There are many important decisions to make when you’re getting ready to have a baby, and one of the most important is who to have in the delivery room with you.
Delivering a baby is a magical experience, but it can also be stressful. Once labor begins, you are unlikely to want to make more decisions than absolutely necessary, so it’s important to have a plan for who you want to be with you when the big day comes.
Delivering During COVID-19
One of your primary concerns may be the ever-changing rules and guidelines hospitals have around their COVID-19 safety policies and procedures. Rest assured that most hospitals allow a designated birth partner, at a minimum, to be present with you. Many are also allowing a doula or midwife to be present from labor to discharge as well, if the mother requests it.
However, COVID-19 has affected how hospitals manage their maternity wards, waiting rooms, and delivery rooms, and anyone with you in the delivery room will likely have to pass a screening for COVID-19 risk factors before they are allowed to be in the room with you.
Hospital policies vary widely, however, so it’s important to have your hospital’s policy – both now and closer to your due date – to stay current and make plans accordingly. Click here to read more about St. Joseph Hospital response to COVID-19.
How Many Can Be in the Delivery Room with Me?
The first decision to make is about who you want to be there. You may be experiencing pressure from family members or friends to be there with you, but the most important thing is that you are comfortable with whomever is present.
Bear in mind that beyond yourself the delivery room will have doctors and nurses present. This creates limited space for other individuals to be present during the birth.
It’s also important to note that you don’t need to have anyone beyond your designated birth partner there at all. For other people who want to be involved, you can provide them with tasks that would be helpful, so they feel helpful but don’t intrude upon your space.
Who Should Be With Me When I Deliver?
Your partner, parents, siblings, best friends, children, a doula, or even Aunt Suzy may all be eyeing those coveted spots in the delivery room, but inviting everyone can get a bit overwhelming and unpredictable. All of the focus should be on you and your child, which is why hospitals recommend choosing only a select few who can calmly support the mother through her delivery.
The people chosen to be in the delivery room need to possess some key qualities:
- They need to support you in whatever delivery option you have selected with zero judgment.
- They need to be tireless cheerleaders who will hold your hand when you need it, provide endless encouragement, and be able to distract you when you have to wait.
- They need the mental and physical ability to be present for you throughout your entire delivery, which could take some time. This includes being able to be in a medical setting (and around blood) without needing comfort or assistance of their own.
Create a Delivery Team
After you have identified your parameters, you can create a delivery team. Keep in mind that you can have a rotating team. Say you have five people you want present during labor, but only three are allowed in the room, you can rotate them so that everyone gets a chance to be with you at some point.
Once you have chosen your team, inform all of those interested who will and will not be allowed in the room. Doing so kindly in advance will prevent unwanted stress on your special day. Be sure to communicate with the hospital staff who is on your list, and they will be happy to help you run interference on those looking to get in without permission.
Remember, this is your day, and your needs are the most important.
Ask for Help After the Delivery
If there are loved ones who really want to be involved but can’t be present at the birth or in the hospital (due to COVID-19 or your own wishes), think about ways they can help you get settled when you bring your new bundle of joy home!
Ask people to freeze meals for you and have them ready in your freezer, make last-minute preparations at home if you haven’t had time to get to everything, and/or get help with a ‘call chain’ to inform people about your happy news! Your hands will be full with your new infant, so getting help beyond the delivery process can go a long way towards adjusting to your growing family.
We are Here to Help
We believe strongly in providing quality women’s health care before, during, and after your pregnancy and delivery. Our practice is composed of board-certified obstetricians & gynecologists who are up to date on the latest research, procedures and technology. We are always here to help with any questions or concerns you may have.
Are you looking for an OB/Gyn you can trust? Do you live in the Tucson area? Book an appointment today!