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The Kids Are Alright

Anne Margolis, CNM discusses various scenarios and childbirth stories from clients in her 20 years of practice where older children have been present... and also not. You will laugh and learn along the tale of these insightful stores. Should My Other Children Be Present At My Birth? Subscribe to Ask the Midwife Newsletter:

When you gave birth to your first, there was no one else to worry about – just you and your baby. Well…now, wait a minute. You probably worried about your partner, too. And if you have a cat or a dog or a ferret or other such companion, you likely made sure that they, too, would be looked after while you were in the throes of labor.

So yes, actually, you made sure you had what you needed and that everybody else had what they needed (because a hangry partner is no good to anyone). But all of that was a piece of cake compared to the plans you have to make when you have other kids on this side of your belly.

Should your children witness the birth of the newest family member? Should they not be present?  For some, this is a no-brainer. For others, the answer isn’t quite so clear (see below for some great resources).

There are no absolutes when it comes to making this decision, except for one: you’ll need to secure the services of a “DCP (Designated Child Person)” who can help you change gears if necessary.

Allow me to explain:

Scenario 1 – You want them there. A DCP (you know, a trusted relative, friend or caregiver) can help the kids exit stage left if you do a 180 and need them out of the room. Why might that happen? Quick refresher, everyone – how you feel in labor can change super quickly from one moment to the next. You can’t possibly know   what you’ll need when. On the one hand, it might do you a world of good to see those angelic faces when you are between contractions. But you also might be anxious about how your kids are processing everything. Or they may become fearful or disruptive or needy. Knowing someone is there to lead them out if necessary will help you to feel safe and secure, because they will be those things, too.

Scenario 2 – You don’t want them there. The process begins and your kids aren’t with you. Suddenly, you decide that you can’t possibly do this without them! Well, your DCP will be just a text away, able to bring your kids to your side faster than you can say “Oh, Honey, that’s just a little amniotic fluid”

No matter how you envision all of this going, secure your DCP coverage now. When you know your kids will be cared for, you will feel more relaxed. And that will serve you and your upcoming labor wildly well.

When you are busy birthing, someone you are comfortable with needs to take care of the other little ones.

When you are busy birthing, someone you are comfortable with needs to take care of the other little ones.



Sibling Preparation and Children's Books

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