What do you think about children in the labor and delivery room?

Rebekah - posted on 01/24/2009 ( 11 moms have responded )

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Did any of you allow your older children into the labor and delivery room? Do you think it scars them for life? Would you do it again? What age is appropriate? Is there an appropriate age? I've seen several episodes of the baby story recently that had young children (like 2-4 year olds) watching their younger siblings being born. What do you think about that?

I'm expecting my 2nd in May and will have a 27 month old. What should I do with him? Leave him home, have him wait in the waiting room, or should I let him watch (considering my L&D is uneventful and during the day)?

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Alisha - posted on 01/26/2009

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my youngest daughter, Dakoda, is now 2 months and i have a 4 and a half year old daughter, Caitlyn. I couldnt imagine having Caitlyn around while in full labour or with delivery. I would have been more focused on how she was reacting to everything than focusing on what i was going through. I also dont think any child could handle seeing their mum in pain like that. I think its best just talking to the child explaining everything that will be happening while your at the hospital (without scareing them hopefully). I kept telling Caitlyn that she would be the first to come to hospital to meet her new sister, and i stuck with it. I wouldnt let anyone come in until she had been. While pregnant i would often be watching A baby story. She would always ask what i was watching, i would tell her i was watching a show about babies being born. At first she always wanted to watch too, at first i thought it was not a good idea and sent her off to play. But after a while i thought it might give her a better idea of what was going to happen. The first time she watched it she asked a few questions and i answered honestly. But to et back to the point, i dont think young children would be able to handle the experience

Courtney - posted on 01/27/2009

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I have a 2 1/2 year old son and an 11 month old daughter.  I wish my son had been at the birth of his sister.  First of all, can you remember anything when you were that young?  I sure can't, so I'm sure it won't "scar him for life".  I think if they are older, you should let them decide, but at that young they don't know anyway.  I wouldn't let him be right by the doctor, but what would it hurt for him to be in the room to meet his new brother or sister.  Good luck!!

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Suzanne - posted on 07/25/2013

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I don't think 2 years old need be in labor room with mom dad . It is bad something go wrong and how would you explan it to him or her .

Deonne - posted on 01/27/2009

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i think that its slightly wrong, even if your child was to say "oh i'll be fine, i really want to be there to see it"   they will see you in pain and not understand, they will want to  help, when they can't.



Mummy and daddy are the big brave strong people, if they see their strong mum going through something like that it will change their view of their mum. Older children who understand that their mum and dad do and can suffer from pain may understand, but little ones definately not.



 



It is easier to answer questions once the baby is there, not just after you giving birth and in a bit of a mess.

Diana - posted on 01/25/2009

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I dont think young children should be in the room, delivery is a beautiful thing but for children it could be very scary and not to mention they really dont understand their own "parts" yet why confuse them??

Stacie - posted on 01/24/2009

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my 11 yr old wanted to be in the delivery rom wen i had my son i said no because i dont think its something kids should see her and my son stay in the delivery room until my waters broke then went to the waiting room it is a speical thing between man and wife

Hanna - posted on 01/24/2009

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one more thing, i may be old-fashioned or from a different culture & not as holistic/open-minded, but to me, child birth is just as intimate of an experience as child conception -- something for you and your husband to share. i would imagine, most people whom you seen on baby story didn't want their kids present during the act of conception, so i'm wondering why would they be there during child birth...

Hanna - posted on 01/24/2009

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personally, i am a strong believer that child-birth is a personal & intimate thing between you and your husband, so anyone else really shouldn't be there (unless it's your mom or sister who can actually assist you during labor). as far as children, well yeah, they're part of your family, but do they really need to see you in child birth? do you need to potentially put them in a stressful situation so that they can meet their sibling 1 hour earlier? what if the labor doesn't go as planned and you will need to be induced or even go through an emergency C, who will keep an eye on the child then? also, i would imagine you would want your husband to be there for you and help you through labor, rather than having to tend to & entertain your oldest, he has enough responsibility as is, i doubt he needs any additional ones. after all, you will need to keep this child entertained for at least 4-8 hours, they're going to be hungry, thirsty, needing a bathroom, bored, they definitely won't want to sit in the room for all that time.

get your parents or a friend to babysit while you're in the hospital. tell them you will call them as soon as the baby is born and probably a few times before then or alternatively have them come in and wait in the waiting room when u're close to delivery so that they can meet their baby sister/brother right afterwards. i think it would be a more wise solution from both moral & practical stand-point. congratulations & good luck to you!

Michele - posted on 01/24/2009

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my son was 28 months old when m,y daughter was born, he freaked out to even see me in the hospital with an iv in. I wouldnt suggest letting them watch at that young. They are too little to fully understand what is going on and it could really scare them.

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I think it really depends on your child.  Is your child likely to be calm?  If you want your child there I would have someone him in.  A 27 month child is not going to be able to stay focused and will want to wander and play.  You don't want a fussy child to take care of during painful contractions.  I have no problem with a child seeing labor.  It's completely natural, but at a little over 2 I just don't think the attention span is there.  If you can have him in the waiting room with lots of toys when it looks like things are really moving along it would probably work out.  I can see having your child there right away so your whole family can bond in the very first moments.

Jacqueline - posted on 01/24/2009

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I think if they are older, like closer to 10 and they WANT to be there after you've explained what will happen then they can make that decision. Younger kids I wouldn't do that with. They don't understand what's happening and why you're in pain plus you're not going to be wanting to deal with a kid while in labor! It's up to you and I know lots of people let there kids experience that but to me it's just not something for younger kids to witness.

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