My 5 Year Old Is Begging to Be Present at the Birth of Our Baby.

Updated on September 05, 2011
C.W. asks from Oviedo, FL
46 answers

Although we are'nt due until March 2012, my five year old daughter (who will be six in July of next year) has been asking pretty much every day if she is able to be present for the delivery. She says she wants to see what the doctors do & see how babies are born. Shes intelligent for her age, but a bit too high energy. Im figuring this will be another easy delivery as I had her in 8 hours from the moment my water broke, but who knows? My husband is against it, but I have to say that I am contemplating it & maybe asking a female friend to stand by at the hospital in case it goes sour in the end or my little one decides shes changed her mind. Did any of you moms have your children present for the births? Obviously there are a lot of Cons to this but are there any pros? We are still along way off from decision but I wanted to throw this out there & see what you Mammas thought =)

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So What Happened?

Thanks to everyone for your responses! We are a medical family & my daughter has started showing signs of interest at even this young age so it could be a learning experience for her. She has watched baby birthing shows & sometimes imitates giving birth (lying on her back and breathing, lol). We are still on the fence about this subject as my husband is worried she will distract me or be in the way but we've got plenty of time to talk about it still. I plan to have a hospital birth but my midwife will be present. I plan to bring her to a few of the visits to get acquainted with them & let them evaluate her behavior in the clinic & hopefully that will help in the decision making.

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K.U.

answers from Detroit on

Why not just video tape it and let her see that? Or have her watch A Baby Story on TLC and see what her reaction is? Personally, I don't think I would allow it. You don't know how she is react to the situation, emergencies do happen, and how stressed out will you be if she's there asking questions, or getting in the way, or freaking out herself?

4 moms found this helpful

M.F.

answers from Portland on

If I ever were to have another child (doubtful, but still) I TOTALLY would let my daughter in there.
I would almost insist on it.
I think it is a great chance for the child to learn and experience a unique experience.
Plus, if she sees how painful and dramatic it can be, it may be something she remembers later and makes her always remember to use birth control :)

Just my opinion :)

BTW, I am genetically predisposed to c-sections and would 99.99% probably have to have a c-section if I had another, just like with my first, just like my mom did with me & my brother. Just like my moms mom did with all 3 of her kids.
I would STILL want to TRY to get my kiddo in there, she is nearly 6, if I had another she would be older, & I am certain she would love it.
All the women in my family have been very medically leaning and interested in medicine, she is already showing signs :)

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C.N.

answers from Baton Rouge on

Let her be there and just have someone present on standby in case she gets overwhelmed or over-active and needs to leave the room.

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T.C.

answers from Dallas on

I think it's great. There's nothing wrong or bad or sick about a baby being born. It's an amazing, natural experience - and one that many of us never see until we are having our own babies. And, even then, I can't see what is happening! I've never seen a baby actually be born in real life, unless you consider my four births so far to be ones that I've seen (but my belly was so big and in the way that I couldn't see a thing!).

With my second baby, my 4 year old daughter really wanted to be there. So, we let her. She thought it was amazing. The look on her face when the baby came out and when she got to go over and see him, it was truly amazing to watch. I LOVED it. She is 8 now, and she still talks about it at times. It's exciting to see a baby be born! I'd do it again in a heartbeat.

I am not sure what the cons are in watching a birth, but there are a lot of pros. I say go for it! My sister stayed with my daughter and my hubby was with me. So, we had someone to take her out if needed, but it didn't need to happen.

Oh, and our plan was to have our daughter there when baby #3 arrived, but it happened in the middle of the night, faster than we expected, and she didnt' get to be there in time. Then #4 was a c-section, so she obviously wasn't there! But, I would love to have her there again if I could.

ADDED: I've read some of the other comments and thought I'd add more. I had my daughter watch real births on youtube before the birth. I wanted her to hear what a laboring mom can sound like. And, I wanted her to get an idea of what she was going to see (didn't want it to ALL be so new that she was completely shocked by it all). My sister was with her and talking her through it all and watchful of if she got scared or nervous, which she didn't. She only got excited. At one point things didn't go so good. Baby was 10 lbs 11 oz (and I'm 120 lbs not prego...I'm not a big person), and he ended up getting stuck. It got a little crazy and scary. He was born not breathing and was some blue and had bruises all over from them trying to get him out (poor baby!). It was a relief when he finally did start crying. My daughter was there for the whole thing, BUT my sister was there to take her out if she needed it. She did have to move out of the way for some of it, but quickly things calmed down, and she was able to meet her bruised little brother and immediately bond. There are LOTS of things you can do to prepare her for the experience. And, there's lots of things that can happen during birth and plans might need to change. I personally see no reason to not go for it. It's seriously so amazing to watch your child meet your other child and the excitement on their face.

I don't view birth to be an adult thing. Back in the "olden days" birth wasn't as taboo as it is now. It was a normal part of life and people saw a lot more then as they do now. Children saw siblings being born, and it was normal. It's quite surprising to me the number of people who are anti-letting her watch. I have plenty of friends that have allowed their children to watch, and it's been a great experience for all.

Oh, and you do need to check with your doctor. Our doctor had no issue with it at all, just as long as there was someone to watch our daughter and take care of her.

And, I am someone that likes privacy during birth. I don't want anyone but my hubby and the staff to be there...or one of my children. I don't usually prefer to have my sister there either, but if it's to watch my daughter, then I'm fine with it. But I tend to be very private and don't feel like having my child there interferes with it at all.

7 moms found this helpful

C.O.

answers from Washington DC on

If it was my daughter? I would say no..

Reasons:

1. I personally think it would a little traumatic with all the blood...that's MY opinion...i don't know where she will be standing...

2. i don't know if you'll scream or moan in pain and it might frighten your daughter...I don't know if you are going natural or epidural...either way - it might be traumatic for her to see you in pain pushing out her baby brother/sister..

3. if an emergency happens - she might be in the way...that might freak her out...

No, my daughter was with her dad when Greg was born and Greg was only 2.5 when Nicky was born...had he been there I think him seeing his brother not breathing and purple and blue would've been scary for him...

GOOD LUCK!!!

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R.J.

answers from Seattle on

My niece and nephew were there. They didn't come in until it was time to push, however. They were 4 or 5 at the time and were thrilled. The quote of the day was

"R. had a big owee."

4 moms found this helpful

C.T.

answers from Santa Fe on

My friend let her daughter be present at the birth of both her little sisters. She was 5 and 7 years old at each of her sister's births. My friend had a water birth and had midwives present. And her husband of course (her daughter's step dad). It was a super positive experience for them. I realize every birth is different and every child is different, but it did not phase this little girl at all. And it made her feel very close to her sisters.

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J.P.

answers from Tampa on

I think this is a bad idea. She may be a mature five, but seeing her mother in pain and the blood could be very frightening for her. I wish I didn't have to be present when I gave birth. Please let your little girl remain a little girl. She really doesn't need to see this.

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S.L.

answers from Rochester on

I would definently say no. and that's the final answer. children do not need to see that kind of thing. Just because you have an intellengent child, does not mean she can handle adult things. I can understand the interest part of it. But its just not right to have a child in the room. then your husband will have to take care of you and her. He, and everyone else, needs to focus on you.
Plus, one more piece of info--not all births are the same.
If your daughter keeps insisting, have your friend there with your daughter in the room you'll be staying in. that way, she'll be able to see the baby after the baby is cleaned and weighed and all.

3 moms found this helpful

L.L.

answers from Rochester on

I would absolutely say no. I know there's this sort of hippie movement going on where everyone comes to everyone's birth, but I just don't agree. Can you imagine? Think about everything that comes out of your body while in labor...fluids, waste, etc...she will NEVER forget it. It's not something a young child needs to see.

Personally, all I've ever wanted was my husband, and he wouldn't allow ANYONE else in, anyhow. It's a private moment, and you ought to share it with your husband. I think mine would've kicked the nurses and doctor out, if he could. :)

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V.F.

answers from Santa Fe on

I did not, although I always made it a point that the older kids got to visit as soon as it was possible - so they got to meet the little person.

You may need to check with where you plan to give birth - as I would guess it could be tricky having someone that young in with you. March is cold, flu and RSV season - at the hospital my SIL gave birth in, they did not allow kids under age 12 on the floor. (The hospital I was in, allowed siblings to visit.)

My last delivery went from OK (not great) to stat C-section rather quickly - having the older kids there would have been a bad plan. That said, if you are full term, and everything looks OK, then it is a completely different story. :) (Mine was 5 weeks early, when my water broke.) Talk to your OB too - s/he has more experience than most people. :)

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J.C.

answers from Anchorage on

Check with the hospital, many will not allow children to be present, so you will need to look around and find one that fits with your birth plan. Having a friend there to take her if it gets to be too much is a good idea. Congratulations and blessed be.

3 moms found this helpful

S.M.

answers from Kansas City on

I had my 3 oldest children present last time. Only they were 10, 13, and almost 16 at the time. It was an awesome family experience. I'm not sure how I feel about such a young child.

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S.H.

answers from Honolulu on

Ask your Doctor.
Some may not even want a young child in the room.
I am sure, your Doctor has had, those situations... and can tell you how it went... with a young child in the room too, during labor and delivery.

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C.W.

answers from Washington DC on

I would say no, but that is just me. I am hooked on the discovery channel birth shows, and my daughter, who is now almost 8, used to love watching them until she turned 6, then the sight of blood grossed her out and she told me she never wanted to see that again. Show her some birth shows a head of time so she knows what she is getting into. Prepare her that mommy may scream.

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L.B.

answers from San Francisco on

Although mine were a little older, they did get to watch their baby brother be born. I had a close friend there in case any of them needed to leave. I am pretty quiet during labor so I knew I wouldn't be scaring them. If you are a crier or a moaner or yeller it may be too much for her to see you in pain. It was an incredible thing having them there and for them to have that memory!

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S.B.

answers from Redding on

Have a backup plan for sure.
My daughter was adamant about being there to see her baby brother be born. She was older. My kids are shy of 10 years apart.
When the day came, it was actually too much for her and if she hadn't said she wanted to leave, I would have had someone take her. I had a very difficult delivery.
That said, I never argued with her about wanting to be there leading up to it. I told her it was fine with me. My husband thought better of it because I'd had such a difficult pregnancy, but he went along. We had Plan B and we utilized it.
Who knows? You may have an easy time and she'll be fine. But make sure you have someone else who can take her.

Best wishes!

1 mom found this helpful

S.S.

answers from Los Angeles on

If our older daughter were about your daughter's age and interested in being present we would have allowed it. We would have educated her about what to expect andhow to behave and we would have been prepared with another adult to manage her so we weren't distracted. One of my blogging buddies wrote about having her two young children present at the birth of their third. As she prepared herself, she imagined them talking and moving around so it wouldn't come as a shock (turns out they were pretty awed by the whole thing).

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S.H.

answers from Hartford on

I was just reading through Dr. Sears' Christian Parenting Book and he advocates for it. It would be a little awkward for me, but I've never tried it. I think he said it was a good idea for children over the age of 3, but I'd have to reread the section before I misquote him and/or his wife.

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M.C.

answers from Washington DC on

My 5y boy asked. I said we'll see. Lucky for me I went delivered on a school day and made him go to school. I let him sleep over at Grandpa's, a special treat, in case I went into labor at night, and then he went to school. His sister was born literally as he was stepping off the school bus!

My SIL let kept her 8y home for her sister's birth, took her to the hospital and everything. She ended up getting bored and going back and forth between the room and the waiting room. She ended up being on the waiting room computer when it was all said and done and missed it. Which I think is best.

You are going to need to focus on you and the baby. Not trying to entertain a 5y. My vote is, if you go in the night or on the weekend, it is what it is. If you go during the week, send her to school so she's preoccupied.

When my 2nd was born, it was just me, hubby and my mom. As i started to get further along my mom said she would step outside. To sit with who? You can stay if you want. Okay. She stood there and watched her first granddaughter being born. She's had 4 kids, but its the only time she's ever seen a baby born. She said it was the most special moment ever.
M.

1 mom found this helpful

J.H.

answers from San Antonio on

All four of my kids were present for the last birth. They were all asleep up in their beds. However, after they woke up (I delivered an hour before the first one woke up) my midwife was checking my placenta and all four were in here checking it out. My oldest daughter donned gloves and messed with it. They thought it was the coolest thing ever!

BUT! My kids were 12, 11, 11 and 7 AND none of them actually saw the birth. I don't think I would have had an issue with my two 11 year old girls seeing it (makes good birth control!) but my son, no and my youngest, probably not.

I would suggest you talk to the hospital and the doctor about her being in there for the first little bit. Then have a friend take her to grab a snack (or lunch, dinner...whatever) and make sure she knows that you'll text her when you're done. Text her as soon as the baby is born. When your daughter comes in, just tell her you're so excited for her to meet her new sibling. She'll see part of it, but nothing that might scare her. Plus she'll be so excited to meet the baby that she'll forget she missed the "big moment". (Albeit temporarily.)

*hugs*

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C.B.

answers from Los Angeles on

I have never been in this situation (my daughter was only two when my son was born, which I think is definitely too young), but I think it would be a great idea to let her watch a video of a birth ahead of time so that she has some idea of what it will be like. Then she can decide if she wants to be there for your birth. I remember the first time I saw a video of a woman giving birth--it was at my prenatal class, and I was already pregnant before seeing it. It was shocking to me! :-) I just never had that opportunity to see a baby being born before that class, and I never thought about what it looks like; it's a little shocking for someone who has never seen it before.

I don't see anything wrong with having her there as long as you've prepared her ahead of time, and I think you have the right idea in having a friend who can stay with her in case she changes her mind (and who can just watch her; you and your husband will be a little preoccupied, so you want to make sure that your daughter is being taken care of as well). Good luck with your decision, and congratulations!

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E.S.

answers from Dayton on

Wow, some of the comments kinda blow my mind...
I think you know your child. You know what she can handle.
If she wants to be there so badly I would certainly allow it.

There are lots of amazing stories out there. One source that prints them almost daily is: http://guggiedaly.blogspot.com/

Guggie has TONS of awesome, inspiring birth stories on her blog.

HTH! GL in your decision and congrats on the babe!!! :)

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A.M.

answers from Dallas on

I think it is sweet but she doesn't know what she is in for. I would have her there early on in the easy first stage of labor, with an adult besides your husband to whisk her away if things start moving fast. Once it gets to the point where you are laboring hard, breathing funny, your face is wincing, etc she needs to go outside and then come back in after baby has been born. Since she wants to be such a part of it, give her a couple "jobs" to do and priveleges to get.

I will tell you that although I didn't intend it, my 7 year old nephew spent some time in my labor room when I was feeling some pain and not yet on any meds. His parents brought him and didn't quite realize that he might not like seeing me like that. He was obviously worried and scared about it and I finally had to tell them that I needed everyone to clear out because I was more worried about his reaction than my own issues.

Even if she really wants to be there, for her own protection she should not be there in my opinion. Good luck no matter what you decide.

M.B.

answers from Orlando on

I would love to have my son at the birth but I'm having a c section so not possible :( I agree have a back up plan if the hospital allows her in there. I think it would make her feel closer to the baby :) and you have lots of time to prepair her for what she may see

L.M.

answers from Dover on

I would let her go with you to the hospital, maybe be there in the early stages and then leave to give her a break (8 hours can be long for a 5 year old). Immediately after delivery (and the baby is cleaned up) have her back to bond early on.

Yes, I had my son at the hospital when my daughter was born but he was 15 and we let him stay at school, go to wrestling practice and then come to the hospital. He visited for a bit and then waited in the waiting room (I was having a bit of tough time as the epidural was not fully effective). Once his sister was born, he was the first person we allowed in and we got some time w/ just the four of us before anyone else could come in.

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K.K.

answers from Austin on

I have three girls. My middle one was 5 when her sister was born. She was present the entire time. She loved it! I had a homebirth and she sat with me while I was in labor and read books to me and brought me water etc. My youngest is almost 2 and my middle one still talks about the day she was born. She is very close to her sister and loves her so much and is so sweet and kind to her and I think part of the reason is because she was there when she was born and took her first breathe. She shares everything with her, even icecream. She pats her on the head and tells me how much she loves her baby sister and how she is going to teach her so many things. They have such a bond. The same with my oldest daughter. She was present at the birth and also has such a strong loving bond towards the baby.
If your daughter wants to be there then let her. She will love it and never forget the day her sibling came into the world.

K.A.

answers from San Diego on

All of my children were there for their younger siblings birth.
My first was nearly 3 when his brother was born. He just happened to walk out of the room and into the other room where my mom was moments before his brother was born.
My first and second children were 8 & 5 when their sister was born. They were both there and saw her being born.
We made sure that we had my mom there to be in charge of the oldest(s) so my husband and I could take care of what we needed to.
It was the best thing for me to have them there! My labor with my second was very short but very intense, to the point where I could not catch my breath between contractions because there was no break between contractions. My son came in there to give me a kiss and a pillow and I was able to focus better at getting through the last tiny bit of dilation and get his brother out.
While in labor with my third they were drawing me pictures and making "Go Mommy Go" signs and stuff and it helped me more than you can imagine.
I didn't think any of them were a distraction at all, in fact they were the opposite.
My children went to every single pre-natal apt I had with their siblings as well.
I see no cons at all with our choice to include our older children in the birth of their siblings. I see nothing but positive. If we were to ever have any more children I would not hesitate to have them all there again.

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J.K.

answers from Chicago on

Sounds like she'll do fine. If you do it, have an extra adult in the delivery room to be with her. Your husband will be too busy helping you to worry about your daughter.

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C.C.

answers from Orlando on

I couldn't decide either. My son was 7 (almost 8) and his brother was born in Jan. The delivery room was huge w/ a t.v. and he sat on the couch and played his D.S. while I was laboring. When the pain got to be too much for me (I didn't want him to see his Mommy hurting), I had my sis and my Dad take him for somehting to eat. By the time they got back a half hour later, the baby was born. (He came within an hour and a half of my water breaking, doc didn't have time to make an appearance, nurses delivered him). He got to see him and touch him as they had him on the warming table and then hold him. Trust you instinct and you know your child best!

V.W.

answers from Minneapolis on

Definitely go for it! When we get pregnant again I'd love to have my son be there for the birth (If he's old enough... Meaning at least 3 or 4). I think that it would be so amazing to share the experience with him. BUT my boyfriend is completely against it... So we'll see :)

Have her watch birthing videos and let her know that things might change and she might need to leave. Have another person in the room to take care of her so your husband can focus on you :)

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B.L.

answers from Boston on

I had planned to have my older 2 children (They were almost 4 and 7 at the time) present for the birth of my third... did a lot of internet research on both sides of the issue (google children at birth, and variations on that to find them -- I've since had computer issues and lost all the bookmarks). Each of them was going to have someone there just for them, so that they would be able to leave the room any time they felt uncomfortable or just bored, and have someone there specifically to attend to any needs they had so that I wouldn't be worried about it. The didn't end up being there though. The were following with their "doulas" in another car, a few minutes behind us as we drove to the birth center, and my son was born into his father's arms in the front seat of our car in an empty parking lot, about 5 minutes after my water broke -- I was in labor for about an hour and 15 minutes total.

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P.K.

answers from New York on

I would say possibly at the very last moment. It can be upsetting for kids to
see their mom in distress. It can also be distracting for you.

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R.S.

answers from Tampa on

I think a lot of the answers have validity, but in the end, you know your daughter and what she can and cannot handle. Besides, she can be there without actually looking at the birth part. Having a friend with her the whole time is key, especially when she is in the room with you so your husband doesn't have to take that responsibility (that might be part of his issues). Good Luck with your birth!

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H.L.

answers from Cleveland on

My then 16 year old was present for my now 1 year old's birth, but didn't "watch" the delivery. Now obviously with a 5 year old it's a different story, but I wasn't even sure my daughter should be present but into the car she went with us.

I wrote to suggest seeing how she does with the website edheads (dot) org. There are some surgical simulations with real photos of knee surgery, hip replacement surgery, etc. that sometimes gross out my 4th grade students, though they love it. Great educational site and may help you gage what she can handle. I would still suggest if you take her, that another adult other than your husband be there to be with her and take her to wait in waiting room or go for food, if needed. Good luck!

L.A.

answers from Austin on

I was a loud moaner when I was in labor. I do not think my daughter would have liked that at age 5.

But I do think you know your own child best.. Do let her watch some videos showing a birth she then she can decide if she wants to see you give birth. Also let her know you will sound like you are hurting, but you are ready fir that and you will be ok.

Also let her know she does not have to stay in the room if she changes her mind.

I guess you may need to make sue it is ok with the hospital etc..

Our neighbor had her last child at home and the whole family was there to witness the birth. They all thought it was "neat".

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J.C.

answers from Nashville on

There's no way I would allow it cause I remeber how freaked out I was when watching a childbirth video in high school and swore I was never having babies. I couldn't imagine the nightmares a 5 yr old would get. So no way. Tell her it's a very intimate moment that even some adults have problems being a part of thats why adults have to be well trained in that department and when she is older she'll be able to handle watching the procedure. Unless she's already seen you naked she has no idea what a adult looks like down there compared to a 5 yr old. Please don't cause she'll think you when she's older for not allowing her to see this now!

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G.S.

answers from New York on

My ob/gyn basically made up my mind for me in telling me he wouldn't allow my almost 6 yr old daughter just incase there should be some complications and thankfully she wasn't there b/c my daughters sugar crashed when she came thru the birth canal and she was immediately whisked away to the NICU so it would've been a kind of scary thing for her. I'm not saying that will happen to you and that was only because of my insulin/diabetes but I know it would've been a really freaky thing for her to have seen. I'm sure whatever decision you make will be the best and I'm sure she will be the proudest big sister! Best of luck to all of you!

M.C.

answers from Pocatello on

I know this is a few days old but...

I brought my daughter (2.5) to the hospital with us. We called in my in-laws to watch her during the actual birth. She hung out for a while when i was in labor... then she went with her grandparents to the waiting area, in our hospital they have a special waiting room for little kids that is stocked with toys, books and a TV. My first birth and delivery was 8 hours, my second was only 4. SO, she was not waiting around all day long. Don't have that call person be your husband though! instead, arrange for friends or family to be there to take her.

With a 5 year old I would let them come to the hospital, but have someone there to "take them away" if needed, if she gets stressed, if you get stressed. For me, having my daughter in the room eventually made me more tense, and I needed to focus... so off she went. Explain to your daughter that if you do send her out, it isn't a fault of her own, it isn't because anything is necessarily wrong, it is just so that you can focus better, and she'll get to see baby as soon as it is "out" either way! (explain it well before you get to the delivery room, since you will be pretty busy when you are in there!)

-M.

B.B.

answers from Dallas on

I also say go with it. My almost 4 year old (4 next month) is obsessed with watchin shows like bringing home baby, birth day, make room for multiples, and baby story. So as we are trying for # 3... J was thinking about this also. She has seem the basics, on what they show in tv, and she likes to look through my medical school books (only girl bodies, I dint let her see male bodies) I think she would like to be in there, my almost 3 year old... Not so much she is more if the, ewww mama I see your boobies, and real modest, always closes the door in the bathroom, always wears full pajamas, tops and bottoms, even when it's hot upstairs.. My oldest is the complete opposite, she never closes the door, she has to be told to wear pj's and when she does she will only wear a shirt or a dress.. So you know your daughter, and as long as you have a back up plan, you should be fine. But you first have to get hubby to agree.. I dint think my hubby will consent to ours in the future also, but you never know.

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S.W.

answers from Minneapolis on

My 17 and 19 year-old stepkids were with me through my entire labor and delivery. It was a great experience for them.

If I had had another baby when my daughter was 6, I would have had her there with me. She would have wanted to. I think it's a good idea for her to have the option to leave, but I would not force her to leave "when things get rolling" or when you are obviously in pain. I think it would be scarier for her to be taken away than to stay. I would watch some videos with her before hand and answer any questions she has.

By the time I was 5 or 6, I had watched many baby animals be born on the farm - up close and personal. I thought birth was great.

L.M.

answers from New York on

I know I'm late here - I think it is a fantastic thing, and you've gotten some great suggestions. My kids had not expressed interest when my last one was born (he's 4 1/2 months). My girls are just turned 5 (in July) and the other is about to be 4 (Sept). Sadly, I had to have a c-section anyways, but super cool idea! I have watched a couple of the baby shows on TLC with my 5 yo, and she didn't bat an eye. They understand how a baby is born. Not how they got there though...

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S.Y.

answers from Chicago on

Absolutely NOT. Fine for her to be at the hospital with you...hang out before delivery...then when it is time for the birth she needs to go. If you must have her there...have someone there whose only job is to watch her. You & hubby can not be distracted with keeping her entertained. Really if you were at the hospital 6-8 hours before delivery...what is she going to do that whole time? Okay so it will be interesting for her the first 1/2 hour and then right after the baby is born. Hospital chairs for visitors are not that comfortable....really what is she going to do the whole time in a small hospital room...even if you pack stuff she is going to get bored. I would have her go with a friend or relative who will come and go to the hospital to hang out and then leave when she gets antsy...Good luck!

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J.C.

answers from Cleveland on

Go for it! Have a backup plan, as you said, and let her come!

I had a friend in my old town who had 6 boys. (within 8 years!) Each one was present for all the subsequent births after him. So Austin, the oldest, got to see all of his brothers born. The last one, the birth of Fenix, was attended by all five of his big brothers! I asked her how they handle her pain and if her screaming scared them. No, she replied. She prepared them for what would happen, and they all screamed with her!! Can you imagine what the hospital staff was thinking?! So funny!

I would have had my son at my daughter's birth, but she took so darn long to come that it was 2:00 am and my son was home sleeping by then. He'd been there with me for the two days before she arrived, though, and thoroughly entertained the nurses with his knowledge! He was three. I'd taken him with me to all my appointments, and explained the delivery to him, thinking he would be there for it. So he sat drawing on his magnadoodle, and the nurse asked him what his drawing was. (It was a circle, with a line coming down from it, and rain drops all around it) He looked up and said, "That's Mama's uterus, and that's the birth canal." She was surprised, but questioned him further. "And what are all those drops?" And he said, "That's her water breaking!"

Have fun!

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R.K.

answers from Chicago on

I didn't read any of the answers so far....
I gave birth to my 2nd daughter in May. My 6 year old wanted to be present and she is very mature for her age. Hubby and I spoke with her extensively and let her know what to expect. My OBGYN would not allow her in the room during the pushing stage which was fine with me. I actually went into labor as we were on our way to a carnival and had my baby 3 hours later. My MIL took my daughter to the cafeteria while I was pushing. My labor progressed so fast that I went from having no contractions to contractions being 3 minutes apart on the way to the hospital and very painful. She handled it very well as she knew what to expect.
Only you know what your child can handle.

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A.G.

answers from Provo on

I'm kind of surprised at the 'absolutely not' answers...and the 'a child doesn't need to see that'...giving birth is beautiful...it really is...It's an amazing portrayal of science and religion...fascinating...and just...awe-inspiring...Yes, there's blood, fluid, waste...but that's life...it's not gross. I like the 'hippie' comment - I saw a shirt the other day that said, "The hippies were right". *shrug*...just a thought :) That being said - I second what a lot of other mom's have said...you know your child. My daughter would be fine. I would definitely have somebody else there so that I could make sure that I was focusing on what I needed to...come what may - especially if it looks like something is taking a negative turn - and I would talk to her before hand and have a definite plan for helping her deal with any emotions should something negative happen. I think the preparation is essential...and I'm sure there are many resources out there. I would include among my resources talking to other mom's who have done it - thanks to the internet, that shouldn't be too hard :). The more I think about it....the more I think having someone that age would almost be better than someone older. Their views and minds are so much more pure and understanding when it comes to natural beauty. I would venture to say an older child/teen might be more 'grossed out'...where a 5-year old would be more fascinated. Good luck to you and Congratulations on the pregnancy!

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