When Should I invite family and friends to come visit my newborn?
This is a question we get all the time and it is unique to the comfort level of every new parent. Often times, when someone goes into labor the first thing to happen is she thinks of who she needs to tell.
There are certainly people who need to know when labor begins. Some of these “need to know” category people would include:
→ your medical care provider
→ your birth doula
→ anyone taking care of other children or pets
→ any support people who plan on attending your birth
Sometimes there are other people who need to know when labor begins, but this seems to be a pretty comprehensive list of the NEED to know people.
Notice I said “need to know”???
Of course there is a “want to know” category as well, but these are people who do NOT need to know that you are in labor. These people are typically family members and close friends who will take all the updates they can get and jump at the chance to come see you and your new baby any hour of the day or night.
The thing to think about is how often you, your partner or your doula want to be attached to your phone updating these people.
Typically, people appreciate a predictable game plan. This means that labor makes this tricky as labor rarely plays by our rulebook. So, how do you want to manage communicating with the people who will be your baby’s first visitors?
Do you want to tell them as soon as you have the first signs of labor and let them know that you will update them when the baby is here?
Would you rather wait until you know labor is well underway and then send out one group text so that you’re not typing the same thing over and over?
How about creating a Facebook group page that you post updates to?
For those unsure of when they will want their family rushing in to meet the baby, think about setting strict expectations during pregnancy with these people. You could let them know that you are not going to be having any visitors at your chosen birth location and you will let them know when you are settled in at home and they are welcome at that point (or whenever you decide).
Then, if you determine that you would love for your favorite people to visit prior to going home, you can pleasantly surprise them with an invitation.
This way, you will not have an eager group of well intentioned family bogging down the waiting room while you are in the throws of labor and feeling any pressure from them.
But hey! If you want visitors to come to your birth location, that’s great too! Just make sure you clearly communicate any expectations you may have for them ahead of time.
If you are planning on a hospital birth in Bellingham, St. Joseph Childbirth Center only allows 5 support people per labor room. After you have given birth, the visitors are free to come and go but only during their visiting hours.
Make sure to check with your local birth location to confirm that they are able to accommodate your desires when it comes to people visiting you during labor or after you have given birth.
If you decide that your visitors need to leave either while you are in labor or after giving birth, a doula can be that person to give them the boot. Doulas are great at helping to buffer the tension in a room and support your desires in your birth.
We cover the topic of boundaries and so much more in depth in both of our birth classes in Lynden and Mount Vernon. Follow this link to sign up for one of our birth classes in Whatcom or Skagit County today! We would love to see you there!
Author, Kristina McMurtrey, is a passionate doula who aims to see families supported regardless of their unique way of navigating pregnancy, birth and parenting.
North Cascade Doulas provide care for families looking for Labor Doulas, Postpartum Doulas, Placenta Encapsulation and Childbirth Education Classes. We support all parenting philosophies and birth plans.
Our doulas have experience in a variety of areas, such as:
(natural) unmedicated birth / (surgical) cesarean birth / epidural birth / induction / planned induction / planned cesarean / VBAC / TOLAC / waterbirth / hypnobirthing / multiples / breastfeeding / bottle feeding / formula feeding / NICU / PPD / PPMD / bed rest / high risk / low risk / advanced maternal age / miscarriage / IVF / and more.
Areas we Serve:
We serve Whatcom and Skagit Counties and the neighborhoods of Alger / Anacortes / Bellingham / Big Lake / Birch Bay / Blaine / Bow / Burlington / Clear Lake / Custer / Everson / Ferndale / Glen Haven / La Conner / Laurel / Lynden / Mount Vernon / Sedro Woolley / Sudden Valley / Maple Falls / Everson / Stanwood