Saying ‘No’ to Unwanted Birth Support People

Saying 'No' to Unwanted Birth Support People

Birthing is one of the most intimate, instinctive and personal experiences of a woman’s life.

For most people, it’s very easy to understand that a woman in labour will need and appreciate as much privacy as possible.

However sometimes, it’s those who are closest to us that are unable to respect that all important need for privacy, when we need it the most.

Family Psychologist, Daniel Chable, finds this is a common issue within families. He believes only those people who were at the conception should be at the birth, unless:

  • There are specific reasons for others to be there, like midwives, doulas etc;
  • The woman who is about to give birth makes a specific request (preferably in writing) for others to be there.

Some women couldn’t think of anything better than having their mother with them while they give birth, but that doesn’t mean that you should be made to feel guilty for not wanting family there – these are your birth wishes and not a family Christmas bash. You also have the right to change you mind at any time.

Daniel says, “The most important thing at such a time is for the pregnant woman to feel as relaxed and as comfortable as she possibly can. She should not feel obligated to have any other person, apart from the father, present at the birth. She should not be made to feel guilty if she doesn’t want anyone else there. If the people who presumably care about her, like her parents, have any sensitivity to her needs and best interests, they would respect her wishes and behave accordingly. The birth is actually nobody else’s business apart from the new mum, the dad and the baby.”

Chloe recalls her mother-in-law’s insistence on telling the family she would be there during the birth of her grandchild. “My mother-in-law drove me crazy throughout my pregnancy with this. She never once asked me if I wanted her there but told all her friends and family that she would be there. She had even been telling everyone that she was taking time off work to be at the birth.”

How Who Is At Your Birth Can Impact Your Labour – And The Outcome

It’s more than just a matter of respecting a woman’s decision to birth her baby in privacy – she may already feel apprehensive, anxious or frightened about how the birth might unfold.

This can have a negative impact, especially if she has extra stresses of people being present who she doesn’t want to be there. The birthing mother may become even more nervous, self-concious or feel the pressure of performance anxiety.

Doctor Sarah Buckley writes about the effect of adrenaline (produced as a result of anxiety) on the birthing mother. She says, “The hormones adrenaline and noradrenaline are known as the fight-or-flight hormones, or, collectively, as catecholamines (CAs). They are secreted from the adrenal gland above the kidney, in response to stresses such as fright, anxiety, hunger or cold, as well as excitement, when they activate the sympathetic nervous system for fight or flight… high CA levels inhibit oxytocin production, therefore slowing or inhibiting labour.”

So if a mother-to-be is stressed during her labour, it’s not good news for the mother or her baby. It could slow or stop her labour from progressing, which can result with interventions to speed things up. For example, a labour augmentation with synthetic oxytocin (same drug used for induction) might be ordered. Pain medication may be requested to escape the stress of the situation and to provide a feeling of control — or to escape the pain of the augmented labour.

Ultimately, where there is no progress or if the baby becomes distressed from the stronger or longer labour, a c-section may become necessary. A slow or stalled labour in a hospital can not only be uncomfortable and exhausting for the mother, but it will often result in an augmentation to hurry things up.

Just Like Sex, Giving Birth Thrives With Respect And Privacy

Some birth advocates talk about how making a baby is exactly like making love – and should be treated with the same respect and privacy.

Doctor Buckley writes, “Some writers have observed that, for a labouring woman, having a baby has a lot of parallels with making a baby: the same hormones, the same parts of the body, the same sounds and the same needs for feelings of safety and privacy. How would it be to attempt to make love in the conditions under which we expect women to give birth?”

Juliette remembers feeling horrified and vulnerable when her parents walked into the delivery suite when she was in labour.

“They got to the hospital and just decided to tell the hospital staff that they were here to see me. The staff let them into the room I was in (hooked up to the syntocinon drip, having some pretty intense contractions at the time) and they both just walked in and started talking to me. I couldn’t believe it. I felt so vulnerable, invaded and kinda betrayed. They stayed for ages and it was all I could do not to scream at them. I felt like crying. I know I was holding back (labour) because I didn’t feel that I was emotionally in a safe place where I could “let go” and just let it all happen. I was so tense. Even after they left (about an hour later) I was stewing about it for the rest of the labour. Something to focus my anger on I guess!”

Kerry’s mother also arrived uninvited into the birth suite. “Prior to giving birth to my first child, I made it very clear that I only wanted my husband there – i’m a pretty private person and only felt comfortable having him there. Although this was made clear to mother-in-law, she turned up anyway and came into the birth suite while I was in labour. I was just gob-smacked. After she left, I was in floods of tears and found the birth experience more stressful to cope with than I imagine it would have been if she had stayed away and left me and my husband to share the experience alone as planned.”

Because Kerrie’s mother had a previous history of inviting herself into the delivery suite while Kerrie’s sister was labouring, Kerrie had already thought ahead. “We decided that we wouldnt be telling anyone when we went into labour. It annoyed many people, especially parents, but the decision was ours and no-one else.”

What If My Mother / Mother-In-Law Is Angry Or Upset With Me For Saying No?

Daniel says, “Generally I believe that most mothers probably have a genuine wish to be supportive and helpful and that setting a limit can leave them feeling hurt and upset – sometimes this can be expressed by being angry with you.”

Daniel’s Tips:

#1: Let her know you can understand she might be feeling upset and hurt, however you certainly had not intended for her to feel that way. Add that you and your partner would really value her contribution to your baby’s life after the birth.

#2: You might also let her know you have really valued her contribution to your life up until now, but you and your partner are clear about your wishes with regards to whom you would both like to be present (apart from yourselves).

The technique may be described as kicking and stroking, in that you maintain your limits (kicking) but acknowledge valuable qualities (stroking).

Always Let The Hospital / Midwives Know

It’s a good idea to let the midwives know if you feel family turning up unexpectedly is going to be a problem or if you don’t want any visitors. They often deal with these situations and you can even have your partner remind them when you arrive in the delivery suite to be sure.

Create your own sign to stick on the door of your room — something simple, but to the effect of, ‘strictly no visitors please.’ This may not only fend off visitors, but remind the midwives that you don’t want any either. Include your preference for no visitors in your birth plan, but make sure the staff working on the day of your labour either read your birth plan or are aware of your request.

It’s a difficult thing to say no to those who you love. But once your gorgeous little bundle has arrived, it wont be long until it’s all forgotten. If your friend or family member is unable to move past it, remember, it’s their stuff, not yours. You’re well within your right to say no, and don’t owe anyone the right to be present at birth – because you will never forget the day you gave birth, how you felt and how it turned out.

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Kelly Winder CONTRIBUTOR

Kelly Winder is the creator of BellyBelly.com.au, a writer, doula (trained in 2005), and a mother of three awesome children. She's passionate about informing and educating fellow thinking parents and parents-to-be, especially about all the things she wishes she knew before she had her firstborn. Kelly is also passionate about travel, tea, travel, and animal rights and welfare. And travel.


52 comments

  1. I like all of this article and the advice is sound. theres just one thing that I feel needs to be adjusted.

    “She should not feel obligated to have any other person, apart from the father, present at the birth”

    this made me go “WHOA!” becasue as a doula, I have been at births where the biological father is absolutely not welcome at all and his presence would be extremely unhelpful to mom. Sometimes it can be a safety issue. Sometimes, its a cultural issue – I have had a client who was uncomfortable with her husband being present becasue it was not culturally acceptable. He was also equally uneasy with being there. also, there are families of same-sex couples where there IS no father-figure present. So there ARE situations where mom should absolutely not feel obligated to have father at the birth.

    1. Exactly my thoughts too, Kyla!
      Many women wouldn’t want him in there!! They should NO WAY be obligated to have him in! Especially if he is one violent and/or entitled nut case.
      Theses dudes will then go and rant about how looong they were waiting, how haaard they were “working” in the labor ward, and what a drama queen their wife is, how haaard it is to be a husband, blah blah & other made up BS. Really. I’m not making this up or guessing.

      I read in some comment that there is an African clan, where the woman in labor is allowed to squeeze the husband’s phallus (instead of hand) while she pushes. I don’t know how true the source is, but if this was allowed, then I’d be happy to have him there. It’s a good, natural family-planning method. Will give them some skin in the game, and make them think before raping their wife.

  2. How do you tell friends who assume they are welcomed not to come . I am scheduled for a ceserian section and my recovery is difficult and really dont want any visitors except my mom and kids other than my husband . Yet friends want to invade our time and space with the new baby .

    1. Tell them the door will not be opened to unexpected visitors. Put a sign on your door to say exactly that. And if they still knock on the door, do not answer it. If they care, they’ll call ahead to see if you’re up for visitors, or if you need them to bring anything to the house for you. Like the phone, the door is there for YOUR convenience, not theirs.

  3. There shouldn’t be any visitors while you’re in labor any ways. Unless you want them there. I would like to think that the staff would have half a mind to at least ask you before someone walks in!

  4. This is totally what’s going on in my life right now. I’m 35 weeks and my boyfriends mother is throwing a temper tantrum because I don’t want her in my delivery room. Even goes so far as to say that since she can’t be in the delivery room she’s not coming to the hospital to see the baby at all. She is mad bc I am letting my soon to be sister in law In the room and not her. But I’m extremely close to her. And my whole family lives hours and hours away. Am I being to harsh? This is her first grandchild.

    1. Here’s why you are not being too harsh. When you are in labor, you are already stressed out. My best friend ended up with an emergency C-Section because her mother-in-law wouldn’t leave the room and the stress caused her and the baby to go into distress. Her blood pressure wouldn’t go down after the baby was born, and after the hospital kicked the mother-in-law out, it immediately went down and it was smooth sailing from there.

  5. Im almost 39weeks and am thinking just me and my husband in room now. My decision changed and dont know whow to tell anyone. It changed cause my mother likes to butt in when im talking to dr ir even my husband. Also she likes to make things about her. So unfortunately i cant say no to just her but possibly all 3people i was planning to have and just keep it husband and i. I just dont know how to break the news to all. I stress ill upset them

    1. Just don’t tell the people you’re in labor. Go to the hospital do your thing and when the baby is here and you are ready for visitors call or post on social media.

  6. With my first my mother in law kept pushing past the nurses who told her she was not aloud in. My husband didn’t know what to do with her. Eventually he told her she had to get out. So when we were getting ready for our second, I told her, well ahead of time so she could process, that I felt very vulnerable and exposed in labor and because of that I would be having a super private birth. But we would call as soon as the baby was born, so everyone could celebrate with us. I had my mom with me as well, but that was between me and my family. We did not announce baby coming at all until after the birth. My second experience was amazing and full of love. not anxiety, embarrassment, and disrespect I felt with the first. I am not harboring ill feelings any more, but the second birth was wonderful in all of its crazy and private glory!

  7. Great way to handle your MIL. Your husband ought to be man enough and respectful enough to you, to do what you tell him you need. If a husband does not try to understand that his wife’s in pain and naked and does not want to be bothered with her MIL, or not let anyone see her in those delicate ways, then something is wrong with these husbands and with men and someone needs to get these husbands told!!

    People often say that when the wife is in labor, that it’s his experience too. That is so not true . That is not the husband’s experience. He will not bleed. nor poop, nor hurt and feel like his insides are about to burst open, nor will his penis be exposed while doctors and nurses stick their fingers in the area. He will not have to breastfeed while people are trying to come into his room. He will of hear his wife say that he is being dramatic. He will not have inlaws trying to get into the room to see him naked. You see, all the lies that society tells wives when they are laboring and birthing are not about compromising and having sympathy with their husband. This man made doctrine is evil and wrong.

    Well, not exactly. He is waiting for his wife to delivery their baby, but childbirth or labor are not the husbands experience. He experiencestSo h none of that.

    Now he might be worried about his wife, and anxious to see their baby, but that is all. He as a man will never. understand what his wife goes through the. He doesnot need support as some of you have the audacity to say.

  8. Just explain to her that you don’t know her in that intimate way. Tell her that you would not one into her patient room if she was naked and exposed.

  9. It’s very important that the pregnant woman’s husband or boyfriend give her respect during her labor and delivery. He is not giving birth. It is not about the baby’s daddy. Once the baby is out and a separate individual, then the dad has say so about who cones into the hospital room, but he better make sure she is not naked and breastfeeding or having her vaginal area exposed.

    Women, please do not get submission all crossed up. Women are not to submit to their husband telling them to let his parents see her naked! A woman’s Labor and Delivery, is not about the husband leading the family. Her body during childbirth is a private time fir women.

    If your man was having treatment of his penis and testicles, do you all really think that that husband would allow his wife to tell him what to do and who to allow in his room? No, he would not. Men do not let their woman tell them who to stand around in the room and look his genitals.
    Men are not as stupid as women are. We women are so gullible and are not strong enough. See men, you all cannot control everything

  10. My first was high risk so, thankfully, the hospital was super strict on who was allowed in (husband and my mom, if I wanted). My second was a home birth and once my mom and once the midwives arrived, my awesome husband locked the door! My current pregnancy will also be a home birth and the same deal, as soon as the people we’ve allowed (and midwife obviously) have arrived, the doors are being locked.

  11. My daughter had her first baby two weeks ago. She called everyone to let them know she was going to hospital. Her partners Mother and Auntie decided to drive to the Hospital from the Sunshine Coast, they went to the labour room and stayed the whole night in the room with her, so can you imagine how mortified I was when I visited her the next day, still in labour and these two women still in the labour room, this was 4pm in the afternoon, she had her partner with her the whole time, so I didn’t think it was right for me to stay, but they did stay, the only time they left to sit in the waiting room was when it was time for her to give birth. So much for respect and privacy

    1. My son imformed me a few days ago that he and his girlfriend do not want anyone at the hospital, she is scheduled for a cesarean in 2 days. I was shocked and cant even began to explain my heartache. This is his first child. She has been trying to isolate him for several months. My husband and I have been there all the way from helping them obtain their own place as they have been living with her mom whom she has never had one positive thing to say. We helped them obtain a car so they wd have no car payment so they cd afford to l8ve on own. Between his dad that lives 6 hours away, we have provided them with everything possible needed for the baby. We have been in full family support. The excuse is they want time to bond with the baby,which I dont buy into. You dont bond in hours or even a few days. I think they are being selfish and disrespectful. After the girlfriend received everything on her wish list she then has my son to make it known we are not welcome. I don’t even know who this son is. When my children were born, I couldn’t wait for family and friends to see them. Some day they may become grandparents and they won’t like the pain of being told to stay away.I dont know of any other friends or family that has taken this b9nd8ng thing to such an extreme, but according to what I have researched the last few days there are many selfish human beings that dont care how much they hirt the parents that brought them into this world. A baby is not a possession.

      1. Maybe re-read your last sentence. It’s exactly right. A baby is not a possession. Let the parents have their time. The baby will still be a baby when they emerge from the hospital and you will have your lifetime to enjoy and watch that child grow. Your son is not your possession, neither is your daughter-in-law nor grandchild(ren). My mother was a bit miffed when I said I didn’t want her present during the births of my children but she got over it, learned something and totally respects and advocates for the concept of ”my body, my birth, my baby”. Focus on the positive. They sound like they are committed to being the best parents they can be, which should make you so proud.

      2. I completely agree. Calm down. This isnt your baby. Im scheduled for a c section in january and ive already let everyone know that its juat going to be me and my husband at the hospital. If you dont like it, i dont care, ita my baby not yours.

        1. It is her body and her baby and her birth. She’s not going to keep you from meeting the baby, spending time with the baby, etc…. but labor and birth are completely up to the mama to be. She needs to feel safe and protected. For some that can mean extended family, friends, etc taking part. For others it means privacy. I’m a solo birther—I don’t even want my husband in the room. I birth at home, alone, unassisted. My husband is in the house(usually watching our other children) and I get down to the business of birthing on my own. Completely alone. It is what works for me. Try to be understanding and respectful. What you wanted or needed for your own births can vary DRASTICALLY to someone else. It doesn’t make one way right and another wrong.

      3. Wow lady, you are exactly what daughters in law fear. This baby is being carried by your son’s wife. Perhaps if he was carrying it, he would let you in the delivery room. Honestly, you sound outright crazy and narcissistic. It’s not all about you! In fact, it’s not about you at all, so give your son and his wife some respect during this very PRIVATE time.

      4. Really take a chill pill, birthing is a very private and personal thing. You don’t have a right to barge in and look at this woman naked, vulnerable, and in pain just because you gave them money. You do bond with a baby right away- if you didn’t as you claim then you wouldn’t be so upset not being there. I didn’t want anyone but my husband in the room with me and thankfully my inlaws and family didn’t act like a bunch of babies over it. Don’t ruin this birth by acting like a bull in a china shop!! There is nothing to see until the baby is born anyway. Grow up it’s not your place to be there unless asked. Besides that its not your son having the baby, you don’t have that kind of relationship with this woman. If her mom isn’t going to be there either you really have nothing to complain about.

      5. You are being selfish and disrespectful. It doesn’t matter how much you do for them or help them with things they need. You are their parent arfter all and thats what parents do. You should respect her wishes of only wanting the father of her child there. Birth is a very intimate & sacred time. That us is to be treated with utmost respect, but you sound to have non for your daughter in laws feeling. I cant believe the right some mother in laws think they have. My mother in law came to the birth of my first born unannounced, it was horrible and completely stressed out my labour.

      6. They’re the ones being being selfish and disrespectful? Just because you bought them things and supported them because it’s what YOU wanted to do at the time doesn’t earn you the right to be included or intrude on this very private moment in their lives. People who do things for others but secretly expect things in return are the worst. She’s the one that carried that baby for 9 months, not you! Give her a few dang days to be with her baby! There will be plenty of time for you to visit afterward.

      7. You are a cruel sounding woman. This young pregnant mother, needs privacy , not stress. She needs privacy and serenity as she prepares to give birth. She needs to be relaxed and calm so that she can heal.
        This is her birth, not yours, and you can’t get mad because she doesn’t want you all up in her space. Your son is not the one who is giving birth. He can’t tell her how to be a patient. He has no say in her patient status. He must respect her wishes, because if he was going through something like surgery with his penis and testicles, he wouldn’t want her dad to invade his space.
        So respect this woman’s privacy. See, she us the one who gives birth sweeetie. You need to back up and be happy for them. You are not the parent here, only the grandparent.

        1. My mother is the same way. she said said to me “i have a right to see everything that happens in that room. you have zero rights. i opted to keep you instead of having an abortion so this baby is half mine anyways.” we arent telling her baby is here until we have been home at least a week

      8. They don’t owe you any favours just because u helped them out with the car and house etc. She’s not taking ur son away from you either. She just wants her privacy and you should understand and respect that. Just because u were happy to share with your family when ur son was born doesn’t mean everyone feels the same. This is their moment, and if they want to spend the first few hours of baby coming into this world by bonding with him/her alone, then that’s exactly what they should do. U have no right to say that u don’t buy it. I think your the one who’s being selfish here and u need to call them up and say u completely understand how they feel.

      9. Wow you are a TERRIBLE person! I am a nurse in labor in delivery, and it’s selfish people like you who only care about themselves (It’s MY grandchild, that’s MY son, I bought him and her EVERYTHING, I’M hurt). Suck it up, buttercup, and understand that this is NOT ABOUT YOU. It is about the woman giving birth, ALWAYS. Wow, your selfishness is really something. And you don’t understand bonding, and neither do your friends? That’s OK, because clearly your daughter-in-law does. I’m glad she does, she is doing the right thing for her and her baby, and your son is doing the right thing for his child and his wife. YOUR SON has a new family, you are no longer his only family. His child and partner comes first before you and anyone else. Stop being selfish, and TRY to understand things from HER perspective.

      10. Donna,
        I can completely relate to where you are coming from – you have legitimate concerns that your son’s girlfriend is using birth as an excuse to exclude his parents which may be a form of manipulation and is a red flag if it is.

        As for not allowing grandparents to show up to visit during labor, it goes both ways. As a laboring mother, no, I didn’t want parents hanging out for long during labor but I did appreciate their presence and support and they had enough consideration to leave after a short visit. No, I did not want them there for witnessing the delivery.

        Did I bond less with daughter number 3 because I let my husband and mother-in-law hold her before I did? No. She and I bonded just fine. I enjoyed watching my mother-in-law’s face light up with joy when she held her for the first time. She didn’t know I hadn’t held her yet and still doesn’t know, that was 17 years ago.

        Am I hurt that my daughter is currently in labor with both families’ first grand child and she and her husband don’t want anyone there at all? Somewhat, but I understand. It’s their right, their choice, their experience, their memories, their child. This exclusion isn’t helpful in bringing together families but rather seems divisive.

        I wholeheartedly agree with you that bonding is a process and happens over time, not in moment of perfect bliss.

      11. You aren’t entitled to any experience whether you have helped them or not. You sound extremely controlling and possessive. Families need time to bond and in time they will allow you to see your grandchild when they feel ready.

      12. Wow! So you did all that with expectations? Love doesn’t have expectations. Of course labour is very private. The woman and baby’s immune system has been weakened. They probably only feel comfortable around people they generally sleep and undress with. Not your baby. Not your place to be there. A child can be brutally honest about their mother so no business of yours to comment on her relationship with her mother. Some mother-in-laws are very hurtful towards daughter-in-laws and the only reason that treatment is tolerated is because of the son. When it comes to childbirth, a woman is generally able to set some boundaries. sounds like that’s what she is doing and she is completely within her rights to do so. from where I come from, a woman always went to her parents home to give birth probably because that’s where she would feel most comfortable and a midwife delivered. I have never heard a mother-in-law being in the delivery room. maybe because the DIL and MIL relationship has mostly been negative, strained, competitive and stressful. judging by your comments, I can see why you were omitted. HER baby….not yours!

      13. My mother is acting like you and it isn’t okay. This is her birth and her child. She is the one going through it, not you. Get over it and stop being so selfish. You are out of control. I’m sure they both love you and are incredibly thankful for all the support you have given them and because of the support they won’t keep the child away from you. You will be able to be a huge part of the child’s life if you knock off your nasty, selfish, disgusting ways. This is not about you in anyway. It is all about them and her. Get a life lady and have some respect you ungrateful, disrespectful thing.

  12. I feel like you should acknowledge that sometimes the father shouldn’t be in the room either. Ultimately it is the mother alone who goes through labor and needs AND deserves to have a low stress environment. My ex husband was the biggest stressor durring my births. And due to his selfishness, I compromised with his wishes that it be just the two of us in the room and he left me *entirely* ALONE for 45 minutes of active labor. Had I had my Mom there as I wished, I would have felt safe not abandoned.

    1. I’m so sorry that you experienced that! Some women do MUCH better with their mom (or another female). Sometimes men are butts…and sometimes they simply don’t really know how to support their partner through labor and delivery. I have been very fortunate that my daughter wanted myself and my mom (3 generations of women together for the emergence of the 4th generation!) for her 3 babies. Her hubby was there too. We all knew our roles. OUR role was to care for the new momma. Hubby/daddy’s role was to care for the new baby.

  13. There’s another side to all this: Imagine being left alone after the birth? Husband goes home a few hours after the birth to take care of older children, no extended family comes to visit and see the baby while in the hospital, all in the name of respecting our privacy. It sucked! I was lonely! Happened all 4 times.

  14. Stacey,
    No matter how you look at it, a woman needs privacy during labor and delivery. So what if she is all alone for a while. The husband should not have left her so quickly anyway. People need to shut up talking about pregnant women wanting privacy. Would you all be screaming at men if they wanted privacy during their penis exam?

  15. Hi,

    I’m pregnant with my first baby and the only person I want in the delivery room is my partner.
    I also don’t want any visitors while in the hospital. I would much rather see my mother in law and the rest of his family after all this ‘hospital’ experience. How can I explain this to them. Will I upset them if I tell them my wishes?
    I really can’t handle all this excitement around pregnancy and all I really want is peace and alone time with my partner and my baby.

    Thank you.
    Mary

  16. When I was almost going to have my first child (the last month of nine) I was staying at a woman’s shelter for people specifically about to give birth. My partner at the time was looking for an apartment so that my child and I (and him) have a place to settle into. I specifically told him I don’t want to have to live in any place in the same hometown as his parents. His parents made me feel so uncomfortable about being with child. They told me they didn’t want me going to a midwife (since that’s what I wanted) and wanted me to go to a hospital instead.
    He picked a place that was in the same small hometown as his parents. It really stressed me out. I didn’t want them to know about the baby when they would come because I knew they wouldn’t respect my need for privacy since I made it clear I wanted to be alone (just me and partner). My partner accepted a phone his dad gave him because he knew we don’t have any form of transportation so I thought he was just being nice and offering us the ride with no consequences. But they came to the birthing suite anyway and asked to be let in. My partner came back to ask me (but he should have known that coming back to ask me would have just made me look like an asshole if I said no). So I felt pressured to let them come because I figured it would be okay for them to come as long as they are just thankful to see the baby. But instead they were all but grateful and complained that they were waiting so long and hadn’t had supper and so when I was being driven back home they went back to their own house first to eat dinner and tried to get me to come inside but I just wanted to get home and rest because I had just come out of labour and was tired but my partner’s mom just called me ungrateful and selfish for not coming into their house. I already have a history of suicide attempts under my belt and to this day I still don’t know how or why I am still alive. I really just wanted them to be happy to see their grandchild but instead in the end my first birthing experience was just every sort of terrible. My parents hadn’t been told at all about the baby and my partner’s parents got to know AND be there for the day the baby was delivered. My parents never knew until four days after the baby was born and the reason why was because they had always made me feel bad about anything to do with pre-marital and stuff like that (catholic background). Instead of my partner’s parents saying how thankful they were to know about and see the baby they instead just complained that they didn’t have supper that day.

  17. As a first time grandparent to be, I was recently told I would not be welcomed to my grandchild’s birth, by my daughter & her boyfriend, i.e. not at the labour (didn’t want to) but not told of when “my child” goes into labour. Advise given by BF, Midwife, Doula, Drs., Books or her own conclusions and goodness knows what other fads are out there in 2017.

    A knife going through my heart wouldn’t have hurt so much.

    This is a daughter that we have always been there for, throughout her pregnancy and every time since she was born. We used to be very close but after some soul searching I guess that was all a lie.

    Don’t know who what where or how or if there were outside influences or just her own conclusions,
    but found this analogy from her or those who advised her very selfish and short sighted.

    I’ve read everyone says, “they are your parents they will get over it”. I really don’t think so, that you ever really get over something like this. Even if fences are mended this will leave a huge emotional gap and will affect how we communicate/help them in the future, so hope you guys are there to pitch in. So stop telling young-to-be parents that their own parents don’t matter and are secondary unless they go to them in crocodile tears wanting something.

    Who do they turn to when they have their first after birth crisis, i.e. whether health or financial or any other day issues. You guys I suppose. I certainly don’t feel my opinion matters anymore so not bothering.

    You guys think you know everything but will you be at the other end of the phone when they need that emergency babysitting that grandparents are supposed to drop everything and run over, or are you going to help with their downpayment for their first house. ARE YOU WISE GUYS. OF COURSE YOU WLL NOT BE.

    Congratulations – You have ruined a possible long term grandparents and other extended families relationships and bonding that also happens with them.

    No, we cannot and will not forget, so stop talking for u, we don’t authorize you to be grandparents or extended families voices.

    My kid has girlfriends who recently gave birth without any family around and envied my kid cause she still has hers, only problem I wish now I was her friend’s mom who would have wanted me around and I would have spoilt her to death as mother’s are supposed to do (or used to do in the old fashioned days).

    This situation has caused me to reconsider my relationship with my daughter, the endless privileges she has had without limitations and see her in a true light, as being self centred, selfish, self-serving and no compassion.

    Come on guys, we’ve all given birth without excluding our love ones and extended family. They were helpful in providing meals, cleaning and emotional support (not paid help for a couple of days, but for years to come).

    You want to take over the mother’s role in my daughter’s upcoming giving birth to my first grandchild. You want to create nuclear families. She’s all yours. Yes, I know I am being selfish also ( but last time I looked I have my own rights too) AND ITS ABOUT FREAKING TIME AND TIME TO THINK ABOUT ME AND THE REST OF MY EXISTING FAMILY. How will this affect seeing my innocent grandchild, well one thing for sure is, we won’t be blackmailed.

    1. I find the name ‘Producer’ to be more than a little ironic, as it seems to me you would like to do nothing more but serve as the producer in your daughter’s birth experience.

      You are not your daughter and your daughter is not you. You have many toxic and narcissistic red flags flying through your entire post. Perhaps this is the reason your daughter would like her privacy.

      A mother’s job is not to become entangled and enmeshed in the sole role of being a Mom, being a mother is not your identity it is a PART of it. Do yourself a favor and do something for yourself and be your own person.

      This self-serving attitude you have, and your platitudes about fads of 2017 make you sound like an unbelievably over-baring, disrespectful, miserly old coot. Keep it up & I guarantee you that you’re going to block yourself out of not only your daughter’s life but your future grandchild(ren) as well.

    2. I’m pretty sure that she just wanted privacy with her partner because having a baby is very intimate. Would you like your own mother to be standing by your bedside while you are doggy-style with your own partner? I doubt that. Sex and giving birth are both intimate things because of the region of the body it pertains to. A woman is a lot less willing to show her genitals than a man, no doubt. You see it everywhere on the internet. Check out chat roulette if you don’t believe me. Even based on your comments toward your own daughter, you don’t sound understanding at all. In fact you haven’t even said in your post why you weren’t allowed to be there. She might have been too embarrassed to have anyone there other than her partner who has seen every nook and cranny of her body. Judging by the comments you are making, you sound like a complete narcissist and you’d be proving me right to even try to argue this point. Your daughter owes you NOTHING because she didn’t choose to be born. She in fact had no say in whether she is born or spoiled by you for that matter. I wouldn’t be surprised if she doesn’t contact you again after what you have treated her like. I know it is hurtful to not be talked to by your own child but don’t make the mistake of feeling she owes you anything because she honestly owes you nothing. Parent/child relationships are supposed to be a parent always giving to their child-food,water,clothing,shelter. Then when the child grows up that doesn’t stop. You still support them emotionally even when they are old enough to feed themselves and clothe and house themselves. You have such a twisted way of seeing your daughter. Like she is more property than a human being. Of course you’d spoil another child who would do your every last whim. You don’t unconditionally love your daughter and that’s a shame. I dare you to try to rebuttal this. I’m sure a lot of people will agree that you aren’t being fair to your daughter. It may be a whole variety of reasons why she only wants her partner there but you are just choosing to take it personally. Calm down and listen to your daughter for Christ sake. I’d love to know the actual reason of why no one is allowed there.

    3. Thank you so much for writing. We are experiencing the same thing. We don’t want to be in the labor room or even at the hospital waiting but we would just like to know (at the very least) when our daughter is in a hospital. We can patiently wait for her husband to call us when they are ready to inform us of the birth. We understand the need for privacy and the intimacy of the experience for the couple. At the same time, we wish our daughter could understand how much it means to her parents to be able to share ever so slightly in this wonderous moment. When I had her, I knew how much It meant for my parents to come to the hospital (when we were ready) to see me and their new grandchild. I had the birth I wanted and then afterwards shared it with my family. Yes, we can see the baby at home, but those moments in the hospital (assuming everyone is healthy etc.) cannot be recaptured. For me, being able to share in some aspect of the experience helps me to feel an even closer connection as a mother and grandmother: as a family. Of course we will be happy and love our grandchild but feel a loss at being informed that we play no part, however small, with our daughter or grandchild as he enters the world.

  18. Can anyone explain to me if I have the right to feel upset or not… when I was pregnant a number of years ago apart from my partner I allowed my sister and my niece to witness my birth…I felt totally comfortable having them there, my niece who was in her 20’s and never had a baby at the time said she witnessed the most amazing miracle of her life and so thankful to be there.
    Now many years later my niece is having her own child her 2nd one and has invited her 2 sis In laws including her partner and mother to witness her birth…. she says that my birth changed her life and wants her sister in laws to experience this joy aswell..: Now my problem is I feel very excluded and left out… I gave her this memorable moment in her life to witness mine but she doesn’t feel the need to return the favour? I really had no intention at all being at her birth and wasn’t worried in the slightest but when she announced to the family she requested her 2 sis in laws to attend I felt terribly hurt that I wasn’t even an option to ask. I don’t want to put any stress on the situation and make her feel bad for not asking me as I feel it’s already a crowd…. but would anyone else feel a little hurt and offended or am I just being overly sensitive? Giving birth yourself and watching another’s are two very different experiences in my books?

  19. My son and daughter-in-law have informed us they do not want anyone to visit them and see the new baby for a month. They will let us know when it’s alright to come to visit. They live 6 hours from us. Our son, our child, has been ourblifes focus since he took his first breath. We have planned and looked forward to being there when he graduated high school, completed his college, married, and his first child. We don’t want to be in the birthing room, but we do want to be in the hospital waiting room and our son bring out and show his father, his new son. Why can’t we be in the hospital for t minutes to see our 1st grandchild and take pictures with him if everything is. oK with the new baby?

    1. This is a very different situation. A whole month? That seems a little excessive to me. Maybe sit down and have a heart to heart with them to try to better understand where they’re coming from. Right now I’m really struggling with everyone wanting to be IN the birthing room with me and making me feel guilty like I’m picking favorites because I want just my mother and husband in there. My friends are being the absolute worst! I’m lucky to be so loved but I wish they wouldn’t make this about them for once. It’s going to be my battle to fight but regardless, once this baby is out safe and sound I will welcome all the love and help and visitors I can get! Good luck and try not to take it personally. Communication is best. Family is everything.

  20. This message is to,all grandparents who act ugly during the time their daughter or daughter in law is in labor:
    Dont be worried more about your son bringing the couple’s baby to your husband . This is a time to exalt men. This is not about the baby’s dad or your husband, the grandpa. Pregnancy and childbirth is about the pregnant woman. For once, we have a non man controlled activity. It is about the pregnant woman and her struggle to bring het baby safely, into the world. No other person will labor …only the pregnant woman. Understand that. The labor and birth are not even about the baby’s dad. He is there for support. He us never naked, in pain, stretching, uncomfortable, being scolded, poked, prodded, angry, and exahausted. The baby’s dad takes a back seat during this time. She leads her body. He doesn’t. She calls the shots, until she delivers.

    If we are honest, the baby’s dad is not even needed for her labor or the childbirth. The pregnant wife may want him there, but he must leave the decisions about pain relief and visitors, to her!! It’s never his cal!! He can not invite grandma and grandpa, unless he removes his underwear and exposes his genitals to her parents and everyone else. This is just common sense.
    The baby’s father is insignificant during labor and birth. Grandmas and grandpas are not necessary at all and they certainly cannot disrespect her privacy. . Especially the grandpa, because he’s male. . Grandma, as a woman, ought to know bettter. It’s up to adult women to, tell their husbands when another woman is naked, that it is inappropriate for him to be there. Men relatives should never be in the young woman’s room. Men ought to know better

    1. Very true, Bera! I remember some big figure politician or preacher… or both, don’t remember) proudly saying that he (a stranger male) was in the labor room witnessing both his Daughters-in-law give birth. I was totally AGHAST when I read it. (and he went on to pontificate about the sanctity and miracle of life, etc). What sort of pervert must he be? He must have been raised 5 decades back – with that upbringing, he must shrink back from viewing any naked woman. But this perv not only pushes himself to see his DILs naked, but also brags about it. Yikes!

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