Visitors after birth(51 Posts)
Currently 41+2 so feeling quite anxious and emotional anyway but wanted some advice on handling visitors post-giving birth (even though I now feel like I will be pregnant forever!!)
MIL is pretty overbearing and overexcited about first grandchild and said she wants to come to the hospital to meet baby asap. DH said we will have visitors when we get home - all fine, she was disappointed but fine with that.
What's giving me anxiety is DH's younger siblings (he's one of 6) who all want to come up immediately to meet the baby - they're all late teens/early 20s. They haven't shown any interest in pregnancy so far (we've not even seen them whilst I've been pregnant) and we just get all this information via MIL. Again DH has said we will let them know when we are up to visitors and they will have to wait.
Now MIL says they are all SO disappointed and upset and they they're just so excited about the baby... "surely you wouldn't deny them meeting their niece or nephew?!"
I'm feeling so guilty now but I just think it will be so overwhelming and too much and I simply don't think I want to see them straightaway.
Where do we go from here? DH has been great and said all the right things I guess, it just seems they won't listen and want to guilt-trip me in to saying they can come up. (The siblings all live a flight/train journey away, MIL about an hour by car).
Any advice would be great!
Be very firm and set strict boundaries and tell them now exactly how you'll let them know when they can visit and when to expect it. With our first (and now also with our 2nd), we said from the start, no visitors for the first week and after that we'll let you know when we're ready. We're lucky that our family and friends know better and aren't the type to push it or just pop in. Also, realistically, closest family (MIL) was 1.5 hours away, mine is in another country, friends are closer but again not too keen and not pushy. We were very strict about it. We didn't want anyone around for a week and then we'd decide who and when. Many midwives will advise this. In fact, our friends had lots of feeding and weight gain issues (as did we) with their baby and midwives advised keeping people away 3 weeks so they could get baby stablised and putting on weight. When in doubt, blame it on the midwives. But really, just keep having your dh do what he's doing, being strict about it, tell them you'll turn them away at the door if they show up or just don't answer. If they still say they will just come when they want, I would honestly consider holding off and not even telling them about the birth until you are settled at home and ready for visitors, then it gives them no choice. They may be moody about it now. In a few months time, they really won't remember how soon they visited or care. But you will remember how you felt about those early days, so it's worth being as pushy as you can be.
Personally I would have visitors at the hospital. They usually have a limit on how many and it is usually quite short. You also don't need to make any effort to host (Not that you should when at home but some people do expect it).
Don't let your MIL bully you or your DH in to anything you don't want.
You've both been great so far in standing your ground, continue that way so you don't look back and regret anything.
I would continue letting your DH handle it. It sounds like he's doing a good job. You have enough on your plate. Make sure he doesn't give in to the guilt tripping though. There will be plenty of time for them to see the baby. You're hardly denying them access.
When I had my first, I ended up with 7 visitors at once in the hospital. Oh I was not in the mood, the midwife ended up chucking them out as it was too much. Also When I had visitors at home, bare in mind I had to have stitches. My dad asked me to make him a cup of tea! So this time round people have been told not to all come around at once! Stick to your guns! People just need to wait
I went with "going birth is like major surgery, you wouldn't come over the second I got home if I'd just had a major op would you, I need time to recover". It's not about them seeing the baby, it's about you recovering from the birth and dealing with milk coming in, baby blues and getting to grips with feeding and being a new family.
I am on baby three, I'm only 17 weeks but already planned that I won't be announcing birth to anyone for at least 24hrs. No visitors until I'm ready.
We had both sets of parents come to the hospital and DH made sure they knew it would be a quick visit (think they stayed about 20 minutes). We were discharged the day after and had 5 days at home just us 3 then parents/siblings/our GPs/our aunts and uncles were all welcome to come after that.
It worked well as it was easy to get rid of them at the hospital once I had had enough and we had 5 lovely days just getting to know our new baby.
Next time I will do the same (might even extend the days by ourself) but I will put in a time limit on the visits after those few days because PIL turned up with a car load of family and stayed for 6+ hours and I was only able to hold MY baby when he needed feeding - even getting him back for a feed was a struggle
Thanks for all the responses - I guess I do feel like we're being manipulated and I just can't handle it. I don't want to upset them but I just can't see why the younger siblings (they're at Uni) are so desperate to meet the baby, and I wonder if MIL is just exaggerating.
I will say to DH again that we need to be firm with them.
My own DM lives really far away and I would love her to meet the baby first as she is very supportive and is so kind to DH and me - but even she says I'll come and visit when you say so!
I had exactly this, one of MIL suggestions was if i wasnt up for visitors then DH could bring baby outside to see her as well as DH two brothers. I was a planned c-sect and new i could come home after 24 hours (which is what i desperately wanted) if i was up and about and had feeding established so we told her politely that she could come when DH let her know that we were back on the ward and settled but her husband (not DHs dad) who i hardly know and his brothers would have to wait til the next day when we got home. I wish that wed have been firmer because she just did whatever she wanted! she was waiting in the carpark when we arrived at the hospital stood beside the payment meter, DH told her thanks for coming but he'll ring her when we are ready for her to come - she was then waiting outside the theatre lifts (god knows how as that part of the hospital was not meant to be accessible) and was the first to see our baby by just bullying her way through everywhere. I was ill after surgery and filling my hospital bed with sick - the last thing i wanted was MIL there, so glad the others took note. It then got announced on Facebook without even telling me complete with photograph. This continued for a little while - shed be given a time to visit us at home but completely disregarded it and either turned up 45min early or two hours late when we had the next visitors in. Her whole attitude through my pregnancy and those early days has really put a strain on my relationship with her so please stand firm for what you want. She may be excited but so is everyone else, this is YOUR baby, you get to decide these things.
Maybe get you dm over ASAP and put her on security duties!? Let her deal with calls /visitors as you and dh will be busy bonding with your dc. Does sound like mil is projecting her excitement, can't see any teen/20's sacrificing free time to view a head in a blanket - no offence - they won't have the same ideas as mil about the role the dc is bringing - dgm is a role above Queen to some you know!!
Your MIL is using your husbands siblings as a way of getting what she likes. I'm sure they won't be desperate or upset if they don't see the baby straight away, but she thinks she can use them to put pressure on you both. Stand firm like you are doing. Good luck & congratulations xx
Just don't announce the birth until you're ready for visitors. If questioned, just say you were so preoccupied with having and looking after the baby that you weren't able to.
Keep your doors locked and tell everyone that you will contact them if you would like them to visit. Pisses me off so much when women are treated as zoo animals after having a baby.
When I was in labour with my first my MIL came to the hospital (we had previously told both families and all friends the only people at the hospital would be me and DH) so she was told to leave. The day I came home she was in my house and took my newborn and passed him round even when he needed feeding. None of my family visited until I told them they could. This is one of the reasons I have no contact to my MIL and she isn't allowed to see our kids.
My second I never even told MIL I was pregnant and when she found out I gave her (and everyone else) a due date 1 month after I was actually due to stop the 'is baby here are you in labour yet is anything happening'.
If your MIL is already suffocating you and interfering you need to put her straight, this is YOUR baby so it's your rules no matter how exited she is she has to respect you, as the mother of her grandchild.
Sorry just to add I also didn't tell anyone I was in labour (the second labour my sister knew about because she babysat my eldest) and when I got home I didn't get or call anyone either until about a week after when I was ready-that was with my first. With my second I waited until my pretend due date and invited close family down and they were all surprised to see I had a month old baby
I've just popped along to sympathise. I've got some crazy people like this in my life too and it's really upsetting and had work feeling like you're being manipulated into something you're not happy with.
With DS I had the very pushy family visitors, even had my Nan ringing my husband whilst I was in labour DEMANDING to speak to me! hahahahaha. Had the usual thoughless visitors, leaving me with nowhere to sit bar a wooden stool while they all enjoyed my comfy furniture and I was hurting all over with stitches, muscle aches, painful boobs, lack of sleep etc. A million and one people wanting to hold my baby so I could barely even feed him, and then I had to go off and hide to BF part because of the unsupportive family and part because I couldn't sit anywhere comfortable to feed him where everyone else was!
I'm 17 weeks with my second and I'm going to be much firmer this time, rude if I have to. I couldn't care less who I upset nowadays to be honest, since none of these people care if they upset me....
We had DM and DF followed by MIL and FIL visit in the hospital before they even transferred me to the ward.
TBH it wasn't their fault it was overexcited DH who wanted to share it with the world.
Luckily both sides stayed for about 15-20mins each just to meet DS and check I was ok, no one even asked to hold him I think they knew it was mum and dad bonding time.
Unfortunately I was a bit too shell shocked after the labour to think about what I needed and DH too excited and we never talked about visitor arrangements before I gave birth and DH ended up having the family over on the night I came home from the hospital I'm talking PILs, my Parents, his aunt, his sister and DH and my DBro. I was flustered and knackered and without knowing what to do when DS started crying and all eyes turned to me and him I just whipped my boob out to feed him. That cleared the room quickly...
This was followed by pretty much daily visitors for the next week "to get them all out of the way".
They just basically watched me sit on the sofa looking like a jellyfish holding a baby.
This time I have been very clear with DH, I'm happy for PILs and my parents to visit us at the hospital but absolutely no visitors at home until we are back, settled and ready.
Yes I'm wondering if I should allow MIL to come the hospital briefly to get it out the way and then we can put off other visitors for ages, apart from DM. I don't need the stress at the moment and I'm just so confused as to why people think they have a right to see a newborn!
MIL says they are all SO disappointed and upset and they they're just so excited about the baby... "surely you wouldn't deny them meeting their niece or nephew?!"
She’s trying to make your birth all about her. Keep doing what you’re doing. I’d also consider delaying when you tell her about the birth. Your baby , with DH, you do what works for you.
My family weren't pushy but I felt too guilty to keep them away and didn't anticipate how much we'd need to be alone the three of us and it's my biggest regret. My Mum arrived the day after we got home from hospital and stayed almost a week. She's not a practical person and is elderly so it was us making her dinner and cups of tea etc. Breastfeeding was not proving challenging so I was pumping round the clock while other people held and fed my baby. It was awful awful awful and I wish now that I had risked offending family as I will never get the first week of my daughter's life back where hours would go by without me holding her.
Oh gosh, I am reading all these stories and feel full of panic. I’m only 13 weeks so very early days but I am soooo worried about visitors after the birth.
My MIL is the most overbearing person I’ve ever met. When we told her about the pregnancy straight after the scan, within 24 hours she was texting / calling demanding to know why the whole family hadn’t been told yet (including some in Australia we don’t really see!) and how the whole situation is ‘very unfair on us’. She was ringing up cross that she couldn’t tell her hairdresser even though she’d only known 2 days and we were just ensuring we had told our own families before the whole world and his wife was told!
She’s cancelled both of their holidays in the month running up to the due date to ‘ensure she doesn’t miss anything’ and is expecting to come and visit the second the baby is born. DH is gonna have to work hard to manage her expectations and he will want her to come much sooner than me!! Gulp. I am hoping this is covered in NCT?!
I'm stressed about this too, baby is four days old, my mum doesn't live far away and just said I can text her whenever if I want her to come round. Everyone else is pestering to see us though, I'm trying to breastfeed and it's really stressing me out as it is, put your foot down or get your partner to, a week will hopefully give you chance to get a bit more of a routine and you won't feel so rushed!
These stories worry me too but also make me fee less alone in having an overbearing MIL.
Mine promised not to tell anyone we were expecting a baby until we told her she could (we told her early on), when we told her she could tell people she let slip she had basically told everyone she had been in contact with for the past few weeks. I should have known she would, silly me.
I can also imagine mine turning up at the hospital even though we've said we don't want this, mostly becuause I don't know what state I'll be in after labour. I did suggest to DH he didn't tell his mum when I'm in labour but I know he will be too excited to keep his mouth shut.
I would say though that this thread has actually made me think about how it might be better to have her come to the hospital (when I say I'm ready for visitors!) rather than coming to our house afterwards as at least at the hospital I won't be bombarded and her time there will be limited whereas at mine she will stay for hours on end and I might appreciate a bit of quiet time at that point, not a full blown circus or dramatics in my living room (she has a tendency to be SO over the top about everything, loud and attention seeking).
I could have written your OP, right down to DH being one of six!
Thankfully DH had made it clear to his side that we'd be deciding on what happens with visitors depending on how the birth went and how I felt afterwards. He'd prepared them not to visit until we were at home, but thankfully birth wasn't too bad and I felt up to seeing people when I was still on the ward.
To be honest, that was probably for the best. We had alllllll the siblings, significant others and PIL and DH's granny crowded round my hospital bed. But that was over and done with in an hour, rather than them sitting in our front room all afternoon.
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