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Should my mum be there during labour?

(25 Posts)
Newmummytobe79 Fri 24-Jun-11 16:44:15

Sorry for posting a moment ago to test the water … but it’s because I wanted to run this past you?

Basically we (me and DH) started to discuss our birthing plan the other day and I mentioned that I may want my mum there (I had actually discussed this with my mum but didn’t tell DH this!) – he was extremely sure that he wants it to be just me and him to welcome our baby into the world (he has a thing about us being ‘his’ family now – but that’s another story!) so I totally understand and am happy for that to happen. I also explained his feelings to my mum and she totally gets it too (although I know she was disappointed – and I apologised for opening my mouth too early!) and is happy for me to put on my plan that if anyone is needed my mum and no-one else is to be called as back up.

It’s our first baby and I understand that labour may take a loooong time – so are we being naïve?

Should I push harder to have my mum there?

Just wish I hadn’t opened my mouth soon sad

We are due to start our antenatal classes soon - do they mention birthing partners then or will they scare DH so much that he’ll beg me to ask mum to come along!

LoveBeingAbleToNamechange Fri 24-Jun-11 16:46:25

Sorry but it's your birth not dhs. If you really want your mum there you need to tell him.

jenrendo Fri 24-Jun-11 16:50:22

I love my mum and am very close to her but I wanted it just to be me and DH. They live about 4 hours away but rushed up the road that night after DS was born. I would have probably had her there but DH really wanted it to be just us, same reason as your DH. In hindsight I am glad it was, as he really came into his own and it was he was so natural and supportive, whereas if mum had been there he might have held back. However if you really want your mum there start working on him now! It is totally up to you. Good luck!

Newmummytobe79 Fri 24-Jun-11 16:51:09

but that's it LoveBeingAbleToNamechange - I'm not sure! I've not really thought much about the birth at all ... kind of hoping it'll all fit in to place as it has to happen! blush

NatzCNL Fri 24-Jun-11 16:53:14

My DP was exactly the same in his view as your DH with DD1, and I totally understood why he wanted it to be just us. However, I really wanted my mum there for a couple of reasons - 1. She knew exactly what I would be going through as done it herself and 2. I wanted her to be there to support DP if it got too much for him/labour went on too long and needed a 'tag-team'.

In the end I spoke to both and said that wanted them both there but for my mum to follow my DP's lead if he asked her to hold back and let him do all the soothing and to let us greet our new baby first.

She was fantastic, and I am so glad she was there. She stayed out of the way but was also there to take photo's and hold my hand and stroke my head when I called for her. DP was also really pleased she was there and when it cae to DD2 we asked her to be there, and again she was in the background when we wanted her to be, but there when I needed her. In fact I remember telling the midwives I wouldn't push until she arrived!!! grin

It is entirely your choice, but if you want your mum there, you could talk to your DH about her being on standby - even in the waiting room in case you decide you need her there.

My mum didn't come to any of the antenatal classes, that was just for me and DP. Birth is a wonderful experience, and having my mum there helped me, even just so I knew that it was all ok, because over all the professionals it was my mum nodding in support and agreement that kept me calm.

Best of luck to you on the new baby xx

Newmummytobe79 Fri 24-Jun-11 16:53:39

jenrendo - I love my mum soooo much too! But totally get his view also.

I have a feeling we're going to be absolutely smothered by family (his and mine) following baby's arrival so maybe I should keep it just me and him. (This bit I'm dreading a bit to be honest)

And I know that if I scream out to him to get my mum, she's only 15 minutes away! smile

neolara Fri 24-Jun-11 16:54:36

I always think it's slightly odd when people talk about having their mum's at their labours - however, each to their own.

I do however, think it's worth considering the large number of MIL threads on MN. They all have the same underlying theme - who is the dh allied with - their wife or their mother? Choosing your mum over your dh's wishes if he feels strongly about this issue might not be the best start for your new family.

Newmummytobe79 Fri 24-Jun-11 16:56:30

sorry for opening a can of worms ... but really appreciating the honest feedback smile

cat64 Fri 24-Jun-11 16:59:20

Message withdrawn

moomsy Fri 24-Jun-11 17:00:55

That is nice of him to think like this. It could be worse: He could want HIS mum there with you!!

Mine seems to to think that his mum there wouldn't be a problem.

Needless to say that I demanded him never to suggest that again!

I wouldn't want my mum there either but I know why some people would and if this is your wish, then you will have to stick to your guns and your partner will have no choice but to support you.

Flisspaps Fri 24-Jun-11 17:05:43

I think your mum's plan is a good one - put her on as a 'back up' in case you/DH need her at the time.

Some hospitals only allow one birth partner in the room as well, so it may be that the decision is made 'for' you - I couldn't imagine having mum in the room at the expense of the baby's father. Just because a man is squeamish about birth before, doesn't mean they'll be anything other than fabulous at the time either. DH was adamant he wouldn't be near the business end - he ended up holding one of my legs back while MW held the other, cheering me on and telling me he could see DD's head.

I personally believe that it should be a moment for just the mother, father and baby if possible though (in ideal circumstances of course) as it's the time when the two of you become a family, rather than a couple.

PrincessScrumpy Fri 24-Jun-11 17:34:36

For me dd's birth was all about me a my dh and I would understand that any dh would feel pushed to one side one such an important time. I watch birth programmes and see mums and mils there and think how much I would have hated that. I'm extremely close to my mum but having our dd to dh and I was all about us and our relationship. Plus I don't think I would want mum telling her mum or my dad about how I was during the birth etc.

Having said that, that is me. You need to go with what you want. If you choose to have mum there, I strongly suggest that you encourage dh to still be your main support in the delivery room as it will be very easy for him to take a backseat or feel pushed out.

TheCrackFox Fri 24-Jun-11 17:40:04

Are you absolutely sure that your hospital allows 2 birth partners? My hospital was very firm about only having onw person with you.

Squiglettsmummy2bx Sat 25-Jun-11 10:46:48

With my 1st I was in labour for 52 hours before an emergency csection, my ex was useless, kept going to get food, reading etc so I was glad to have my mum there & when she had to pop over to another part of the hospital for a prebooked appointment my sister took over. I am very close to my mum & her not being there wasn't even an option x

birdofthenorth Sat 25-Jun-11 10:55:43

Most places do only allow one birth partner.

Becoming a father is a bit weird I imagine, not having been the one to carry & then potentially breastfeed the new human being. I think trusting him to support you through the birth, be the one to cut the cord & announce the birth to relatives is a really important way to let new daddies feel a real sense of belonging & fatherly identity in the process which will help him bond with dc1. Personally I wouldn't take that away from him, especially as your mum has been understanding.

DD1 is 10 months & doing the whole long labour together was a really lovely (retrospectively!!) experience for our new little family.

And I promise you'll be fine either way smile

TittyBojangles Sat 25-Jun-11 10:56:48

I never considered having my Mum there. She is brilliant and of course I love her, she also lives locally, but I only wanted my DH there. I was a little worried how he would 'cope', but actually he was fantastic, and I think having my Mum there would have made him a bit more nervous (although they get on great). It was my decision, and if I'd said I wanted my Mum there then he'd have agreed I'm sure. My Mum hadn't even considered that I would ask her to be there, I think she felt like it should be for me and my DH, but I'm sure she'd have come if I'd have asked.

Not much help really, but you need to do what works for YOU and your DH. In the long run, once your LO is here it really won't matter which way you chose to do things.

SuiGeneris Sat 25-Jun-11 11:00:54

It's your call, if you think you might want your mother there, explain to DH why. It is likely to be a stressful time for you both and he might welcome the opportunity to have somebody else there to stay with you when he nips out for 20 minutes for a sandwich or wants to sleep for 2 hours. You might have a relatively easy, short labour and not need your mother, but you might also be unlucky and have a longer labour for which you want more emotional support, of the kind that is more easily provided by somebody who has been through the same thing.
Also, from a practical point of view, your mother will be able to help with things you do not particularly want your DH to do/see (e.g you might need help going to the loo) or free up time for your DH to focus on you (eg by going to get you both food, preparing fresh clothes for you to change into after the birth).
FWIIW, I had both my mother and DH there and it worked well, especially given it was a 27-hour labour with a few complications. DH, who was a bit sceptical when we first talked about it, was very glad to have my mother there too in the end.

TheFeministsWife Sat 25-Jun-11 11:03:03

I had my mum at there when I had my first dd. I felt I needed her as I didn't have a clue what I was doing. Even though DH had done it before (DSD) I felt I needed my mum, but then we are quite close and she was a big help. It was just me and DH at the birth of my second dd, I knew what I was doing and was much more relaxed. Plus I needed my mum to look after dd1.

If you feel it will help you having your mum there then make a stand with your DH. You're the one giving birth and going through the pain, you're the one who has to push something the size of a melon out of a hole the size of a grape. Any decisions re.garding the birth you should have final say and your DH as to accept that

valbona Sat 25-Jun-11 11:08:12

Once upon a time men were well away from you when you were labouring, and from so much else that was hard about parenting ... But now things have changed so much - eg my husband does a lot of the childcare and has been hands-on with everything apart from inevitable BF...
It really is hard I think for men to watch a first labor, and I'm sure your mum might be able to be more reassuring having gone through it herself BUT for him to experience being your sole ally and helper is such a good foundation for everything that comes after.

ButterflySally Sat 25-Jun-11 11:48:23

My NCT lady advocated having an older woman (not just a MW) there with you in addition to your partner. Apparently there is research to suggest that support from an older woman who has been through it herself shortens labour.

It's an individual decision. I'll be having my mum at the birth of my first little one and DP and I see it as having a little extra help. Given she has been through it three times herself, I also find it reassuring that at least one of us will have some inkling of what's happening / what's going to happen! DP will still take the lead but my mum will be there to help out wherever needed.

If it's something you feel strongly about, I think you need to let your DH know. It is you, after all, who is going through it so I think you need to ensure you have what you need to get you through it.

babyonbord Sat 25-Jun-11 19:17:44

Labour can be long and messy and very very scary, your partner will not be an awful lot of use,my ex left my mum to help me cope and took a backseat in the end because as he said afterwards he had no idea what to say or do. He doesn't know what labour is like but your mum does. I would never have got through my first labour without my mum there. If you have a difficult labour you will want her support more than your other halves. Also if you go into labour during the night ( i was in from half four in the afternoon till half four in the morning) you will ideally want two people there so they can take it in turns if they want to get some air or go for a coffee. I think it's a bit selfish of your partner to feel he has any right to even suggest your mum should not be there. You're the one doing the work and i imagine that when the time comes he will be glad she is there as he will probably need the support as well it must be very difficult for men to see the woman they love in that much pain but be unable to do anything about it, your mum will be able to eassure him it's normal and that you will get through it.
This time round i'm having my partner and his mum there as this will be his first child (my second) and i think he will need his mum there more than i need mine, i know what to expect, he doesn't have a clue and is going to get a very nasty shock when the time comes.

LittleMissFlustered Sat 25-Jun-11 20:24:11

Couldn't imagine anything worse than having a parent in the room while I labour. Each to their own however.

KoolAidKid Sat 25-Jun-11 20:45:31

This issue often divides people on mumsnet and I can see why.

I think it depends entirely on both your and your DH's relationship with your mum, and the sort of person your mum is (ie supportive, bossy, good in an emergency that sort of thing).

notcitrus Sat 25-Jun-11 21:05:59

Labours can be really long - having an extra person to go to hospital with you (someone can get out with you while the other parks the car, for starters) can be really useful. I was in hospital for 29 hours by the time I had a baby, so it was great having birth partners who could take shifts during the night.

Bear in mind if you end up in theatre, you'll probably only be allowed one person with you, so explain that to your mum first if that person will be DH. And if you want to make sure you and DH get to hold baby first, tell her that too. But if someone will make you feel more relaxed, then have them there - it's a hugely personal decision. Luckily my mum had said 'you don't mind if I'm not in the country, do you?' And MrNC had recently been a birth partner so knew what to expect better than I did.

stella1w Sat 25-Jun-11 22:09:54

don't have a dp and wouldn't want my mother there but for my first birth I had a doula and a good friend and I am really glad I had two people there.. the doula focused on me and the birth and my friend dealt with the hospital staff, checking me in, and taking zillions of photos..
I would think it is quite hard for one person to be a birthing companion and deal with logistics eg getting water etc..
Not sure why your dh would consider it a "her or me" scenario.. in fact, some people say the dh sometimes needs support during birth too! I would suggest your mum could be around/ be in the background taking care of photos, etc etc and tell dh the idea being he will be freed up to focus on you and the baby

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