by Andrea Stainbrook Co-Owner of Metro Detroit Doula Services
It is amazing to witness a birth. Seeing a human enter the world is a beautiful and spiritual thing. Watching animals birth is equally awe-inspiring. How they seem to just know exactly how to move and where to go.
Miss April the Giraffe is about to give birth. She’s a Giraffe in New York anxiously awaiting her baby. For the last month she is believed to give birth any day.
And the world is watching……….And still watching.
Good news is she likely doesn’t know it.
In labor it is common for people to be so excited and supportive to their loved ones they think they will get to watch the birth. They may wait in a waiting room or hope to enter the labor room. They could be at their own home waiting on updates and continue to text or call worried.
So when you birth who do you want watching? It’s OK to do what you feel. For some the idea of lots of close loved ones near by is reassuring. For others it can create the feeling of “the watched pot never boils.”
Typically in labor a woman will experience pain or intensity. Which can be hard for others to see. The woman may be coping well but all the loved one sees is suffering and wants it to end. A laboring woman will have different levels of intensity at different points of the labor. The mood of the room will change. If the people in the room do not acknowledge that change it may become annoying or frustrating to the laboring woman. As well as anxious energy in the room can radiate to the laboring woman. Ideally the room will radiate relaxation and calm.
Some find themselves feeling bad if the baby doesn’t come fast enough because all their family is waiting. This can all lead to mind games. The mind and body are very connected.
I personally thought I was OK with the number of people who attended my first birth in the beginning. Which included some unplanned but caring loved ones. Then my labor was long. Long enough for the visitors there to dwindle down to who I originally thought would be at my birth. And then… things picked back up and baby girl arrived. I truly believe the added people watching and waiting played a role.
You need to take a look at yourself and what serves you. What will you feel if your labor is long? Are you comfortable asking people to leave? Some say birth is as intimate as the act to create the baby. Who do you want watching then?
So April, Good Luck sister! You’ll do great! I won’t be watching 😉