Wednesday, March 16, 2011


When I am teaching a session on Labor and Delivery or Baby Basics I always talk about negotiations. It bears repeating. Let everyone who may think they have any stake or right in decision- making and/or participation be aware of your preferences long before the event!! There is no reason for "major meltdowns" at the time of your precious and unique experience. In fact, there should never be a time in your new family's life when anyone has the right to offer aggravation or unsolicited advice to you. This is your baby, your family and these are your decisions to make for yourselves and your child, right or wrong.

There is the well-meaning mother or mother-in-law, whom you love and expect to be a great help cooking, cleaning, errand- running and dog- walking insisting that she must be in the room when you are pushing and delivering because she did not have the opportunity to see her own deliveries. She is never going to stop loving you and walking your dog ( I hope ). Placating her is not the answer if you feel guilty; who wants to hurt and potentially alienate ( even for a short time ) their mother?

It is better to diplomatically suggest that you really don't mean harm, but it is just that you two have a certain notion of how you can control at least some of the experience by making this a very private and intimate affair. No intention to hurt or alienate, in fact, you both will need all of your family more than ever. Support is vital when you bring home your first baby.

So, negotiate and inform your loved ones way before it's time. Spare their feelings and your frustrations and anxieties. If all else fails, blame the doctor or the hospital or your childbirth educator. It works every time. No one fights those authority figures. They just get mad at them!!