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Siblings and Birth
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BekahS posted:
Lurking from 3rd tri....

Just wondering if anyones has had experience with this. DD (Avery) will be all but 5 when I hit my due date. She wants to be there when her baby brother is born. She understands the process but I don't know if I want her to see the whole thing. I was concidering letting her be at the hospital for most of the delivery and then sending her out with grandma and grandpa for the active pushing and whatnot. She has made it known that she doesn't want to stay at the grandparents house the whole time I labor and just show up to see her baby brother after he is born.
I'm torn. I don't want to scare her or have her retelling the tail with interesting interpretation. But at the same time, I want to consider her request and not brush it off. Any thoughts/opinions?
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5ylver responded:
I'm just going out on a limb here, I have never been in this situation but MAYBE you could educate her on the process (showing pictures of what to expect MAYBE a video to see if she could handle watching it) I apologize if that is some far out there advice. Again, I have never been in that situation so I can't honestly say what I would do.
 
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BekahS replied to 5ylver's response:
No need to apologize, I asked for thoughts and opinions. We have talked about it in great length and she understands what will happen. I don't think I need her staring at my....region while things are going on but if she wants to be around for most of the experience, I'm leaning towards letting her. I did enroll her in a sibling class thru the hospital that I'm delivering at. She will tour the maternity/labor delivery/nursery areas and they talk about what's happening to mommy. I will see how that goes and base it off of how she reacts I guess. I might look into a slightly less graphic video so she could better understand how things will go. Thanks!
 
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kell0613 replied to BekahS's response:
Something to consider: do you want your daughter to see you in that much pain? It can also be scary for a child to see mom in a lot of pain. Of course, if you get an epi, this probably would not be much of an issue. Just a thought. I think I would be torn too. I think your original plan of letting her be around for a bit of the labor and then in the cafeteria with gma during the acutal pushing is probably the best. Then she could come back to 'help' with the first bath or something like that. I'd say it is probably best to have her avoid the 'bloody' part, IMO.
Kelly (26) and DD, Nola born 9/24/2011
 
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5ylver replied to kell0613's response:
That's why I suggested the video so she could see that it's not all fun and games in there lol. I hope she can compromise with you because that is an awkward situation to have your 5 year old in there seeing "everything" I really like what kell0613 suggested about including her with the first bath and stuff so she doesn't feel too let down for not being a part of the birth you know? I hope it all works out for you and Goodluck!
 
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Sara DuMond, MD, FAAP responded:
Hi Bekah,
Congratulations on the upcoming birth of your second child! What an exciting time! I thought I would chime in as one of the experts on the panel. I have this same question come up quite a bit with expectant parents that I care for, and generally what I recommend, is to tailor the experience to the child. If she has expressed an interest to be present during much of the labor, I think that can be a very bonding time. I would simply caution you about having her present during the delivery itself. In theory, it seems like a reasonable thing, to include an older sibiling for the entire process, but in reality, it would be impossible for a 5 year old to completely understand the birth process. In the absence of total understanding, you leave the door open for a potentially frightening, misunderstood experience for her. I tend to agree with the feedback above about having her present at the hospital, but casually having her take a detour to another part of the hospital with grandma during the delivery itself. Participating in the first bath, the first diaper change, the first dressing of the baby -- those are all wonderful, age-appropriate ways to make your daughter delight in the joy of a new sibling! Congratulations on such an exciting time, and thank you for posting such a worthwhile question!
Dr. DuMond


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