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Would you let your mother in law be at the birth of your child

Would you let your mother in law be at the birth of your child

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For most couples the birth of their child is a private affair, to be witnessed only by themselves and the medical professionals taking care of them. However, some new mums do value extra support in the delivery room, liking the idea of having someone there who has already given birth can be a source of comfort.

When considering whom to invite into the delivery room, most women would recoil at the idea of their mother-in-law being present. But before you discount the thought outright, it might have its advantages.


Mothers-in-law have by definition already given birth so know what to expect. In this sense, they can be a strong source or support. If your partner can’t make ante natal appointment or scans, having his mum there can often be the next best thing.


Although you may initially prefer the idea of your own mother being there with you, this does have its downsides. Your mother-in-law is that little bit more distanced from you and, while she is no doubt fond of you, seeing you in pain probably won’t tug her heartstrings in the same way it would your own mum’s. Your mother-in-law will also be able to provide support for your partner, a role that you’re likely not to deal with perfectly while you’re going through labour.

Be clear on the role

If you like the idea of having your mother-in-law as a birthing partner, you need to be clear on what you expect from her. For example, would you prefer she stayed at the head end or are you happy for her to see everything that’s going on? Do you want her to take the lead and speak to midwives on your behalf, or stay in the background leaving you to it? Make your wishes clear to your mother-in-law before the big day arrives and it’s likely that you’ll both enjoy the experience of having her at the birth.

Not all women would be comfortable having their mother-in-law present at what is, after all, a highly intimate time in their lives. However, this sometimes bypasses excited grannies-to-be who may invite themselves along. What can you do if you really don’t want her there but hate to say no?

Would you let your mother in law be at the birth of your child

Be insistent but gentle

As soon as your mother-in-law expresses an interest in being at the birth you need to tell her that you’re uncomfortable with the idea. If you leave it and hope it will go away, she’ll be hurt when you do say no or else she’ll just turn up at the hospital. Explain your reasons why – remember she’s done it all before so should (in theory at least) understand where you’re coming from. Ensure she knows that you value her support and desperately want her to be a large part of your child’s life, but that you’d rather labour in private.

Involve her in other ways

Bring her along to a scan, take her to antenatal appointments and let her help pick out some cute clothes or furniture for the nursery. This way your mother-in-law will feel she is part of the pregnancy, without necessarily having to be there for the birth itself.

What if she doesn’t take the hint?

If you suspect your mother-in-law may turn up at the birth despite your wishes, you don’t have to let her in. Inform the midwives that you don’t want anyone other than your birthing partner in the room with you. It’s a good idea to put this in your birthing plan; it may slip your mind when your contractions are in full swing. Midwives are used to dealing with this type of situation and will be able to put your mother-in-law off until you’re ready to see her. If you don’t think that would work, you can always decline to let her know when you go into labour. However, to avoid hurting her feelings too much you should probably tell nobody else either.

Whoever you want in the delivery suite with you is entirely up to you. You shouldn’t feel pressured into having someone there if you don’t want them there – in fact, feeling uncomfortable could slow down the labour and increase the risk of intervention.





About Maria Brett

About Maria Brett

Maria is a freelance writer with over 10 years' experience producing content for a variety of publications and websites. When not working or looking after her two gorgeous sons, she can usually be found playing flugelhorn in a brass band, helping out at her local hospital radio station, shouting at the television while watching Formula 1, at the cinema or plonked on the couch with a cold glass of wine.

Website: Maria Brett

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