A new baby brings such joy, not only to her parents, but also to a gathering of grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, siblings, neighbors, friends… the list goes on and on. And truly, as new parents, you’ll learn to rely on the support they’ll provide over your child’s life.
Is there ever a time you won’t need that support?
Yes. In labor.**
We recommend that the only people present during your labor and baby’s birth are you, your partner, and people with a necessary role (i.e., your midwife, OB, doula, nurse). Add to that list, if you want, only from people with whom you feel completely safe, relaxed and trusting.
Who is in the birth room can affect your labor.
Hormones are secreted from the adrenal gland in response to stresses like anxiety, fright and excitement. High levels of these hormones (called catecholamines) inhibit oxytocin production, the key chemical necessary in birth, reduced pain and faster labor.
Your body will work best when you feel respected and relaxed. As doulas, our goal is to help you achieve both. Be sure to discuss who will be at your baby’s birth with your partner and doula. We’re happy to offer advice and recommendations on how to set expectations – and boundaries, if necessary – with your friends and family… and give tips on how to best use them… AFTER the baby is born.
** Disclaimer: if your extended famiy is a source of calm, quiet, non-judgemental support, then by all means, have them at your birth! It is YOUR baby’s birth. You get to decide who is there. Or not there. But just because Uncle Ted and Aunt Linda drive from Virginia to meet your new baby does not mean they automatically get to be in the delivery room.