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Children allowed on delivery suite (during labour, not after birth)

(95 Posts)
SpamAnderson Fri 24-Jul-15 18:17:30

I had my heart set on using MLU or preferably a homebirth (so my DH, DM and dds could be present). My BMI is elevated and now they think baby is large so won't let me have a hb or use MLU. My eldest dd (will be 8 when baby arrives) is very mature for her age and has always been very interested in childbirth and is very excited to meet and help care for her brother would love to be at the birth. The youngest (will be 6) says she'd like to be there but she is far younger mentally and I think she would be traumatised. She'd be easily pacified with spending the day with her Nannie instead of a boring hospital though. The eldest, not so much!
Anyway, long story short, has anyone had their child (under 16) present at a hospital birth? I have promised DD1 that I will ask the mw and consultant when I next meet them but I have a feeling that they would say no due to her age?

Wolfiefan Fri 24-Jul-15 18:21:41

I really wouldn't want to do this. What if there were complications. (I suddenly bled quite a lot after my 2nd. A child would have been scared.)
Even if everything is great what would they think if you made noise shouted and groaned like I did?
Then what if baby was born in the middle of the night? During the day would you pull them out of school? What if you were induced and it took ages!

SpamAnderson Fri 24-Jul-15 18:34:31

I should have put, assuming all goes straight forward ie I labour naturally, not induced etc. I tend to be a very calm and quiet labourer so not worried on that side of things. Obviously a later complication isnt something I could forsee so would have to have a think about that. Worse case would be that DH would have to take her out and leave me on my own. The plan with a hb was that my mum would be there too so if baby arrives during the holidays or weekend, she would be with the dds and be able to distract them if necessary or if I laboured while they were at school, if the baby was likely to be born while they were at school, they would be allowed to come home for the important bit smile
I do still have some thinking to do about it but like the MLU/HB I don't want to waste my time thinking (and planning) something that there's no way would be allowed in the first place if that makes sense?

starlight2007 Fri 24-Jul-15 18:39:16

My understanding in our labour suite was no under 16's but it was 8 years ago.. no idea if it has changed

UrethraFranklin1 Fri 24-Jul-15 18:41:08

I would be very surprised if any labour ward allowed this. Your DH is meant to be there to support you, which he can't do properly and mind children.
It's really not a suitable environment for a young child and I would think the relevant people would say no.

SirChenjin Fri 24-Jul-15 18:43:52

I really wouldn't do this. Even a calm birth can quickly become an emergency, and being ushered out of the room could be very distressing - 8 is old enough to know when things are going wrong. I would be surprised if a labour ward would even allow this tbh.

Twinkie1 Fri 24-Jul-15 18:45:18

If anything happened which compromised you or the baby experiencing the ensuing panic would be awful for your children and may have lasting effects which could effect them as children and later in life when having children themselves.

I had a c section with last DD and bled profusely afterwards, I wouldn't have wanted my 15 year old to be aware of this let alone a far younger child.

You may have an awful labour and really need to concentrate on getting through it with your DH without the added worry if your other children being there also.

AuntieStella Fri 24-Jul-15 18:46:21

IIRC, it was one supporting person per delivering woman (though might stretch to two). Never heard of three.

Flisspaps Fri 24-Jul-15 18:50:38

No such thing as not 'allowed' a home birth.

Just throwing that out there.

They can advise ^against it - but it's ultimately your choice and its up to *you *to weigh up the risks and benefits of CLU vs home.
^I'd never expect DC to be allowed on a labour ward though.

Taleggio Fri 24-Jul-15 18:53:22

Things can go wrong so quickly and a traumatic birth can be so difficult for an adult to process let alone a child watching her mother and new sibling.

You're already at risk because of the baby's size, that's why they want you in hospital. This birth could be completely different from any you've had before.

EhricLovesTheBhrothers Fri 24-Jul-15 18:55:26

What a daft idea

marshmallowpies Fri 24-Jul-15 19:00:51

No children allowed on labour ward at my hospital, based on recent experience - I was readmitted to hospital when DD2 was a week old (I was ill, she was fine) and we had to go onto the labour ward as no room in post natal.

DH and DD1 were outside waiting to see if I was going to be allowed out and when it was clear I wasn't, they were allowed inside very briefly to say goodbye to me (it had all happened so suddenly we had not managed to arrange anyone to look after DD1).

Anyway they were in there for a few minutes so DH could talk to the doctors and work out what was going to happen to me, but as soon as the staff saw DD1 was there they chased them out.

There was a woman in the bay next to me, only behind a curtain, in early stages of labour which was full blown contractions within a couple of hours - I don't think it was a place for young children to be hanging around, tbh.

mrssmith79 Fri 24-Jul-15 19:02:39

They can't stop you from having a hb. Remind them of that, and then ask to speak with someone who can discuss this factually and honestly with you so you can make a measured and informed decision.

UrethraFranklin1 Fri 24-Jul-15 19:03:40

No such thing as not 'allowed' a home birth

I wish people would stop asserting that you can have whatever you want no matter what the HCP's say. No, technically, nobody can tell you that aren't allowed a home birth. However they can absolutely tell you that they won;t be involved with it and won't attend to you in your home. Which unless you can find another qualifed person to do so or you want to do it alone, amounts to the same thing.

SpamAnderson Fri 24-Jul-15 20:52:23

Thank you everyone smile I really was just wondering if it was something that is even an option to think about or something that wasn't worth putting time into thinking about.
I'm coming to terms a bit more with it now but after not having particularly nice treatment when having my eldest, this being my last, I really hoped I'd get my 'ideal' labour. Relaxed MLU and birthing pool, was told if I lost weight while pregnant that there's no reason midwives wouldn't have me on MLU. Got my weight down and then they say that they think baby is too big thus making me high risk again. Then HB is out of the question again as him being big and my booking in BMI being raised making me high risk, they wouldn't support my choice.
I know it's not the be all and end all, baby arriving safely is the important thing, it would just be nice to have the stuff before it to be a nice experience too.

Flisspaps Fri 24-Jul-15 21:27:32

*Urethra *that is true, however it is unlikely that a labouring woman won't be attended in labour by a qualified midwife even if she chooses to go against advice particularly if you work with the midwifery team to do risk assessments and show you are aware of the risks.

Which is what I did.

UrethraFranklin1 Fri 24-Jul-15 21:34:55

So you advise people to effectively try and force a midwife to go against their policies and clinical judgement because they want something regardless of the risks? Thats blackmail, and I hope the midwives would call your bluff and say no.

AboutTimeIChangedMyNameAgain Sat 25-Jul-15 08:42:18

I can't see how it would be allowed and to be honest it's a daft idea. And the mw will take no responsibility for your dd.

Barbarbarbarbarbaby Sat 25-Jul-15 09:33:15

Anyone can choose a Homebirth regardless of risk factors and they will usually be supported in their choice and made aware of the risks. It may not be easy but that's the way maternity care works in UK. You can't be refused care.

The parent has responsibility for your child regardless of where you birth or how much advice you are following. There are risks to having births in hospital at home in a field. Mothers have the right to choose.

It isn't blackmail to understand individual risk and make your own choices and take responsibility for your own health.

5madthings Sat 25-Jul-15 09:47:18

I had ds1 then age 11 with me when I had dd (4), dh was there as well.

I spoke to the midwife about it and the hospital, they were fine as long as we had a plan in place for him to leave etc if necessary. As he was 11, he would have been old enough to go to the hospital cafe or get a taxi home as we are only five mins from hospital.

But all was fine, as with my other labour (dd wss baby no 5) I was induced by breaking waters, and all went smoothly, three hour labour, she was back to back so hurt like a bitch, gas and air was my friend. Ds1 was fine, the midwives said he was more composed and coped better than most dad's to be. But we had talked about it lots, he knew what to expect, dh was there as well. Ds1 was the first person to hold dd after me, he also cut the cord smile the look of awe and amazement on his face in pics of him holding hos newborn sister at minutes old is something o will treasure forever.

If I have any more, unlikely! I will let my others be present if they want, it depends on the child. Home birth obviously makes it easier but it was fine at hospital but you need a plan to make sure child is supported/looked after, etc if necessary.

Schoolaroundthecorner Sat 25-Jul-15 09:53:44

A friend of mine was considering this recently but didn't go ahead with it (perhaps it wasn't allowed I'm not sure why). I bit my tongue as I thought it was a bad idea but not up to me to tell her that. Her other child is only four and I thought he'd be too young to process what happened if something didn't go according to plan, or even if it did too young anyway to be there seeing his mum in pain etc might upset him. It turned out that the baby needed resuscitation at birth and, although thankfully all was well in the end, my friend was apparently hysterical with worry for a bit, as you would be, so it was for the best he wasn't there.

Mehitabel6 Sat 25-Jul-15 09:58:36

I really don't think that children have any place at a birth. It isn't a spectator sport and anything can go wrong- it could be traumatising.
It is one area of life that you can't control. You can plan but you can't necessarily stick to the plan.

puddymuddles Sat 25-Jul-15 10:02:44

I had an uncomplicated homebirth for DC2 and would not have wanted my children there. Admittedly my eldest is only 4 but would apply even if she were a mature 8 year old. I think they could be upset and put off childbirth and might worry subconsciously about pain in the future/worry about you etc. I am a big fan of Home Birth but would not have had one if the midwives had advised me not to. My DH was not at the birth actually - he was looking after our 2 DDs. I had just the two midwives and this was great.

puddymuddles Sat 25-Jul-15 10:03:02

I meant DC3!!

Mehitabel6 Sat 25-Jul-15 10:26:23

I had 3 very easy births- and very quick. I still wouldn't risk a child being there. It is not like planning a wedding!

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