The birth is a unique, precious moment, and an intimate one that every woman, depending on their feelings, wants to experience in their own way. Who will go with you to the maternity clinic? Who will be at your side at the time of the birth? There are no rules, but many options to consider calmly, thinking first and foremost of yourself.
ALONE OR SURROUNDED, IT IS UP TO YOU TO DECIDE
Whether planned or not, the day of the birth is always full of intense emotions mixed with immense joy, tender impatience and, very naturally, a tiny bit of fear. Of course, you will have dealt pragmatically with the practicalities (will you go alone to the maternity hospital, accompanied by your partner, a friend, a member of the family, etc.) but as for the rest, it is a day on which your inner me must take priority. Also, as regards the presence of someone close to you at your side in the delivery room, giving in to pressure is out of the question. It is for you to decide. You are entirely free to decide simply to be surrounded by the medical team or to experience this moment in the company of one or even more people of your choice. However, check the policy of your maternity hospital in this regard, some of them only allow you to be accompanied by one person. And do not worry about convention; there is nothing to stop you changing your mind about who you want to have with you at the last moment!
FIRST AND FOREMOST, YOU MUST FEEL AT EASE AND SECURE
From the first contractions coming closer together to the arrival of the baby, you will be going through tremendous emotional upheaval. Feeling in a good place psychologically will be your best ally. In order to provide you with the best support, reassure you, make you laugh and smile too, the person at your side must above all be someone you trust implicitly. Someone in front of whom you will feel no restraint or embarrassment in letting go. Someone with whom you feel in perfect harmony in order to share such intimate moments as these.
TAKE TIME TO DISCUSS THIS WITH THE FATHER-TO-BE
For many mothers-to-be, it goes without saying that their spouse, or partner, will be with them in the delivery room. And many fathers-to-be want to take part in the event as it unfolds and experience the magical moment of the baby’s first cry. This closeness of the couple at the time when two become three is extremely emotional. However, although this scenario has almost become the norm, it must be a free choice for both. Do not hesitate to ask each other about it sincerely. Perhaps you secretly want to shroud this moment in mystery, it is a symbol of your love but nonetheless associated with a clinical protocol. For his part, the father-to-be may feel uneasy about the hospital environment and uncomfortable about the idea of feeling more like a spectator and not able to play a significant role at such an intense time.
Even when you have attended antenatal classes together as a couple, it is always better to talk about the matter of delivery day calmly and well before term. If neither of you have any doubt about your most intimate desire to experience the birth unfolding together, this moment can only strengthen the bond between you. And if you or the father-to-be feel confused or reticent, sharing your feelings openly and finding the best approach together will only strengthen your love for each other. Do not forget that father-to-be can also be present just next door, in the corridor, from where he can make occasional forays into the delivery room to share the best of the emotion together.
A FEMALE COMPANION, FRIEND OR FAMILY MEMBER...
In the absence of, or to support the father-to-be, you can ask your best friend or a family member whom you trust implicitly to take on a clearly defined role so that he feels useful rather than out of place. Just as no one must accept this role reluctantly, neither should you give in to the suggestions made by anyone (mother-in-law, mother, etc.) who you feel will not be able to provide appropriate support. Furthermore, you are perfectly within your rights to have the assistance of a doula. Trained to assist the parents-to-be during pregnancy, her role also consists of being present during the birth to provide psychological and physical support to the mother-to-be, to take over from the father or other friend or relative to give them breathing space or to provide a link between the delivery room and the corridor.