Older Siblings at Births

Erin - posted on 02/27/2010 ( 101 moms have responded )

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Who here would be comfortable letting an older child be present for the birth of a younger one?
If so, how old do you think is appropriate and what are the benefits?
If not, why not? Do you think it would traumatise a child to see labour and birth? Would you feel embarrassed or uncomfortable with your child seeing you at your most vulnerable? Would it distract you?
Or is it an unbelievable opportunity for family bonding?

This whole concept intrigues me. I was watching some home birth videos on YouTube and many had older siblings present. Some were just toddlers so probably had little idea what was going on. But another had a 9 year old get into the birthing pool to catch the baby. I'm curious where others stand on this issue.

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Sheryl-ann - posted on 03/01/2010

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Absolutley if they can handle it which is the responcibility of the parents who prepare them. it also depends on the situation whether the sibling is step or lives with u, ect.

i am due in ten days and from day one we have been preparing my 8 yr old step daughter to be in the labor and delivery room because i feel it is a family event a natural event not a medical procedure. i also planned to have a water birth at a birthing center which accomidates a natural birth with family very different then a hospital so my 17 month old daughter was going to be in and out of the room to. however i have a designated person that is in charge of my 8 yr old in the L&D room so she doesnt bother me or my husband while i am in labor. i also have family member to take care of her if she wants to go out in the waiting room or if i send her out there. we have already explained that i may want her to leave the room or she ma want to leave. now we are having a hospital birth so my younger daughter wont be in the room b/c there is a limit.

you just have to be honest and upfront with the child u plan on having attend the birth from the start. she has been to every appointment, ultrasound, NST, ect. nows all my medical information has attended birthing classes watched multiple videos read books for her age and looked at medical books seeing different labors, ect. of course u must be prepared for the questions ur kids might bring up which vary with age. at her age sex and how babys r made came up and we honestly answered her it isnt a taaboo subject if you make it that then they will to. when she hears the word sex now she doesnt laugh or say anything she knows that it is between a husband and wife. she also meet with the doula who made her her own folder and answered her questions ect. just remember that this is a commitment u have to make from the strat and takes alot of work its not just throw them in unprepaired and make sure to prepair them for any situation that may arise

Monica - posted on 03/01/2010

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when i had my son both my daughter's (ages 7 and 4 at the time) were int the room during the birth...they were very happy to be there to welcome their baby brother. i think it was important to add them and make them feel as comfortable as possible with the new addition. it wasn't as shocking to them and i think it helped with the sibling jealousy. they were in no way traumatized. i think the experience was positive and brought a closeness to our family. my oldest thought it was cool and to this day she wants to be a doctor.

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I had a large labour and birth support group, consisting of my boyfriend, my mother, my boyfriends mother, my boyfriends sister and her 8 year old son (our nephew) as well as my midwife and her colleague (another midwife). It really didn't bother me having him there and he was so cool, calm and collected the whole time. My birth didn't exactly go smoothly, I was pushing for almost two hours after being fully dilated and then I lost almost a litre of blood in a postpartum haemorrhage, but my baby was fine throughout it all as was I, so there was no stressful or panicked environment, just the sense of a natural occurring life experience. The same 8 year old was also present just two months earlier for his Grandfathers death in the intensive care unit, so he had two amazing exposures to life and death events in the one year. As long as the child is calm and comfortable to be there then I don't see the problem, it is also important to have someone present to keep an eye out for them so that if they have questions or are getting tired or upset they can be helped out appropriately. Birth and death are natural events even though they are sometimes noisy, messy or complicated. Of course, I believe that a lot of this depends on the particular child, how well adjusted they are, how well they cope with the unknown, how well they react to stress or noise etc etc.

Charlie - posted on 03/03/2010

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How do you know they dont want to be there Lyssie ?? do you know all the children who have witnessed it ?



I know as a child i favoured medical journals over golden books and when my dad went into surgery i requested to watch in the room as a 10 year old and i was allowed , i found it fascinating , i am sure if i was offered to watch my sister as a 10 year old ( i was only four at her birth ) i would have in a heart beat .



I think its a decision to be based on the willingness , maturity and understanding of each individual child and parent having said that i know a few dads who think its wrong to force them to watch a baby being born some dads find it horriffic and some find it to be a spiritual experiance , once again each to their own .

Jacqueline - posted on 03/01/2010

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I think that it all matters on how you view child birth. After reading the posts, I noticed a number of mothers saying it's gross and that they wouldn't want anyone but who has to be there to see them. This is sad to me, since childbirth is in fact beautiful. Yes it's messy and painful and stressful and can go wrong...but it's natural and beautiful at the same time. I think that it definitely depends on what the child can handle. If they are really empathetic, than chances are they aren't going to handle seeing you in pain. My 5 year old girl is like that and I don't think would be able to handle it...yet. But my 8 year old son and 2 year old daughter have been amazed with pregnancy and talking about birth, and they have even watched a few births online ( nothing from the 'business end' lol). I think they would enjoy the experience. For girls it definitely shows them the reality of child birth, and that it isn't pretty and fast like in the movies, and for boys, I think it's something they can benefit from witnessing. One day those boys may be having kids of their own...and think of how much help they can be to their partner when they aren't freaking out not knowing what's going on, or how to help. Hundreds of years ago it was common place to have the whole family there and be involved(and I get that it was a different time medically), but people are still reproducing...so I doubt it's truly traumatized any of them! lol I do think that all kids should have the option to leave if it does become overwhelming for them though, there is nothing worse than someone freaking out while you're delivering....adult or child! :)

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Jessica - posted on 03/20/2010

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If it goes the way that my son's birth did then no I wouldn't. I went crazy, swearing and screaming and I don't think that would be a positive thing for my son to see. There were also complications and the crash team were called in and it frightened the crap out of my mom and best friend so imagine what that would do to a small child! In fact, thinking about it, there are too many complications that could arise so no I wouldn't.

Teresa - posted on 03/20/2010

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When I was pregnant with my now 6 yo son, I had my 2 daughters, ages 8 and 10 in the labor room with me. I gave them the choice to be present or not. They even went to a sibling class a month before I gave birth, asked questions and toured the L&D part of the hospital where I was to give birth. When it came time for me to give birth, it was very painful and long (about 10-11 hours). My older daughter was a champ, but my younger one couldn't stand to see me in so much pain. You have to consider age and "maturity" to possibly handle the labor and birthing process. If it's decided that they would be in the room when you give birth, sign them up for a sibling class prior to your due date. Also it would help to have another adult or two there to help out with your children, someone your child/children are close to. My grandmother was there and she helped out with the younger one. I must add that my older daughter got to cut her baby brother's umbilical cord!!!! That was the highlight of her day, besides seeing her brother being born.

Tah - posted on 03/17/2010

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nope....not the time for peek a boo for me...it amazing and nature and all that jazz but the hubby is good enough for me..not 32 people kis included....not for me..but to each its own...

Shelley - posted on 03/17/2010

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i don't like the idea of there for the actual birth in the room but a friend of mine had her 8 and 6 year old cut the umbilical cord after a home birth i think that this was a nice thing to do

Mary - posted on 03/17/2010

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I think there are a lot of factors that influence whether or not a child should be present for a siblings birth, as well as whether or not it will be a positive experience in their life. the biggest of these being, of course, how the parents both prepare the child for it, and how they handle that child during the birth. Another factor is how the mother handles labor as well...if you are a screaming, howling, moaning kind of person, you probably are going to scare the crap out of your kid, no matter how much preparation they have.

I've seen it go both ways...it can be a beautiful family bonding experience, but I've also seen 8 and 10 year sisters sobbing uncotrollably, and obviously in terror that "Mommy is dying". The parents thought they had prepared them, but these girls were still traumatized, and the father ended up missing the delivery itself because they refused to be in the room.

I do think it's better, and less intimidating, in a home or birth center setting. Like it or not, hospitals are not necessarily kid-friendly places, and can be scary to alot of children. I do know that the majority of nurses and doctors do not feel it is appropriate, and will not necessarily be helpful or supportive of a sibling's presence for the birth. I do think it is a MUST that you have a person other than your partner designated to be a caregiver of any siblings, who can take them away if they do become frightened...they should NEVER be pressured to stay if they say they don't want to. (I've seen that happen as well).

As for me personally...nope, not in a million years. I think that there are some moments in a couple's relationship that are meant to be jsut between them, and the birth of a child is one of them. When my daughter was born, it was such a special, magical moment of bonding between, my husband, myself, and her...and I would want any future siblings to have those precious first moments with Mommy and Daddy to themselves as well. Molly had that...as well as a lot of time to be our only. A brother and sister deserves at least those first few moments of life to have Mommy and Daddy's undivided attention and affection. We'll have the rest of our lives together to be a family, and for them to bond as siblings.

Carla - posted on 03/15/2010

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My daughter was 9 when my son was born. The hospital had a sibling class that she attended. The class explained everything that was happening with the pregnancy and birth in kid friendly terms. They showed the sibblings how to wrap a baby and help care for the baby. My daughter was in the room when my son was born. I felt like it was a very good experience. She never once felt left out or forgotten. I would highly recomend it to any mom.

Jan - posted on 03/07/2010

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My oldest son is now 33 years old, and when he was 5...he was in on the home birth of his sister...and when he was 8, he was in on the home birth of his brother and so was his 3 year 3 year old sister. They came in just as the baby was coming out, not for the whole pain of it...it was a family bonding time. It is a natural, educating experience. If you ask them now...they were not negatively affected by it, but they are so close as siblings and I think this had a lot to do with it. I now have twin 8 year old boys...but I needed a hospital cesarean birth for the twins, so they did not attend.

Betty - posted on 03/06/2010

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this has really had to make me think, i have a 5 year old girl and am expecting my second. i never even thought of having her there till now. i think it would be ok but the child has got to be ready for all that...as alot of ppl have said there yellin n screamin at partners, family and friends so the child needs to know this is the only time ever anyone can act like this. i think the 9 months of being pregnant ud have to spend alot of time explaining things to the older child. i think it would be the best bonding experience ever if the childs ready. my daughter gets up ever morning and kisses my belly she loves this child so much already. i think another way to make the bonding experience is to let the child cut the cord...that way if ur not comfortable with them beein there for the birth...there only outside n r there within seconds of the baby bein born. we dont have alot of family round to look after our older one while we go give birth to the new one so i was just gonna ask a neighbour to watch over her, but now i guess i got alot of thinkin n talkin to do...great question :)

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Well I have 4 kids 3 are mine and 1 step and with all 3 they were at different hospitals and during each tour the staff would touch on this subjuect and the age limit was different but none were under 10 and at one hospital one nurse stated that alot of staff thought it was a bad idea that kids were there for the birth. She said there are alots of reasons. But mom in pain can scare alot of kids and if something goes wrong a kid there can get in the way. So she said in her opion its best they wait out in the waiting room. And with our babies they did and thank god they did. with our last 2 they ended up being preemies and the very last one was c-section and was 3lbs 10 oz and in the nicu for awhile so like the nurse said its best to wait out with the rest of the family and its more exciting that way for them and they dont have to grow up so fast either. let them be kids while they can.

Jess - posted on 03/03/2010

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I think it depends on the age of the child and what kind labour and births you have. Me personally, I had a terrible labour and birth, my mother and my partner were both crying because I was screaming in agony and their wasn't anything they could do to help. So no I wouldn't want my daughter seeing that. But, if I had had a good labour and therefore expected another good one, and my daughter (or son if I had one) was old enough to understand what was going on and wanted to be there, than absolutly I would welcome them into the delivery suit and let them be as help as much as they wanted, or even just sit in the corner and watch ! I would however first lay down a few conditions, like they can leave at anytime they want. If things start going badly that someone takes them out of the room, and gently explains what is happpening. Just a few things to protect them and let them make their own choices.

Lyssie - posted on 03/03/2010

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I think it's awful when parents have their other children in the room for childbirth. They don't need OR want to see that, and it's just the parents putting them through that traumatic experience because they think it'll be a "bonding" moment. Not everything in life has to be a bonding moment. I don't want my little boy watching us when we make him a sibling, and I certainly don't want him watching when that sibling comes into the world.

Katrina - posted on 03/03/2010

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i know i already commented but i just have more to share. my oldest daughter was with me every step of the way from when i found out i was pregnant to the ultrasounds. being that she was only 2 we hadnt planned on her being in the room for the birth. the farther we got in the pregnancy our support system changed, alot of things changed. for instince i was put on moderate bed rest about 5 weeks before i gave birth due to history of early labor. this happening made our decisson that much easier. my oldest was in tune with the baby before i was. she would tell me it would be ok just before i had a contraction. every time i went to the hospital before we had the baby she would get excited in the car and upset when i went in alone. looking back it was the right decission for our family. my oldest has always been right by my side to help with the youngest. maybe i am lucky to have such a loving and curious little girl. if we have another child i would like to have my girls involved with the birth.

Anna - posted on 03/02/2010

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I'd say most mothers would know their own child well enough to make a good decision about whether it would be good for them or not. I have a friend who's father made him watch as a 9 year old and he was terrified, hiding under a table. Other kids seem to be fine with it. It probably depends on how you go about preparing them for it. I would consider having my toddler there for my next homebirth but I would have a backup option for if he was upset by it.

Sandy - posted on 03/02/2010

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I would not be comfortable having a child in the room. I believe that our children have enough to deal with and adjust to without adding the concept of birth to the mixture. What happens if things dont go well, will it traumatize that child? Sometimes I feel that we are too open with our lives now a days, some things should remain private.

Krista - posted on 03/02/2010

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Personally, I wouldn't want my kids in the room, but that's just because I'm a rather private person, and also can't imagine why they'd want to see that. If they said they wanted to be in the room, I suppose I would let them, but I'd prepare them for it, and let them know that anytime they wanted to leave, that they were free to and that nobody would mind. I'd also try to have the kids up near my head, instead of down at the business end.

Sarah - posted on 03/02/2010

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I haven't read all the posts but here's my personal view.
I wouldn't want one of my kids at the birth.
Mainly because both my births haven't been the type that would be good to witness!!


If other people want to have their kids there, that's their call and i would never question their decision. I wouldn't do it though. :)

Amie - posted on 03/02/2010

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.I think it is child abuse to let your child watch that.A child does n ot need to see you screming and in pain and not understand why.I think it is way too tramatic for a yound child.There brains are growing and taking everything in do you really want them reamimbering that.I want my children to reamber good happy things not tramtic thing.Let Children be children and I think letting them be in the room is making them be adults.

I think you'll find of all the women who had their children there, intended or not, explained it fully to their child(ren) so they knew what was going on and why. It's not traumatic for them if explained properly. It's our job to teach our children, if you just shove them into an experience without the proper tools then of course they'll be traumatized. Mine wasn't and I doubt any of the other children of the mom's on this thread were traumatized either.

Amie - posted on 03/02/2010

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Our children need to see us as a strong woman that they look up to. If they see us in this weak and vulnerable state, it could make them afraid that we are not as strong as they need us to be. It can also frighten them about reproduction and childbirth, and also make them afraid of, or resentful of, their new sibling. Also, for older children, it is simply not appropriate for them to see their mother in this state of undress and, lets say "candid" attitude, as we surely will be verbal about the whole situation.


So because a child see's a parent endure pain like child birth it means they think we're not as strong as we should be? What about the time they were horsing around with my husband and nutted him so bad he had to go to the hospital? They still view him as a big strong man, our oldest still views me as a strong dependable woman. She also now knows what women are capable of.
I wasn't one to be loud though either during labor and delivery. If I was losing my shit maybe she'd have a different view. She was 4 when she was there old enough to be explained what was going on and that I was ok. It's just how babies come into this world. She holds no ill will towards any of her siblings. We're not walking around naked in our house all the time but our kids know what a naked person looks like. They also know now what all our parts are really for. They're more in awe with it all than anything. Explaining it properly to your child (whether you plan on them being there or not) is key in helping them understand it all.

Jenny - posted on 03/02/2010

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I think no child should be in there.Mabey a teenager mabey them seeing you in so much pain may stop them from wanting a child and having sex.I think it is child abuse to let your child watch that.A child does n ot need to see you screming and in pain and not understand why.I think it is way too tramatic for a yound child.There brains are growing and taking everything in do you really want them reamimbering that.I want my children to reamber good happy things not tramtic thing.Let Children be children and I think letting them be in the room is making them be adults.

Dupe - posted on 03/01/2010

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Is not a good idea for siblings to be there at the time of child birth. thats all i can say.

Melanie - posted on 03/01/2010

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At a NORMAL TYPICAL HOMEBIRTH like the one I had with my son 15 months ago, I would have considered it if my child was older. (My kids were 4 years, 1 month (boy) and 21 months (girl).

I think it all depends! My friend's baby was actually at that birth--she was not quite 14 months old. Obviously not old enough to recall it or really have too much of an opinion. BUT--HER mom was there to take care of her. (My friend photographed my birth.)
MY daughter, just 9 months older was NOT there--I think the part that would have been traumatic for her is not having her own mommy and daddy available to tend to her. I don't think she would have understood. Also, having her cry for me would have been distracting and upsetting to me, which is not something any woman needs in labor.

I say *home* just because the child is in a familiar environment and has all their favorite things to keep them occupied, when we are talking about little ones.

As far as being in the room for a birth, I would think it all depends so much on the personality of the child, their interest, and how they handle seeing blood, reality, all of it., much more than their chronological age. And they are going to see YOU in pain, which might affect them very differently than say, seeing an animal give birth in real life, a birth video, or another person give birth in real life. I think if you are going to do it, you need to absolutely have a back-up plan for the child(ren) in case they change their mind at the last minute.
(AND in the event that something is not going according to plan of course)

I think though if you prepare them for it and discuss it with them, and we are talking about a normal, natural birth and THEY want it, you in the end know your child best and know what is right.

Mathilda - posted on 03/01/2010

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I can speak from experience - I was 9yrs when my mom had my sister and I was there for everything, labor, birth, and afterbirth. I didn't have any pre-education on what was going to happen and I think if I did have the pre-education I would have been scared or nervous.

I had a front row seat to it all. It hasn't had any negative effects,(I don't remember evrything) it also allowed me to see where babies really do come from ha ha No one could tell me otherwise after that :) I didn't ask any questions it just felt like a natural part of life like it was as it was supposed to be.

I can say that I got to experience what my mom couldn't (she was so tired she slept through most of the birth) Seeing the head the birth and seeing her getting cleaned ect.

As an adult it brings tears because I got to be there I got to be a part of my sisters first moments and my mothers most strengthening/vulnerable moments. My sister and I were VERY close being there I think made a difference. I wasn't able to be there for my other two siblings (they were born premature) and I don't feel nearly as close to them as my oldest sister.

Seeing this with my mom allowed me to be strong for my own birth. If possible I would like my son to be able to experience this as well.

If I could go back I would do it again, I would be there all over again.

Erin - posted on 03/01/2010

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Ok just wanted to clarify because I have received several PMs regarding this thread - this is purely hypothetical. Thank you all for your advice and best wishes via PM but I'm actually not having another baby and posted this topic purely for debate :)

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Nope! Definately never having another baby and even if it was an oooops pregnancy, I still would not want my son there to witness the birth.

Kayla - posted on 03/01/2010

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We tried having my 3 1/2 year old daughter in the room with us but she was not behaving very well (running around the room and not listening) so my husband took her to his mother's so he could concentrate on me instead of her. I was very upset that she couldn't be there, but was glad he was able to focus everything on me. She came back after her brother was born.

Katrina - posted on 03/01/2010

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my daughter was in the room for the birth of her sister. between the staff and my fiance she had limited view of things. however she was very excited to be apart of the whole thing. when her sister arrived she even told the doctor "Thats my baby", when shown the new addition. if i had to do it again, i would in a heart beat. my daughters relationship is very close at such a young age. my daughter was only 2 when i had her sister.

Shirley - posted on 03/01/2010

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I hadn't really planned on having my older girls present for the birth of my youngest daughter. The hospital said they could be there if they wanted to. They attended "big sister" classes. They were with me when I went to the hospital and I told them they could decide what they wanted to do. My oldest daughter was 11 at the time. She decided to stay during the whole process. My middle daughter was 9 at the time, and she decided to go with my friend and not be there during the whole process (she stayed for a good amount of time, but wasn't there for the actual birth). I respected each one's decision, and I think that both decided what was best for them. Each one had a good experience, either way. My oldest daughter wasn't traumatized by the experience. She had the opportunity to go out of the room at any time. She went out when she wanted to, especially when I was in a lot of pain. Both to this day talk about their experiences in a positive way.

Wendy-Lynn - posted on 03/01/2010

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I not sure if having a older sibling on the room is a good thing. When I had my som, my step son and his mom seemed upset as I did not want him there -- he was eight at the time, I was very nervous being it was my first child. It was a good thing that he was not present, as I had complications and ended
up having a c- sec after 47 hours labour -- I feel that of he was there it would have been more stess on me and my husband plus I was only allowed two people in the room and really wanted my husband and mother. When I have my next child I will nor
be having either my son or step son there (though I will most def be having another c sec) Maybe of I had a better delivery I would feel different on having older sibilings in the room -- I can see the benefit to this and feel that it is up to the expecting mother and how
she feels.

Bridget - posted on 03/01/2010

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I have just had a baby and my 14 year old was there for the birth. She also came to anti natal classes as well. This was a fantastic bonding opportunity for all. She said she learnt so much about child birth that she didn't know and made her realise that having a baby is so much more harder than she first thought. OOH and the pain... she told me afterwards that she now realises it hurts much more than she could ever imagine.

Janice - posted on 03/01/2010

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I have 7 kids and my 3 oldest kids have come in for the birth of my younger ones. My son aged 16 was taking photos and I said to him that he could stand behind me and he said he was fine where he was. I have a great photo of my son with his head coming out. They said that it was the most wonderful experience they have had. At least they know what is involved and will hopefully decide to wait to have kids.

Amanda - posted on 03/01/2010

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I have also been curious about this. I have been debuting have my son present when his new sibling is born. I do know I want him to stay above my waist & i'd like for him 2 cut the cord. I think it would be a wonderful bonding experience but i think that the parents need to talk to the older sibling a little about what to expect.

Susan - posted on 03/01/2010

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For me, giving birth was an intimate, personal process for my husband and me. I think it was important for us to go through both births together, focused on each other, without distractions from other family members. We hadn't been married all that long, and I know it strengthened our relationship. I also didn't have to worry about modesty. I think it's similar (although certainly not equivalent) to having sex. It's personal, private, and special. Kids will always bond with their sibling, the way sibs of c-section & adopted babes bond. Same with grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins. A couple only gives birth a limited number of times, and focusing on each other (and the process) is a positive thing, whether at home, hospital or birthing center.

Nicci - posted on 03/01/2010

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my two older children recently were at the birth of my step son Kane my Daughter then 7yr's had wanted to be there all the way along and as we were walking out the door master 6 decided he want ed to come also. the birth time at hospital was less than 3hr's so this was a great time for us all to be together, they lefdt with dad soon after but feel closer to kane for having been there.

having an extra adult there as there support personis good so if they want to leave they can.

Jody - posted on 03/01/2010

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My 6 year old daughter was at the birth of my son. We discussed for a long time whether or not we wanted her in the room. My husband was pretty against it. He thought it would scare her. I had her watch some Baby Story episodes and see what she thought. In the end she decided she didn't want to be there. But Gramma, who is perpetually late was not there on time to get her out of the room when it was time to push. It ended up being the best day of my life!! My daughter started crying when she saw my son and the nurses let her put his first diaper on him. I would say that it completely depends on your child. You know your child and what your child is capable of handling. Talk to the older sibling about it. I am so happy my day turned out the way it did!!

Karla - posted on 03/01/2010

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My son is 9 years old and attended the birth of our son at the end of December. I educated him ahead of time and had him watch some films with me so he would be aware of what would be going on with me through the labor process. He was a wonderful help and a huge comfort to me throughout labor and delivery. It made him feel like a big part of the birth of his brother and created an instant bond with his new infant brother. I wouldn't change a thing!! Of course it's every families decision and maybe not all 9 year olds are mature enough to attend a live birth but for our family it wouldn't have worked any other way! Childbirth is a completely natural process and I believe that children should be encourage to know more about it, not be afraid of it as if it were something bad!

Lisa - posted on 03/01/2010

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I think it depends on the child my daughter was 12yrs old when my other daughter was born and she was in the room to see the birth,I don't think she liked the experience because 3 years later when I gave birth to my son and she was now 15 yrs old she didn't want to be a part of it.I thought it would be good for her and left the choice up to her.She is now almost 19 and is not any closer to her sister or brother.So I think it depends on the child,I would leave it up to them if they feel comfortable with the idea and I think age plays a part in it to.Good Luck!!!

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I think it all depends on the circumstances and the age/maturity of the older sibling. I have 2 daughters and at this point and time I would not allow them in the room because I think it would be far to dramatic. I would be happy to have them there up to when they start preparing me for birth and they can certainly come in as soon as the dr is done delivery everything, but that is a side of me that I don't want them to see right now, however there is a very real chance that when they are teenagers, I get remarried and have another child and at that point, since they will already understand and know where babies come from -- if they wanted to be a part of the delivery process and they were mature enough to handle it -- I would love for them to be there as it is a magical experience as well as teaching opportunity about abstinence :)

Leslie - posted on 03/01/2010

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I think it is a bad idea for several reasons. Our children need to see us as a strong woman that they look up to. If they see us in this weak and vulnerable state, it could make them afraid that we are not as strong as they need us to be. It can also frighten them about reproduction and childbirth, and also make them afraid of, or resentful of, their new sibling. Also, for older children, it is simply not appropriate for them to see their mother in this state of undress and, lets say "candid" attitude, as we surely will be verbal about the whole situation. Family bonding can be done in a more appropriate atmosphere, after mom and baby are clean and rested.

Debbie - posted on 03/01/2010

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I'm having my baby in Oct and my other child is only 5 so I'm not letting him see that. It would be ok if they wer alot older and they understood all that and wanted to be ther.

Lindsey - posted on 03/01/2010

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I think it depends on their age and maturity. They need to be able to understand that the pain their mother is in is okay and normal. They also should want to be their and/or have the option to leave. These little boys on Baby Story looked terrified watching their mother give birth. I had a C-Section with my youngest( he's 2 months old), but if I didn't I would have chose for my 6 and 5 year old daughters not to be there. I think it would have upset then to see me in so much pain, even if they understood why.

Sharon - posted on 03/01/2010

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I think its a nice idea, but for me i don`t think it would be good for the sibling to see its mom in so much pain, and then except this little baby that caused it!!!! My eldest is 7years old and if i cut myself she gets upset! She was there the next day and i met her at the door, to make her feel i was still there for her to, she loved the idea of being the big sister. But as for being with me i don`t think it would have worked, i get pretty zoned out and wouldn`t have handled her MANY questions!!!

Terri - posted on 03/01/2010

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when I had my fourth child my kids where there when I started going into labour but when I left for the hospital they stayed at home. They were getting up set because they saw me in pain and they couldn't fully understand why. I think that if your kids are okay with it and it doesn't stress them out then it would be a great experience for you all god luck

Sharon - posted on 03/01/2010

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i had an unplanned home birth, so my then 18month old son had no choice but 2 be there, funny little man thought mummy was playing with all her funny noises so he joined in....oooh, aahhh, aaarrgghhh..LOL. he got a bit upset at the end tho when my "noises" got a bit more serious, but was most impressed with his sister. Would i do it again? NO

Johanna - posted on 03/01/2010

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I have a daughter and a son, both to young to for this scenario. But in my opinion, it may not be so bad for a teenager to go through this experience. They would have a better understanding of what's going on and why it's happening. Even though a child may appear ok, or to just be going with the flow. I think that it raises to many questions in their little minds.

Gloria - posted on 03/01/2010

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I have three step children whom I spent two years raising as my own before I gave birth to my first daughter. Two of my step children are girls who were 3 and 15 at the time. They were both present.... front and center when I was actually giving birth. It was only because the dr had given me pitocin a good three times and she came so fast they didnt have time to remove them. Surprisingly, it was a good experience for both. The oldest had already seen the younger two be born. She felt included in their births and became a big part of their upbringing, and she is very close with all of them. The youngest of the two is now nine. She had absolutely no questions about where babies come from after witnessing this event. If any thing she knew how painful it was for me and she now knows having sex will get you pregnant and then you give birth. All in all I personally think its a good idea to let older siblings witness the miracle of a new addition. It makes them feel included in the whole proccess and eliminates the whole jealosy thing. And I even feel like it allows them to have a stronger bond with the baby for them to be able to say, "I watched you come into this world". Not to mention, it eliminates a lot of questions.

Aishling - posted on 03/01/2010

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Sorry but no way, this is my third baby and my 4 year old daughter is extremely inquisitive at the moment, i will of course invite her to feel baby moving in my tummy , but to be part of the birth!!, i find that extremely uncomfortable, also very unfair to a sibling to watch their mother in pain and vulnerable when our job is to always be the parent in control!! also to watch a parent in distress is very frightening to a child

Tracey - posted on 03/01/2010

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I personally didnt want my daughter who had just turn 4 years old in the hospital room when I was giving birth cause she doesnt need to see me in pain and I know if she was in the room I would be more worried about her than trying to give birth to my son.

Jaye came up the next morning and saw her baby brother and they have a very strong bond between them two and I think its up to your own choice.

Coral - posted on 03/01/2010

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When my son was 16 I found out I was pregant with our 2nd child after 16 years of trying going through IVF but I fell naturally. Our son came with us to the ultra sounds I asked him if he would like to be there when he's brother or sister would be born. But he replied with I don't wont to see you in pain mum.So with left it at that which was probably a good thing as I was in extreme pain as I suffer with cronic back pain and they had enduce me as well so the pain is like 3 times the normal. So our son finally got he's little brother that he always wanted who was born on New years eve in he's words sweeeeeeet.

Jennifer - posted on 03/01/2010

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I had my 7 year old son in the room when I delivered my daughter and he even cut the cord. It was a great experience for him. There was so much excitement in the room he still thinks that babies come out of tummies but it is a memory he will never forget.

Ingrid - posted on 03/01/2010

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My 15yr old daughter was present at my 7.5mth olds birth i wasnt to sure if i wanted her there or not but she was determined to be there and im pleased she was.

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