

Flisspaps Wed 28-Sep-11 20:31:21

If they're not 100% happy, then I wouldn't have them there. You're going to need to focus on YOU, not on whether they're worried or concerned, and if you can see or hear that they're fretting then that could increase your stress levels. Increased stress levels hinder the birth process.

You don't need their approval or blessing or even for them to be happy about you having a homebirth. Don't involve them just because you think you should.

Perhaps get DH to call them as soon as baby is born to tell them to come on over?

If you do decide that you definitely want them there at the birth then you need to be clear to them that they're not to express any further concerns to you now or at the birth itself (because of increased stress levels hindering the process) and that you don't wish to discuss it further (with a smile). You could always have them in the house but in another room?

reallytired Thu 29-Sep-11 09:29:18

My mother was there to look after my son. I also had the midwife and my husband. Birth is not a spectator sport and no one has the right to be there.

msbuggywinkle Thu 29-Sep-11 16:18:00

My Mum has been there for both of my births so far (one hospital, one home) and I'll be inciting her again. She will be in charge of the DDs but as she thinks home birth is fabulous I do just like having another supportive person around and she is so incredible at looking after us all post-birth when DP and I just want to coo over the newborn for hours on end!

Main thing she did last time was come round every day with an idea for something for her and DD1 to do together that was really exciting, that and cleaning/cooking.

I'd love it if MIL was the same, but she has had two still born babies so is understandably nervy about pregnancy and birth and I just couldn't deal with her panicking while I'm birthing.

Yorky Thu 29-Sep-11 16:50:32

Mum was there for birth of DC3, my 3rd hb. It was my busiest birth with 2 mws, a doula and hubby, but they all very considerately let me get on with it in peace grin Mum was there to look after older ones during my check up (you are not inducing me today) appt earlier and was staying for a few days. She was upstairs for most of it as eldest DC wasn't quite settled but once I'd delivered the head I told DH 'get my mum' so I think she might have been there as I lifted him out of the water (can't recommend home waterbirth enough!)
Agree with previous posters who have said that you don't want too many people there, and they can compete with making you cups of tea and meals when baby is new!

RhinestoneCowgirl Thu 29-Sep-11 17:01:21

My mum was there for both my homebirths. She has had three babies herself including one homebirth (although that one wasn't altogether planned...).

First time round I really wanted her there as a support for me, and for DH - and I made sure that DH was ok with it. She was happy to back off if I'd wanted her too, but as it was she was there for the whole thing. She also dressed DS after I and DH had had skin-to-skin and those first photos of her cuddling him are really special.

Second time she was mainly there to look after DS (a toddler by then), but she did pop down just at the end as DD was born.

I have a good relationship with my mum and wanted her there for purely selfish reasons! i.e. to support me. I felt completely comfortable with her being there and that I could tell her to leave me alone if I needed to (same went for DH as birth partner actually). I don't have the same relationship with MIL and so wouldn't have felt comfortable labouring in front of her. And you do need to be able to relax and get on with labour in your own way...

hotmum Thu 29-Sep-11 17:08:44

My mum had my little sister at home and my nan was there, supposedly to look after my sister and i but actually she sat and chain smoked the whole time!!!!!
She didn't go upstairs til my mum had had the baby.

Funnily enough mum and i were talking about this the other day she said one morning this week she was lay in bed with the sun coming through the curtain and she had a flash back to when she had Laura, just after the birth once she was cleaned up and relaxed my stepdad brought the t.v upstairs and we all (my sister and i, mum, stepdad and new baby) got in bed together watching t.v and eating after eight mints, i too remember it clearly it was so lovely and beautiful it almost makes me cry to remember!!!!!

GirlWithTheMouseyHair Fri 30-Sep-11 15:14:51

if they are in the slightest bit against or concerned keep them away - this is about you and your baby and you need to feel safe and in control and looked after.

to be honest if I was in your situation I wouldn't even tell them I was in labour, but ask them round once the baby was born if I wanted to.

My mum was at our house aabout an hour after our midwives left my first homebirth - and first baby - with paracetemol, chocolate and toilet paper. This time she is on call to come and get DS and take him away again as we live in a tiny tiny flat. I am not vaguely close to my MIL so wouldn't have her near.

to be honest last time DH and MW were more than enough people, and they were sat twiddling their thumbs for a fair amount of time

elliejjtiny Fri 30-Sep-11 18:52:17

I've had a homebirth and 2 hospital births. I wouldn't have wanted my mum or mil there. I did think about having DS1 there for DS3's birth but in the end I'm glad he wasn't there. DS2 was there in the early stages of labour with DS3 and it was nice but inlaws were there too to look after him and I was glad when they went home tbh. One of my pregnancy books said that you should choose a birth partner who wants to be there for YOU. Someone who wants to be there to see the birth or to have one of the first cuddles wont be any use.

exoticfruits Fri 30-Sep-11 19:10:27

I would keep them well away. I get on very well with my mother and MIL but I wouldn't want them there!

EggyAllenPoe Fri 30-Sep-11 19:15:29

when it comes to childbirth the woman in labour gets to call the shots - you will be the one producing another human being, not them.

so if they can be useful involve them, otherwise not unless you really want them there.

medicmommy Fri 30-Sep-11 21:28:30

I would also keep them away. However everyone has different mothers and MILs. I am not having anybody during the birth but my DH and everyone else can come and visit us at home.
I just feel it's more a private affair and I will need to rest. DH and I will get time to bond with the baby before being bombarded with visitors.

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