POPSUGAR Moms Birth Is Birth More About the Mother or Baby? by Moms 10/24/09 0 Shares Like us on Facebook Sign up for our daily newsletter > A friend recently told me she was shocked that I had allowed my sisters and sister-in-law into the delivery room when I had my kids. I told her I don't think of birth as a production centered around me and my husband, but rather the baby. Each of my children was lucky enough to be welcomed into the world with their godmother present. While some ladies primp for the occasion, bring a picture to focus on or stock up on their favorite snacks for the hospital stay, I'm usually too preoccupied watching the monitors and coping with contractions. Who do you think the experience is about? Source: Flickr User madaise Read More DeliveryBabiesBirthMotherhoodPregnancyPoll Pregnancy Mark Zuckerberg Uses Baby Announcement to Spread Awareness About Miscarriages 10 Questions Women Should Ask Insurance Providers About Pregnancy It's Not Just a Snip The Excruciating Third-Trimester Pain No One Warns You About Birth The Invasive Question on This School Registration Form Will Shock You A New Study Looks at the Benefit of Delayed Cord Clamping Years After the Child Is Born You Will Never Believe Where This Woman Had Her Twin Babies! A Mother Discovers She's Pregnant as She Gives Birth to Her Fourth Child POPSUGAR, the #1 independent media and technology company for women. Where more than 75 million women go for original, inspirational content that feeds their passions and interests. Stay sane and savvy with our daily newsletter Sign up with By signing up, I agree to the Terms and to receive emails from POPSUGAR. What’s Your Reaction? Thanks for your reaction Don’t forget to share this with your friends! 0 0 0 0 0 0 0Reactions 5 years So, why exactly does this have to be framed as an either/or question? As if the process isn't equally about the mother, the father, and the baby. Of course, it's a personal choice how you prioritize your birth experience, and whether to include family and friends. But to suggest that mothers (and fathers) that want to focus on the experience as an important moment for themselves as individual and as a couple are not thinking of their baby implies that there is a clear distinction between a "selfish" and "selfless" birth process - aren't they watching the monitors and focusing on the contractions as well? So thanks, another way for woman to judge one another's choices by some arbitrary value system set by a website. Exactly what we need. 5 years This is a silly questions. Obviously, its about both. Number 1- the goal is a safe and healthy labor and delivery for mom and baby. A relaxed mom is going to have an easier time, which is better for the baby. And, I guess call me selfish, but I don't sit in a doctor waiting room starring at the ceiling, so why should I have to do that for 6 to 20+ hours while I wait to deliver? I ended up watching two movied before my labor got uncomfortable, and after the delivery there was a lot of spare time between feedings. Sure, I cuddled the babies all the time, but I also read a book and watched TV. This time I'll also have my laptop since there will be WiFi. And, yes, I brought my make-up. I'm in all the pictures; why should I look my worst at the best time of my life? 5 years I think that saying the birth is about one or the other is a completely ridiculous question. The only people allowed at the hospital were me and my husband, and he didn't leave for the whole three days until we all went home together. The Birth is about a new family, either beginning a family of your own for the first time or building upon it. When I think about giving birth I think about the pain I underwent. And I do not think having extra family members present benefits the baby ONE BIT, and quite frankly is just for the benefit of those family members. starbucks2 5 years It is about the mother first, because she needs to be as comfortable as possible in this extreme situation to help the little one come into the world. No baby will care if grandma is present. Come on, people. And what the hell is wrong with bringing your laptop? Did you really think 'No, this is selfish, I should really just sit it out?' I luckily had a quick delivery, so no time for boredom. I stayed in the hospital for 3 days after though and I really wish I had a book with me. I really think mothers need to stop putting each other down. There were only my husband and the midwife with us during delivery which was the way I wanted it. If you'd rather have a thousand people there, go for it. Whatever helps you get is good for your baby too! lauraxtc 5 years both I think. we are taking the pain and they are being freed! lol. 5 years Your question made me think...if the mom is relaxed or happy or at least feels like things are sort of going the way she planned, all the better for the baby! My first son'slabor was LONG 40 hours, and I was extremely stressed because I truly felt I should have left the birth plan at home. Have a plan, but be flexible--easy for me to say, it's 6 years later. I didn't want any drugs, but was practically forced into it by the staff, which only made the delivery happen that much later, because the meds can slow labor. I had a horrible reaction to the epidural and was seizing for part of the time-they gave me too much. Normally my size is small, 5'4" and about 105lbs., and I don't think they accounted for that when administering the epidural. It wasn't a bad hospital, just the opposite in fact, but things don't always go as planned, and having my close family there was helpful. 5 years It's not an either or situation. A calm, relaxed, and comfortable mother is going to have a much easier time delivering, which makes it easier on the infant also. It doesn't matter what tools the mother chooses to use to achieve this level of comfort, and frankly, it's nobody else's damn business who or what she chooses to have in the delivery room. lil's friend should have kept her opinion to herself, and lil should have been concentrating on herself and her child and not what other women were doing. When and why have we gotten so ridiculously nosy and judgmental? MissSushi 5 years I didn't bring anything with me to the hospital last time, other then my packed bag and the babys things, and I wish I had. I had hours with no tv, no book, nothing to do but sit there. My water broke before the hospital and they refused to let me out of bed. I won't be forced to lie on my back this time, just not dealing with that crap, but i will be bringing quite a few things. My laptop first and foremost, a book or two, movies for my husband to watch, and snacks and food so i don't starve like last time. You generally don't walk into the hospital and pop out a kid 5 minutes after registering. Normally there are hours and hours and hours with nothing to fill the time. I want distractions and entertainment this time around. It's pre planning anyway, its not like you're organizing all this crap to take while you're mid contractions. I think its about both, and if you have family willing attention should be for both. The baby is a wonderful new life, and you just spent hours laboring to bring it into the world. Niami 5 years I say bring in whomever you want and whatever you want to make yourself comfortable. I would have loved to have been allowed to at least turn on the TV during my 22 hours of labor. Talk about boredom. Transition didn't come until a few hours before my son was born, so before that I could have used something to distract me. I had pre-eclampsia, so they decided no TV and laying on my left side in the dark was the best thing for me and the baby. I couldn't even get ice chips. grr. My mom and mother in law were in the room with me when my son was born. My now ex-husband was on his way to Cuba in the Navy, so I asked the grandmothers to witness the birth of their first grandchild. When there are over 20 other people in the room assisting with the delivery, having a couple family members hanging around isn't a big deal. 5 years So if it is all about the baby then what is the mother even doing there? The question you are posing is ridiculous as it is asking someone to choose between the mother and the baby. Mother's need to be as comfortable and relaxed as possible to make the baby's delivery as smooth as possible. It is common sense that what works for one mom isn't going to work for the next. That doesn't make one right or the other wrong. It just means they made the delivery what they needed it to be for them. So no the actual birth is not 100% about the baby. It is about getting the baby in this world as safely as possible. I did not allow a lot of things in our delivery room. What I did allow was a laptop, cards, board games, etc because I was in labor for 15 hours the first time and 23 hours the 2nd time. For someone to say that I need my ego checked because the few family members that I did allow in with me brought things to help keep my mind off of the pain is absurd. Them using these things to keep my mind off of the pain kept me from tensing up and taking even longer. People should really think about what they are going to say before they say them. I think having the entire family tree in the delivery room and then saying that was for the benefit of the baby is the most stupid thing I have ever heard, but if that worked for her then good. Just because that is what she chose to have happen doesn't mean it is right for everyone. Yes, women have been giving birth for thousands of years, but wake up and research the fact that we have not always been blessed with the options we have today. The fact that you can choose between a home birth and a hospital birth or natural vs medicated is a huge step from even a couple hundred years ago. 5 years It's about both. And personally, I think the experience in lil's post is more about the mother than the baby. She brought in her support team, she did what she wanted to do. How is that about the baby? It's fine and all, I think each woman should have what makes her most comfortable at that time, but I think it's kidding yourself to claim you made it about the baby rather than your own needs. My children were all "lucky enough" to be welcomed with no visitors, because that's what made me most comfortable. The wording in lil's story is as condescending as the first post in this thread. HLHArts 5 years The birth is about both. And as for laptops? I brought mine because there were several HOURS after my epidural when I was just sitting there. I was glad to have it as a way to update my friends and family on how things were going. 5 years Oh, for pete's sake! I brought a laptop to my labor...I must need to get my ego in check! WTF? Way to put down other moms. To each her own I say. 5 years Well I guess I'm selfish then. I thought birth was about BOTH. Mother's matter too. 5 years I agree that the birth is more about the baby than the mother and I certianly never had laptops and makeup cases with me. I did make sure to have a few comforts of home for me such as my own pillow and my shampoo and body wash. I do think it is worth celebrating Momma a bit though! No big parties or tonnes of gifts for her, but bringing her her favorite coffee, a ready made meal or a few other little things that will make her life a wee bit easier or comfortable for the first little while is very nice also! My husband always gets me a new pair of nursing pj's and shortly after delivery he pops out to get me my favorite iced cap. 5 years Thank you! I saw some strange things the day I had my son. Thankfully it was an Amry hospital, so there wasn't any mobs of family ready to bust into delivery when someone started to push. Still! And some of the things the new mothers would bring! Everything from laptops to make-up cases. I could barely keep my eyes open most of the time. Strange. When we did leave the hospital, everyone keep saying they were going to get me this or that... I told them to get things for my son. Don't understand the hype. The new life is worth oozing over. Women have been doing this same thing for thousands of years. Most women need an ego check.