How to Be a Guest During Birth

How to Be a Guest During Birth

If you have been invited to attend a child’s birth, here are some helpful steps to take to ensure that both you and the mother are as comfortable and prepared as possible.

Method 1 Discuss the Mother’s Preferences in Advance

1. Not every mother desires the same level of interaction or participation during her child’s birth. If she has invited you to attend the birth, consider discussing her preferences for the big day so that you are prepared to address her needs and she can inform you of how you can best help her. A discussion about her wants and needs will also keep you from getting in her way or acting in ways she finds unhelpful or upsetting.

2. Inquire about the mother’s invitation list. If there will be other people present at the birth, ask the mother who she has invited so you can prepare for the environment during delivery.

If she has invited her children, ask if she would like you to be in charge of watching or caring for them during and immediately after the delivery so she does not have to worry about monitoring them.

Consider whether you should attend the birth if someone with whom you do not get along has been invited; bringing your personal drama into the birth experience may be uncomfortable for the mother and other guests.

3. Discover how she expects you to act. Some women may want your encouragement, while others may prefer that you simply stand back and remain silent. Although this is subject to change once childbirth begins, it is helpful to have an idea of what the mother anticipates your role to be ahead of time.

4. Do not assume that your family or significant other has been invited. If you are close friends or siblings with the mother, don’t assume she impliedly invited your spouse or children to attend.

If you are the woman giving birth’s partner, do not assume you can invite your parents or other guests without the mother’s permission. She may resent you if you do so during or after her birth.

Method 2 Prepare Yourself for the Delivery

Knowing what to expect during a friend’s or relative’s childbirth will allow you to be a supportive and prepared guest. Take the time before delivery to learn everything you can to make your time as a guest as pleasant as possible.

1. Consider accompanying the mother to a childbirth preparation class. If you are the mother’s partner or primary visitor, make sure you are prepared to assist her during the delivery with helpful hints, reminders, and encouragement.

A childbirth preparation class will teach you the stages of delivery, pain management options, breathing techniques, guest assistance tips, and even what to bring to the delivery.

2. Discover the biology of birth. If you have been invited to a child’s birth, it may be beneficial to learn how labour and delivery work.

Knowing the fundamentals of what the mother is going through and how labour is supposed to progress can help you calm the mother, prepare yourself for the sight of blood, and determine how long you can expect to be on your toes as a guest.

3. Make plans for what you will do during the waiting period. Labor can often begin hours before delivery; as a guest, you may want to consider strategies for keeping the mother pleasantly occupied during dilation.

Make a list of topics to discuss or safe activities to do while she waits for the delivery to begin. Talking about future vacations, going for a walk, giving her a massage, listening to music, taking a bath (you may want to pack a swimsuit), sitting on an exercise ball to relieve discomfort, watching the mother’s favourite movie on your laptop, and other low-stress activities to pass the time and calm everyone’s nerves are all suggestions.

Method 3 Be a Polite Guest During Birth

1. Whether you were invited months in advance or were welcomed into the delivery room just before the baby was born, it is important to remember that you are a guest at an intimate and often stressful life event for a loved one. Respecting the mother’s wishes and minding your manners can go a long way toward making the experience enjoyable for you, the mother, and any other guests.

2. Keep in mind that the focus is on the mother. Consider what you can do to make the mother feel more at ease or comfortable.

If you’re going to get something to eat or drink, ask if there’s anything you can bring her. Ask a nurse for extra pillows, a blanket, or other comfort items.

Avoid complaining about tiredness, soreness, boredom, or nervousness. You’re there to help and share in a wonderful experience, and complaining about your own discomfort or dissatisfaction is unlikely to improve the mother’s.

Purchase a gift ahead of time or bring flowers to the hospital to express your love and encouragement to the mother.

3. Recognize that the mother’s opinion may change. For many women, labour and delivery can be difficult and even upsetting.

If you sense the mother is becoming uncomfortable with your presence, offer to leave for a moment or give her some privacy.

If the mother asks you to leave, respect her wishes and keep in mind that she is most likely overwhelmed; it is not necessarily a reflection of your relationship with her. In some cases, she may only require a few minutes alone with her guests before allowing you to return.

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