Natural Birth

Who gets to see baby?

My hubby and I are planning a homebirth with our midwife and Doula. This is our first pregnancy, and I'm just wondering when you plan on people coming to see the baby, what their relation is with you, and how you plan to have it arranged (everyone together, one on one, etc).

I really want some time to bond with our baby, just the three of us and love the private intimacy of having our birth in the solitude of our home. I'm also unsure how I feel about anyone handling our newborn, but don't want to offend anyone. Hubby would like to have all the family and some friends come over right away, or the day after to see the baby.  What are your plans?

BabyFetus Ticker

Re: Who gets to see baby?

  • This is my first and I have no clue how I'll feel, so I'm totally playing it by ear. We may just take a couple of days to tell anyone it happened.  We're not close with our coworkers so no problems there and it's not unusual for us to just fall off the face of the earth for a few days, so no one would even notice. If it wasn't for his sisters, I'd go ahead and tell everyone because I don't know of anyone that would just swing by. My family is on the other side of the country and won't show up for at least a few days as they wouldn't want to have anyone if it was them.  For some reason though, his family all of a sudden wants to be there for the delivery.  They are only an hour away and have visited us a grand total of once in the six years we've been here.  All of a sudden they want to be all up between my legs to see the baby.  Ummm, no.  I'm not a side show.

    DH is completely just deferring to me on this one since I'm the one giving birth.  Plus he isn't that fond of his family either.


  • I always have a large group present at the birth.  My mom, MIL, sisters, SIL, and friend.  Once the baby is born I head back to my bedroom for some privacy with my MWs and husband.  After they check me out and I deliver the placenta, I nurse for the first time and DH and I get some alone time with the baby.  Then the MWs come back and get me into the shower.  After I am all cleaned up everyone usually comes back to meet the baby and watch the fun stuff - weighing and measuring the baby.  Our dads usually come up at this point.  Once the moms have fed me they usually leave and DH and I are alone for the night.

    The next day we get a steady flow of visitors here and there, but I enjoy it because they bring us food (that's the best) and help to entertain our other children (who are craving some extra attention).

    It's all in what you are comfortable with.  People can come and visit without holding your baby.  

    I, personally, enjoy the company after the baby is born.  DH and I have plenty time alone with our newborns in the evenings.  We enjoy that our loved ones are so excited about this new addition to the family that they want to meet him or her right away.  And I'm not really worried about germs and my newborn.  I make everyone wash their hands before they hold my babies and that's it.  It brings me a lot of joy to see my babies being held by their grandmas and grandpas and aunts and uncles for the very first time.

    ETA - I think a lot of this depends on what time of day you deliver and how long the labor was.  You're not going to get people knocking down your door if you deliver at 2 am.  And if you've had a rough delivery, people are going to understand if you don't want visitors for a while.

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  • I would play it by ear because you don't know how you will feel physically or emotionally.With DS we din't have anyone there til the next day and will do that this time around too. Also we didn't have anyone come by for a few days after we got home.

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  • I didn't want anyone at the birth except DH but we called my parents and ILs as soon as she was born and they both came over a few hours later. We were excited to show her off and had no qualms about them holding her.

    As for friends and other family members, they trickled in over the next two to three weeks. For a while it seemed like a constant stream of visitors. I could have done without it, but it comes with the territory of having a baby. And we let everyone hold her.
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  • We are having our first baby at a birthing center and get to come home the same day so we have a similar struggle. What we have talked about is not having anyone come (our family is on the other side of the country) until at least 1 week after the baby comes. This will hopefully give the 3 of us some bonding/alone time before being bombarded with people. It's also hard to plan because due dates can be off by 2 weeks in either direction....what I'm thinking is that we're due Jan 3 so no one can come stay until at least the 22nd just in case we're late.  When the family does come DH's parents are coming first (probably for a week) so they can be here while he's still home from work, then my mom, then my dad (they are divorced). Hopefully with a few days break inbetween each guest. We'll see how it works out :-)
  • My husband, mother, and sister were all present at my home birth including the midwives. My MIL was too excited to wait to see her and she ended up coming about 2 days after I gave birth, but only stayed enough to bring us dinner, hold the baby for 5 minutes, and then leave. Other than that, mostly everyone waited a couple weeks. 

    Mommy to Emery Vera 5.20.12  Blog
  • imageStarbuck128:

    The ILs on the other hand took forever to come over. They woke me and DS up about 10 minutes after we fell asleep. Remember, we had been awake for over 48 hours and laboring for over 80 hours! We were both so tired, we couldn't think. We just did whatever we were told, so we didn't tell them to leave. They stayed for over an hour, made me get my stitched together, bleeding body out of bed to visit with them, destroyed our kitchen making dinner, and MIL actually asked me to get up and come out to the kitchen to help cook. It was way, way too much for me to handle mentally and physically. My stitches tore out. Yay!

    If you feel like your friends or family won't respect your wishes, don't invite them over! It's your time, not their's. It's okay to be selfish.

    Indifferent  Why the heck did your DH not say something to your mother?!!! His wife just gave birth. What made her think you were going to help cook dinner? WTH?

  • You probably won't be able to keep people away..... I think it's really important to have the first hour or two to yourself (and this is easier if your baby is born in the evening or middle of the night, or on a weeknight) but close family and friends are likely going to want to come right away.  I would welcome them, but only for short visits, and feel free to take the baby into a bedroom so that you're not trying to learn how to BF in front of onlookers.  Most people will get the hint and leave.  If they don't, they are dense, and this is one of the few times where it is competely appropriate to tell them that you've appreciated the visit but that you're ready to rest now and would like them to come back later.

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  • I don't really care when people come to see the baby, I think I'm going to want to show him off :-) As long as they leave when I'm tired.
    BabyName Ticker
  • That is what I liked about homebirth too, no one coming to see us at the hospital and usurping MY bonding time with MY baby.  I've been called selfish before, but I seriously don't care.  I carried the baby for 9 months, I gave birth, I get to decide who sees MY baby and when.  With my first, my parents and MIL were there immediately after and took over everything.  My (wicked abusive) mother took him 2 hours and wouldn't let me hold him (dh had fallen asleep after the all night labor and early morning delivery, MIL had gone home, my father had gone to jury duty, and the nurses didn't come to check on me for a while).  I cried the whole time.  It sucked, and I swore I'd never make that mistake again.  After we finally got settled in recovery, we had family in and out all freaking day, and it drove me crazy because it seemed like I spent very little time holding MY baby.  Then for the first few days after we got home, it was like a parade of other neighbors and family, and again, so much time with other people holding MY baby.  I'm "mean" now, and I won't invite anyone over (though it's easier since we don't speak to my family anymore, and dh's family is 2 states away).  They can see the baby when we show up at church or something.  Though I really love dh's friend's family, so we might invite them over.  But that's it.

    Bottom line, it's YOUR baby, YOUR hormones, YOUR experience.  Invite who you want, when you want, and don't feel pressured to do anything beyond that.  Keep talking (gently) with your dh and explain to him how important the bonding time is for you and the baby.

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