Children at Birth

Excerpt from The Birth Book written by William Sears, M.D. & Martha Sears, R.N.:

“Our older children have been present at the birth of our last four babies.  In our experience children ages three and older can handle the theatrics of labor and respect the dignity of birth.  If you choose to have your children present – and if they want to be there – here’s what to consider:

–  If your hospital or birthing center does not allow children at birth, request it.  Hospitals advertise family-centered birth, and children are certainly part of a family.

–  Assign a caregiver to the children.  You don’t want to be distracted by children’s antics.  If a child seems disturbed by your birthing noises and contortions, the caregiver will explain what’s happening and/or temporarily escort the worried child out of the birthing room.

–  Prepare the children for what to expect in terms they can understand:  “Mommy’s face will get red and she will make loud and funny noises (demonstrate), but it’s okay; she’s just working hard to push the baby out.

–  Video-capture this unforgettable family scene.  Expressions on the children’s faces and their spontaneous dialogues are priceless.  Their sensitivity in caring for their mother’s needs by bringing her juice, wiping her brow, and speaking softly would make any professional birth attendant proud.

–  Read the valuable resource Children at Birth by Margie and Jay Hathaway.  (Also available in video.)

We have noticed a special sibling bonding that occurs when older children witness a birth.  Sharing the birth experience is the best way to start them off as siblings without rivalry.”

~ by cmb0414 on April 2, 2010.

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