Childcare during labour - what happens if you don't have any?!(48 Posts)
Thinking slightly ahead! Baby due in July. Neither of our families live nearby and are not within distances to even come at the start of labour.
DS will be around 20 months and has spent very little time apart from me, but is very sociable and tends to be fine with other people.
But what do we do about childcare when I go into labour?! Our friends all have young children and/or full time jobs, so we can't just Spring DS on them in (what will probably be!) the dead of night!
Is our only option a home birth?! Or me labouring alone?
What have others done??
See if you can spring your child in a friend in the dead of the night. Most good friends would be happy to consider this. I have friends who have dropped throw hold at other friends when they went into labour.
Relative comes to stay near due date
Hire childcare eg doula
Your child won't be allowed on the labour ward.
Oh I hadn't thought about a short term nanny. That sounds like a really good idea. Thank you!
(I moan about not having family nearby but I wouldn't want them here annoying me in the run up...!! Totally contrary!)
This might be the situation we find ourselves in due to family holidays, moving home etc. We'll either ask friends who live near by or DP will stay with toddler while I go in on my own.
Sometimes this sounds like bliss seeing that I turned into a primordial creature who couldn't stand anyone around me in last labour. Could just about tolerate the midwife.
I was the emergency nighttime childcare for my friend when her twins were due. Fortunately they were born once her mum and dad came down from Scotland a couple of weeks before due date.
All the mums I know have had grandparents look after children, even if that means staying with them a few days beforehand.
In the worst case, could you get a (location-wise) close friend to pop round and watch your child until your DP can get back after dropping you at hospital?
We dont have any relatives close by. We've asked a few different friends if they would be willing to take ds when the time comes. They were fine with it. I'm imagining ds will be extremely clingy when i get out of hospital. I'm also prepared for dh to be less involved with thia labour and to be leaving me to it if it drags on too long.
My DH found the perfect solution. He invited the ILs to stay whilst I was in hospital. They minded DC1, visited the baby in hospital, then buggered off before I got home.
Mind you it was easier for me as I had a ELCS. Harder to plan if you're having a natural non induced birth.
I'm in this situation - due in 4 weeks. I'm having a homebirth (not just for childcare reasons, though that was one of our considerations), and have some neighbour friends on standby to take DD if need be for a few hours. We're going to call my parents when it all kicks off, so they could be with us in c. 6 hours, and will take DD to stay with them in a hotel if we need her to leave.
I've also hired a doula (again, not just for childcare reasons, but it helps) so worst case scenario if I need to go into hospital and there is nobody to take DD, my DH will stay with her and the doula will accompany me.
Similar situation here too. I had a section last time and recovered well so I have asked for the same again! I have also asked 2 close child free friends if they'll be emergency cover (e.g. I go into spontaneous labour before the ELCS). They're both about 45 minute drive away, but I reckon 1 of them is bound to be available! MIL/SIL - both about 140 miles away - might also drop everything (work commitments allowing) so hopefully we will be ok!
I was terrified of this happening too! My DD was 3 and a half when DS was born and my family are 2.5 hours drive away and DH works 1.5 hrs drive away! I had a few friends lined up, and so many offers of help from people who had never met DD (I knew them!), but didn't feel I could impose on any of them really.
I spoke to my midwife and she said if it all happens so fast that no one can take her, they would look after her at the hospital until someone arrived, and not to worry at all!
As it happened, I went into labour and DS was born on a Sunday, so my parents made it with a few hours to spare, and DH was with me.
I understand your worry, but maybe speak to your midwife about it as she put my mind at rest (as much as it could be!).
I've stayed with friend's small kids until family could arrive from several hours drive.
If I was a SAHM, I wouldn't bat an eyelid about adding another child into the mix for a day or two. It's what you do and I firmly believe that what goes around comes around.
For a good friend I'd be happy to take a day off work if they were really stuck .
If funds allow, then look into a nanny or better yet a childminder as someone in work can easily manage with just drop offs and pick ups and you can have some time to yourself while they settle in prior to your due date.
In July a CM is likely to have some vacancies as mindees go on holiday so worth sussing it out now. Ditto with nannies though most will need to take holiday when the family does.
Thank you all. I anticipate having a natural, non-induced labour (don't we all!) so it will be a 'surprise'!
My parents are a flight away and my in laws are 7 hours away so not feasible for any driving/collecting etc.
I think a nanny is our safest bet by the sound of things or a friend, but neither my DH or I are from here, so our friendships aren't really that 'type'.
My parents and in laws don't really know DS so I'm very, very reluctant to involve them, and they won't be in any way helpful to me (and I'm very, very put off the thought of anyone else in the house while I'm in early labour!)
I'm not making it easy at all...
There is an emergency childcare service, childcare.co.uk I think, which arranges short-term and late notice care.
But how would you book a nanny when you don't know when you are going to give birth? Unless you book one for a couple weeks? But then if you go into labour early or late what would you do? Have you spoken to any nanny agencies about this option, as you may want to give your child the opportunity to get to know the nanny before the birth so he isn't left with a stranger.
No I hadn't even thought about a nanny until someone suggested it earlier. I've found an agency nearby who provides emergency childcare which would be brilliant.
When you go into hospital and you have someone look after children, do they usually come to the house or do you wake the children and take them over?? I just can't imagine having the guts to waken a friend at 4am to say I'm off get over here!
We had to take a child to the hospital with us and wait for my mum to rock and take them away for both Ds2 & Ds3. That seemed okay with the mws,as they knew someone was in the way, (albeit a good half an hour away and for one of them, asleep in bed when she got the call)
You could have the baby alone. I had DS2 alone as he arrived unexpectedly early while DH was away for work. To be honest I found it easier just being with the midwives - but I don't like people being with me when I'm in pain. I was in a lot of pain and DH would not have been able to help me. I was well able to speak up for myself as the pain made me very assertive.
It was a bit disappointing for DH to miss it - but DS2 is 5 now and honestly it makes no difference to him or me or DS2 that he wasn't there.
Yes I'd considered labouring alone, but I think I would like DH there. He did well the last time and kept me calm.
Oh god I'm going to fret about this for the remainder of the pregnancy now.
Thank you everyone for your experiences and advice it has been really helpful!
Will your son have met the emergency childcare prior to you going into labour? As how do the agency know who is going to be available at the time you give birth. Or are you going to pay a retainer?
If it's a friend you take the child to them. They usually have their own children to look after.
I know mouldy but if I have no other option it might have to be how it is! It's far from ideal but my other options are limited.
I did this for a neighbour once, honestly I didn't mind at all (was quite exciting actually) and they bought me a bottle of bubbly after. My DD's played with her - she hardly noticed.
If not, what about getting a childminder booked in once a week to give you a little break and so your little one can get to know them, with the understanding that she could help you out and get paid for it. My old childminder would have done this.
I'd be worried about leaving DC with unknown emergency childcare. Could you consider looking into an au pair now so that they have a relationship already with your DC and bonus that they are around to help you afterwards with household stuff when you have your second.
Have you considered home birth?
If not and there's really no one as pp have said, I'd consider labouring/birthing without your DH so he may be at home.
Definitely don't take DC to delivery suite though. It's not appropriate.
Yes I'm seriously considering a home birth. DS' birth was very straightforward and quick so I'm hoping to follow suit but things can easily not go to plan.
Ok I'll start thinking of suitable friends. I don't know any SAHMs who live close enough so out only hope is a friend who works some days, and pray the baby comes on one of her non working days!!
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