How do you politely kick an unsupportive family member out of the room? — The Bump
Natural Birth

How do you politely kick an unsupportive family member out of the room?

Ever since I announced I was going to go natural, I've recieved a lot of crap. Everytime I talk to my grandma, she tells me "I'm going to bring a piece of rubber for you to bite down on". I'm sorry, but that's not my idea of "support". I've tried to explain the benefits of going natural, but she is still very unsupportive. She was gassed for her delivery, even though they no longer use that as a method of pain relief during labor... It's still "the best way to deliver". My mother, her mom, and sister are all very supportive of my decision, but my father and his mom are driving me crazy. I've told my dad that he will be kicked out of the room if he is not 100% supportive of me while I'm in labor, but I can't seem to find the words to get my point across to my grandma. My mom has mentioned to me before that she was a nightmare for her delivery (my mom had an epidural), so to be honest I really don't want her in there at all for this. I can't have just my mom's side of the family with me though (and I REALLY want my other grandma in there with me), so I am going to give them all a shot at it. I just need some ideas on how to mention to them that they will be asked to leave if they even think of mentioning "pain meds" or a "mop stick". (Sorry this is so sloppy, I'm bumping on my phone.)

Re: How do you politely kick an unsupportive family member out of the room?

  • why are they in the room in the first place? 

    sorry but it sounds like you're inviting disaster and stress.  you can have whoever you want and exclude whoever you want.  birth day does not = "equality/fairness to the family day."

  • image meghan_marie:
    I can't have just my mom's side of the family with me though...

    Yes you can. Period. I've always believed that attending someone's birth is an honor and that you need to be invited. If your Gma's not being supportive now, I wouldn't even give her a chance to not be supportive at the birth. Maybe you could say "If you're not excited about me doing this without drugs, then would you rather just wait in the waiting room?" That way you're making it her decision. Either get on board with it now, or don't plan on being there.

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  • image ErinMSB:

    image meghan_marie:
    I can't have just my mom's side of the family with me though...

    Yes you can. Period. I've always believed that attending someone's birth is an honor and that you need to be invited. If your Gma's not being supportive now, I wouldn't even give her a chance to not be supportive at the birth. Maybe you could say "If you're not excited about me doing this without drugs, then would you rather just wait in the waiting room?" That way you're making it her decision. Either get on board with it now, or don't plan on being there.

    Good idea!

    And to the PP, you're right. I was telling my mom tonight that I really wasn't too thrilled about her being there. She. Drives. Me. Crazy. My dad made a comment shortly after about how stupid I was for going natural. I told him that he can either support my decision or he will be asked to leave the room. His response, "call me into the room when you're crowning". Fair enough. Lol!! Hopefully she will elect to do the same.

  • image *speedracer*:

    why are they in the room in the first place? 

    sorry but it sounds like you're inviting disaster and stress.  you can have whoever you want and exclude whoever you want.  birth day does not = "equality/fairness to the family day."

    THIS!  Several of my family members lived near DH and I when DD was born.   My mom expected to be invited to the delivery, but I made clear pretty early on that I didn't really want her there.  She is totally supportive of natural and homebirth, but I just didn't think I would want anyone there during labor.  I was right about the actual labor part.  But my mom and sisters ended up showing up right when I was pushing anyway (I had a long labor and they were worried b/c DH wasn't answering the phone when they called).  And it turned out that I was actually really happy to see them at that point.  It gave me a bit of a boost that helped me push DD out.  And now I'm really glad my mom saw the birth of her granddaughter.

    This is all to say that you may not be able to predict who you are going to want to see when you are in labor.  I do understand your desire not to hurt feelings.  If you are having a hospital birth, you could tell people they can hang out in the waiting room, and if you want to see them, you'll let them know via DH or a nurse or whoever.  

    But like pps said, the bottom line is that you are not required to let anyone in.  Your birth.

  • Wow, I've never really heard of a family that assumes they'll all be in the birthing room for the whole thing. I'd say start a new tradition and cherry pick the people that will actually help you and be supportive. Keep it minimal. This isn't the coliseum, for pete's sake! Then then rest can come in afterwards. You'll probably be glad for the privacy.
  • Seriously just tell them that since they are not being supportive of your birth choice, and that you are going to require positive supportive people to do this, that they are no longer welcome in the birth room.  Stand firm.  They shouldn't have expected to be there anyway.  Honestly, they are going to see you in pain.  They care about you so they will start with the "why don't you jsut get an epidural" line.  If going natural is really important to you, then you need to set yourself up for success!  Good luck!
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  • I agree with the posters who said it's your decision and you should not feel obligated to be fair and equal.  I'm having my mom and my aunt as our 2 extra people and even then, we've already discussed that if I need a break from having too many people involved, they'll step out for awhile. 

     The 3 people max is true for my hospital but you don't even have to come up with a line. You can tell the nurses that you are stressed and they'll force everyone out of the room.

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  • You should totally read about the "Sphincter Law" in Ina May's Guide to Childbirth.  After reading about this, I decided that I did not want ANYONE in the room other than my husband, doula and midwife.  I am not going to have my labor prolonged because other people are there.  

    My mother is VERY supportive of natural childbirth and had all four of us naturally; however, I think that I'll feel pressure to "perform perfectly" with her, so I'm not going to have her in the room.  She's not very happy about that, but I have to do what I know is right for me to feel completely relaxed, vulnerable, and able to get this baby safely into the world!  

  • well, first of all i think it's ridiculous to have that many people in your room, especially if you are planning on going natural - there is no way i'd want people staring at me moaning, sweating, and in pain for hours, and i would not be able to relax. but, to each their own.

    if you are in the hospital and want people to leave, you have DH or nurses tell them to leave. you will not be in the mood to be polite or explain anything to them. with DS1, no one was in the room but DH and my doula (and hospital staff), and i still had to have the nurses keep family out of the room right after DS was born until i wanted company.

  • It was this very reason that my husband was the only one I saw until after the baby was born. (other than the nurses an midwifes)

    I love my family, but they would have totally stressed me out during a time when relaxing is so important.  

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  • I'm always trying to be polite and thinking of other people, but I fully believe a woman in labor has the ULTIMATE say in who's in her room during delivery.  And I can't imagine anyone arguing with you about it.  You have to be comfortable and relaxed - this plan does NOT sound relaxing.

    Plus if you let her in the door to begin with I think you're going to end up frustrated and throwing her out in a not-so-polite way later on.  You're really saving hurt feelings if you can tell her "Only a few people will be present for the birth.  Someone will come and get you as soon as the baby's here."  

  • image d.squaredII:

    You should totally read about the "Sphincter Law" in Ina May's Guide to Childbirth.  

    I can't agree enough. If you really want to have your best chance at a natural birth, there shouldn't be anyone in that room with you that doesn't completely support your wishes, whether it is family, staff, docs, whoever. Would you be comfortable having sex or taking a dump in front of each and every member of your family? Because those are the same conditions that are most conducive to pushing out a baby. I see no reason why it would be a hardship for most of them to hang out in the waiting room until baby is out if they don't respect your decisions about your body bringing your child into this world.     

  • Eeek- no! With that kind of attitude, no way would they be in the room. Don't even feel bad about it. Your birth, your choice.
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  • One more point that nobody has brought up: don't tell people when you go into labor!  My crazy mother thought that she was going to be present for the birth of #1 even though she was a 3 HOUR PLANE ride away.  Um, no.  Now my parents live five houses down from us.  They will be called to let them know that they have a new granddaughter.  I do NOT need my mother around for birth.  NOT GOING TO HAPPEN!
  • 1) Your labour = your say

    2) You don't have to be "fair" to all family members on this occasion. This event is not about what they want, it is about you bringing another life in the world and doing all you can to make that as stress free as possible for yourself and for your baby to optimise both of yours health.

    3) Having people who are stressing you out int he delivery room could well stall your labour making a natural birth more challenging.

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  • These are all excellent points!! And no, I couldn't have sex in front any of these people... Doctor included! Haha. Looks like she'll get a call afterwards. Come to think of it, I'd prefer a little time alone with my baby without the whole world passing her from one person to the next. These are moments I'll never get back... Yeah, I'm selfish. I'll admit it. :)
  • shakesshakes
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    Our midwife informed us that she has NO problems "removing" people from the room if there's even a second of being unsupportive attitude floating around. Even DH...she said he would get once chance to go get a coffee and come back and behave and if he continued to be a jerk he'd be out all together!

    Let me clarify there is NO chance of DH acting like this she was merely stating a fact in general!

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  • image *speedracer*:

    why are they in the room in the first place? 

    sorry but it sounds like you're inviting disaster and stress.  you can have whoever you want and exclude whoever you want.  birth day does not = "equality/fairness to the family day."

     This. For my 1st I had my sister, Mom, and Aunt in the room and it was a zoo. My 2nd I just had my DH and it was so much calmer. My 3rd I had him and a doula and by my 4th I didn't even notice anyone there so I had him, my sister, a student midwife, a nursing student, and my midwife. I could have had an army for the 4th birth and wouldn't have noticed, I was too focused on my body.

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  • Ditto PP--don't invite them to begin with. It's not a show, and they don't deserve a "shot". Only the people who are truly supportive and there to assist are invited.

    Is there a limit? Or will your ob or midwife set one per your direction? A lot of places only allow 2 people, anyways, and if it's what your doctor knows you want, I'm sure they'll help you enforce that.

    ETA--especially when going natural it's so important to surround yourself with supportive people and tune the crap out.  I get you're trying to be polite to both sides of the family, but it is what it is.

  • MSC03MSC03
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    "If you're not 100% on board with how I want to do this, you're not to be there. I'll be happy to have my DH grab you from the waiting room."
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