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Would you let your 20 month old watch your homebirth?

(93 Posts)
fastasleep Tue 07-Jun-05 14:00:42

That's it really.

WigWamBam Tue 07-Jun-05 14:01:53

No. Absolutely not. I should think it would terrify the child, seeing Mummy in so much pain.

koalabear Tue 07-Jun-05 14:02:35

personal choice, really, but me, no - i wouldn't on the basis that i don't believe that he would be old enough to process/understand what was going on

leahbump Tue 07-Jun-05 14:03:53

I am planning a Homebirth when ds is 18 months. If it is in the daytime and he is awake..I will let him be there for as long as he is not distressed. If he gets distressed then he will go off to play elsewhere.

I suppose it depends on how I behave really...I think he might help me focus on something other than the pain in early labour...however when it comes to pushing...if i feel shouty (I was quiet when giving birth to him) then that might upste him.

Will be playing it by ear personally as we have no family anywhere near us...and most our friends are on holiday in august!

Puff Tue 07-Jun-05 14:03:55

No, too young IMO.

Chandra Tue 07-Jun-05 14:05:18

No, too much pain, too much blood, too much private parts exposed (Is not that I'm prude is just that I don't know the terminology), etc. I think that a child would find difficult to separate the concept "brother" from the pain, blood, etc.

NomDePlume Tue 07-Jun-05 14:06:11

No, I think it would frighten a child that young. Plus, I would rather know that I can be as inhibited as I like without scaring him/her.

leahbump Tue 07-Jun-05 14:06:36

It also depends on how you intend to give birth- I will be in a birthing pool so ds will not be able to see as much as if i were on the floor, bed etc etc.

clary Tue 07-Jun-05 14:06:46

no, as others say, too scary.
(bad enough for DH!!)

PrincessPeaHead Tue 07-Jun-05 14:06:55

what on earth do you think they will get out of it? even if they aren't scared by it they won't remember it. but if they are scared by it they will remember that long enough to have sleepless nights when you least want them too!

SenoraPostrophe Tue 07-Jun-05 14:07:19

no. even at 3, i don't think dd is old enough - she'd just get upset.

NomDePlume Tue 07-Jun-05 14:07:26

I was very noisy and primal during my first labour so going by that I know DD would be terrified.

Chandra Tue 07-Jun-05 14:08:13

OM didn't realise he was 20m old! NO, it may be too traumatic for a child who can hardly understand what is going on. However, I supoose you have good reasons to consider the posibility. Which are they? (just curious)

swivellyscooter Tue 07-Jun-05 14:10:37

We discussed my 13 yo dd attending the birth of ds4 in December but even at her age I wouldn't want to let her see me in distress or be frightened if things weren't going quite according to plan. Too much blood and guts for my liking. Much better to wave me off from the grandparents house and see me again looking all fluffy and calm with sweet little newborn wrapped in a blanket.

20 months old? No way, sorry.

fastasleep Tue 07-Jun-05 14:11:03

Well I wasn't really considering it TBH but then realised it might happen anyway! My last labour was 70 minutes from the first pain... if it's any quicker this time he might be the only one with me!

Quite a few (slightly odd) people from a homebirth place said that it was a good idea to have him there...hm..

lemonice Tue 07-Jun-05 14:11:07

Definitely no, impossible for a child of that age to understand what is happening and difficult for them to express their feelongs about the experience - much too raw for a toddler to cope with.

Bring them in once baby and mum have had a short period of adjustment together and the drama and excitement has calmed down.

i had an unplanned home birth when dd1 was 16 months and thank goodness she was asleep in bed!

Blackduck Tue 07-Jun-05 14:12:09

No - a friend's partner went into labour at home, their little boy was terrified (mummy screaming etc.)....not something I'd want to inflict on a child..

Mosschops30 Tue 07-Jun-05 14:13:17

Message withdrawn

biglips Tue 07-Jun-05 14:16:08

eekkkk! god no!! as it would give 20 months old nightmares...

pinkmama Tue 07-Jun-05 14:16:37

Sounds like it may not be a choice then fastasleep. I wouldnt want my children to be there, because quite frankly I would rather concentrate on me than have to worry about them as well. But if it happens there is not a lot you can do but make the best of it. Good luck x

Thomcat Tue 07-Jun-05 14:19:28

Oh God, if Lottie saw me in pain she'd be unconsolable, she wouldn't know what was going on and would be frigtened and disturbed which would upset me, no, it wouldn't work. Once the baby was out I'd have her there within a second but not while I was shouting etc.

grumpymarthamoo Tue 07-Jun-05 14:19:37

No, absolutely not, for so many reasons. It's hard enough for an adult to witness someone they love in pain and/or distress - and they understand what is happening. Even the easiest and smoothest birth is not going to be effortless and pain free. And there is always the possibility - however remote - that something could go wrong, then you have an emergency situation with the ensuing drama and panic. Lots of blood too - which would terrify a small child. From the mother's POV I think it's a terrible idea too - if the older child was upset it would be heart-breaking for the Mum not to be able to do anything to really reassure them. And, in labour you want to be able to do whatever feels right for you - scream, shout, groan, swear: not be putting on a stoical show for a young child. I was at home up until an hour before I gave birth to ds2 - with ds1 pottering around - and it was hard putting on a brave face when the contractions hit.

I can't see that it could be anything but traumatic for a small child - I wouldn't even want them in the house if it could be avoided - I'd want them safe and looked after somewhere else.

SenoraPostrophe Tue 07-Jun-05 14:21:00

Actually, yes, my sister witnessed ds's birth at 28 and is still traumatised.

leahbump Tue 07-Jun-05 14:22:34

It's debatable wether it would 'harm' a toddler. every child and every labour is different. Each mother has to then decide what is best for her child etc..

It is more common in other parts of the world for children to be present as siblings are born...perhaps we are being very 'western' about this!

Fastasleep- I think your toddler will be fine whatever happens! Hopefully you will be able to sort someone to look after her and if it all happens too quickly you'll just live ine the moment and get through it!

geekgrrl Tue 07-Jun-05 14:23:26

my dd1 was 19m old when dd2 was born (at home). It was all a bit chaotic, fast & the midwife wasn't there, and dd1 was really upset. She was frightened and confused, and dh ended up taking her away to the far end of the house, leaving me to get on with giving birth on my own. I'm sorry - I don't want to give you something to worry about, but when I had baby no.3 (also at home) I made every effort to have emergency childcare sorted.
Having the child there might be fine for the 'scented candles and heavy breathing' team of homebirthers, but my labours have always been more about screaming and holding on to the gas&air mask for dear life.

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