Some couples want their family and friends close by.
Unsplash | Alex Hockett
There are some who want to share the moment of their child’s birth with friends and family. However, others want to keep the moment private with their partner.
Who is allowed in the delivery room can depend on cultural traditions and what the couple is comfortable with.
Unsplash | Martha Dominguez de Gouveia
In some cultures, only women can attend the birth. However, in North America, it’s become common for the father to act as the primary birth coach or partner.
Many couples are also changing the traditional “newborn” visit.
Unsplash | Kelly Sikkema
While it was common for family members to meet the new baby soon after the birth in the hospital, more and more couples are deciding to hold off a few days, or even weeks, before allowing visitors.
Recently, one anonymous expecting mother wrote into Reddit asking for advice on her own mother, who was demanding time in the delivery room.
Unsplash | ?? Janko Ferlič – @specialdaddy
The mother said that she and her husband decided to take the first two weeks after the baby’s born for themselves with their newborn. Her husband had taken paternity leave and the two wanted to stay at their apartment without visitors.
However, the expecting mother’s mom was unhappy with this decision.
Unsplash | ?? Janko Ferlič – @specialdaddy
Apparently, grandma was rather angry.
“She flipped out. She said I was horrible, so selfish and entitled. I was taking away the moment she should have with HER granddaughter. She just wanted to see her be born and spend time with her and then she would leave!”
The mom also added that there was a good reason she didn’t want her mother involved.
Unsplash | Luma Pimentel
Her mother, apparently, did not agree with her plans for delivery. Although she had excellent doctors and a husband with medical experience — she still argued with her daughter on every step of her birthing plan.
The mom-to-be calmly explained why she didn’t want her there.
Unsplash | Hush Naidoo
“I explained that I did not feel comfortable with her there due to her consistently disagreeing with my doctor and my husband/my birth plan, and just wanting it to be a private moment anyway.”
Her mom even said there was a key reason she just had to be in the room during delivery.
Unsplash | Carlo Navarro
“She said she needed to be there in case of an emergency to ‘help make important medical decisions’ and it took everything for me not to laugh.”
But, unfortunately, this mama was not looking for her mom to make those decisions.
Unsplash | Marcelo Leal
“She is the last person I would want to make medical decisions and I could just see her arguing with my very capable husband and doctor. Absolutely no way in hell.”
Again, the expecting mom explained that she and her husband had made their decision.
Unsplash | Christian Bowen
“I told her that it wasn’t personal, I was not trying to hurt anyone, but we are firm with our decisions.”
In response to her daughter’s decision, the soon-to-be grandmother made a pretty rude threat to her daughter.
Unsplash | Rod Long
Her response was “if you and [husband] want to be alone, than fine, you’ll be alone! If I can’t come to the delivery than I’m not coming at all! You can’t delegate when people can come see the baby. It doesn’t work that way!”
In the end, she and her husband decided to stand by their decision.
Unsplash | Julie Johnson
“I don’t need the stress. I have had an extremely rough pregnancy and this stuff does not help at all. If all of this makes me a horrible, selfish person, [then] I guess that is exactly what I am. But I’m not budging.”
Many Reddit users commented on her post, cheering her on for standing by her guns on the issue.
Unsplash | Benji Aird
One person wrote:
“I’ve read this in other posts: “birth is not a spectator sport. It’s a major medical event that causes bodily trauma that REQUIRES recovery.”
You aren’t being selfish, you’re setting your family’s boundaries. I wish you a shiny spine, as well as an easy, uncomplicated delivery (for both of us, as I’m actually about at the same point myself!).”
Another said that her own labor and delivery was so chaotic because of her family.
Unsplash | Sharon McCutcheon
“Good for you! My delivery was an epic crapfest, to the point that my mother swooped in and took my baby from the nurse and refused to give her to me until she was good and ready. Almost 30 years later that still makes me mad.
Your medical procedure, your nuclear family, your decision. It does my heart good to see young women standing up for themselves like this!”
One commenter had a clever idea.
Unsplash | Chloe Skinner
“Another thing I wish I had done was make a long to-do list. When people wanted to come ‘help’ or visit, I wish I had had them do a chore for me. It would have taken a lot of pressure off me and actually let me heal from a long labor and subsequent c-section,” they said.
Maybe Grandma can pitch in and help after the birth?
Another user shared their similar story with their mom.
Unsplash | Dario Valenzuela
“My mom has really struggled with my boundaries and she and I are actually pretty close. Despite that, I knew I wanted to establish firm boundaries with my son especially after he was born early. It was hard for her at first but I stayed firm and she is better about it now,” they said.
At the end of the day, the labor and delivery of a child should be left up to the mother and partner to decide.
Unsplash | Picsea
If a woman decides she wants her family and friends there, it’s her choice. If she would rather the moment be private, it’s her choice.
Let’s also not forget that mom, dad, and baby need time to rest and recover after the birth.
Unsplash | Aditya Romansa
Everyone, especially the mom, will be exhausted and really not in any state to take visitors right away.
It’s time to use this as a lesson to all: listen to the mother-to-be.
Unsplash | Patricia Prudente
No matter how much you want to be there, respecting boundaries is more important than your own personal wants and needs.