Ep 32//Sibling Attended Birth - Questions to Ask If This Is Right For You!


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Siblings at birth is a normal event in many cultures and yet in the United States siblings at birth is looked at best as crazy and worst child abuse. Some cannot wrap their heads around the fact that someone would choose to have their children present. The goal of this episode is to help you decide if this is the right idea for you and your family. I’ll give you some practical questions to ask yourself if you are thinking you may like you child with you. If you do decide or know right now that this is what you want then stick around to the end so I can give you some tips on how to prepare and what plans to have in place to make this a smooth experience for you and your children.

I’m one of those moms who dream about having my kids there watching their siblings be born. If you would have met me 5 years ago and told me this is what I would be preparing for I would have looked at you like you were nuts. It’s funny how life experiences can shape and mold you into someone totally different than who you thought you would be. I want to talk to the mom right now who in her heart would like to have her kiddo there as she births her baby but is feeling insecure in making that decision. She doesn’t know if she should or shouldn’t. I would say that I don’t think every mom should have her children present. You know your kid best so I want to give you permission to make your decision based off of that alone. I will also add that this is most conducive if you are birthing at home. Although siblings may be permitted in the hospital room during birth it is much less common. If you would like to learn more the first step would be contacting the hospital you’re planning on birthing at and ask if there is an age limit/requirement.

But if you have a desire in your heart but you don’t really know how to make this decision then let me go through some questions with you to see if that helps:

1 . What is your motivation to have the sibling attend? - There are many different reasons you may choose to have your children present. Some of those include:

  • Avoiding parent/sibling separation

  • Increasing family unity by experiencing a life event together

  • Hoping to increase sibling bond and reduce rivalry

  • Normalizing Birth for your child

  • Helping the child feel included

The main motivation I have for having my girls there is to show them that women can do hard things and that birth isn’t something to fear. I want them to feel empowered knowing that if mom can do it then they can do it. That it’s normal enough to happen in our bedroom. I also thought with my first that it would bond my girls together… I can tell you that having your child there will not guarantee that whatsoever! Knowing the motivation will help you have a foundation to base your decision off of.

2. What do you know about yourself?- Some women know that they would love to have their kids. They get comfort and peace knowing that they are close. Some know that their concentration during labor would be necessary and that kids would be a distraction that would be unhelpful. It’s helpful to reflect upon past birth experiences. Are you bringing fears into this birth that may change how your child sees this process?

3. What do you know about your child? - Is your child anxious? Would you kiddo be a help or a distraction? Do they want to be there at the birth? Do you have a support person available to attend the birth? Both of my girls have been extremely attentive to baby during this pregnancy. I have asked them both if they would like to be there. My two year old doesn’t quite know what it means but my 4 year old is thrilled and asks weekly if baby is going to come out yet. I will have some support people here during the birth just in case they are bored or getting overwhelmed. Some things to keep in mind about a support person: 1. Do they have a trusting relationship with your child? 2. Do they know about birth and are confident explaining things to children? 3. Do you trust them and are they attentive to your children’s needs? If you would like your child apart of this special day and you don’t have anyone in mind there are sibling doulas that you can hire to be with your children and help them through the process. There will definitely be preparation I do and have done with my girls before hand so they understand what’s happening and know what to expect. Lets talk about what this preparation may look like.

Child Prep for Birth- Many families who chose to have siblings attend do preparation