Kids a Part of Birth?

Yesterday, I was at work (as always) and decided to ask my twitter friends a question.

Would u have your older children with you to witness the birth of their younger siblings?

I was really excited to get the replies.

Anonymous mommy said: No. I dont think there is anything wrong with it but i personally wouldnt. I am more of a private person. I am a squeemish person so while birth is a wonderful thing, its still sort of gross to me. I dont want my kids to see that. Unless they want to. I dont want to sound like i am opposed to my kids witnessing a birth.

Mama Notes replied: I wouldn’t have my kids in the room while delivering but its hard to say right now. my mind might change.

Baby Defender said: my 7 yo witnessed the whole thing and she even cut the cord 🙂 She did watch hundreds of birth videos on youtube, as I was preparing her to our homebirth. my 4 yo was sleeping but I would’ve aloud her to watch also. I say get them to watch vids first. it was priceless… She is now a great helper and thinks she is the mother lol I bet she’ll have only homebirths! 🙂

Midwifery Merc
said:
this depends on what MOM wants in the throws of labor and what the children are capable of. Good to keep options open.

I never thought of having my kids witness me giving birth until just recently. On the BOBB (Business of Being Born), the first birth has the lady birthing and her son is there with her. It looked like such a happy moment. What a way to begin bonding as a family!

What are your thoughts on it? Do you think it helps strengthen children’s views on birth and maybe prepares them for their own? Or do you think education is enough and birth is a private affair between husband and wife?

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3 Responses

  1. My thoughts are mixed. I watched my mom give birth to two of my sisters (both were home births).For the first one, I was 8 and I thought it was the coolest thing. Me and my older sister stood off to the side and we were so excited to be there. The next birth, I was 11 and I saw EVERYTHING. To be totally honest, it completely tramatized me. It looked nothing like what I expected and my eyes are still burning.I think it obviously depends on what Mom wants and then MORE importantly on your particular child. Some kids can't handle stuff like that, but if mom's okay with it and the child really wants to be a part, I'd say go for it.Anyway, I think it's something that would be totally case by case. I'd never say "yes, totally, everyone should do it" or "no, that's gross, no one should see that". Did that even make any sense? LOL

  2. We're planning on having our 3yo DS attend our birth in September if he is comfortable with it (he'll have a babysitter and will be free to come and go at will).I have no problem with kids attending siblings' births – I think it's GREAT if they want to! Birth is NOT "yucky, gross, eww, disgusting," etc. and is not something to be hidden because it's disgusting.However, a couple caveats:(1) It needs to be up to the individual child and not forced. Some younger kids might get scared, and some older kids (who have already established modesty boundaries with their parents) might not be comfortable seeing mom naked. Depends on the child.(2) They need to be prepared with birth videos and explanations. I don't think it's something to throw a kid into unprepared.Thanks for bringing it up! I might write on it soon myself.

  3. The only person I know who had an elective c-section for absolutely no reason (doctor tried to talk her OUT of the c-section), other than fear of labor, is the oldest of 8 children. Her mother had them all naturally and was a childbirth educator. Witnessing her mother's labor freaked her out and she decided that she never wants to labor. (She is in nursing school as well). Though, after hearing my VBAC story, I think she may be opening up to the idea.So I think it really depends on your child and how your labors go. I had a scheduled c-section for breech and then a hospital VBAC (baby was also breech, but had an ECV at 36 weeks). I think I'd like to have a homebirth next and I would probably have my children there, but have a plan to get them out if things got too intense for me or they got scared. We would prepare by talking about it and watching birth videos. My first labor (with my VBAC) was very calm and easy (I did Hypnobabies) so hopefully, my next one will be as well.

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