Etiquette for accepting visitors at home after home birth?
If all goes well we are hoping for a home water birth, and it has only just occured to me, that I dont really know how having a home birth will/should affect our privacy when it comes to having family round following the birth. We are quite a close family (on both sides) and often my Husbands parents turn up to see us unannounced (it annoys us a bit but we dont stress over it). Also my sister in law only lives about 2 mins away. My parents have joked that they will be camping in the garden as soon as I go into labour so that they are first to see the baby as they know what DH's family are like
I am a bit anxious that I will be in a state (exhausted, emotional etc), the house will be a mess etc and there will be knocks at the door.
Those who have had home births before - how long did you wait before asking people to visit? same day? next day? I dont want to seem like im being funny as I know how excited everyone will be but at the same time, this is OUR moment and I think I should have the final say in who comes when?
At the moment I dont even want people to know when labour starts incase we get interrupted!!
i never really thought about it but then i knew nobody would of turned up without asking first, i was planning on tidying up have a few hours family time then allowin close family to visit if they wished. i had my best friend say she'd camp outside but i knew it was a joke.
but if you really are worried people will just turn up either tell them in advance you would like time as a family and to recover and to clean away everything before visitors, or if you think they will still turn up anyway, then just dont tell them when your in labour, lock the doors, close the curtains (incase they have an un anounced visit planned anyway) and ignore any knocks at the door ,apart from mw lol.
families can be a pain at times in these circumstances but surly they would understand you need time. xxx
I think where you have family like this that you have to be prepared to be firm and set ground rules in advance.
make sure that you talk through with those you are concerned with that you will notify them when you go into labour and then afterwards when it's happened. That you will invite them as soon as you can to come and see the baby, and that you are looking forward to introducing baby to them.
You can always tell them the midwife said "you should get some rest before you have visitors"
I'm sort of 'lucky' in this in that I don't have a big family and OH's family live in a different country. But personally, I don't care about etiquette or upsetting people. This is your immediate family's special time and you shouldn't have to worry about other people's feelings. Do what you want and let them know when you are ready for visitors.
I would try not to tell them when you are in labour and keep the door locked so you can't be disturbed.
I plan to have my mum as my birth partner, and I know she can't keep a secret so she'll probably tell everyone that I'm in labour.
But we never get unannounced visitors, so I'm not concerned that people would drop by. I'll be waiting for at least a few days before I allow anyone other my my mum and dad to visit, I want OH, my daughter and I to all settle in together with the new baby before people come over and start distubing us. But then, I am known to be a bit antisocial sometimes
We were insistent that we wouldn't let anyone know when my labour had started and that we would ring round to everyone after the birth.
Alex ended up being born at 10pm, so OH did the necessary calls and then we all went to bed at around 2am. Our first visitors started coming round the next day after about 2pm (although midwives came back in the morning for various bits and bobs - I am Rhesus Neg). OH also needed time to get the pool emptied and cleaned and then packed away.
If Alex had been born first thing in the morning, I'd think I would have asked that nobody came until at least later in the afternoon (depending on how I felt). If the birth had been lunchtime/afternoon, then I think I would have said for people to come round the following morning.
We also didn't have more than two people round and nobody stayed for more than an hour each time.
One way to avoid unwanted visitors is to not say when you're in labour. This stops the phone and people popping in to check on you. I personally wanted to have a week long babymoon so the only people I had visit initially were direct family ie mums dads and sisters. The rest we in advance that we would be babymooning for a week at least and were great. You don't have the 'buffer' of hospital visiting times when you're at home so you could conceivably have visitors withing hours of your baby arriving. The downside of that is that really you should be sleeping when yur baby is and instead of doing that I was chatting to visitors all day. Then at midnight I was having a meltdown because I was so incredibly tired and my baby was waking up after a full day sleeping off the birth.
It may be fine for some to have visitors immediately but I really felt it was important that we got to know our new family first. Those moments are gone so quickly and I believe they should be protected and cherished. Once ready to receive visitors I limited it to 2 a day. One set in the morning and one in the afternoon on a strict booking in system and with a short notice cancellation policy! I also wanted to be able to sleep if the baby was and have my boobs out all over feeding.
I am worrying about visiting etiquette myself, but homebirths are even more hard to judge in terms of visitors. Like you, we are not telling anyone about the labour. Could you get away with your OH messaging a few initally but stating ' we would love to see you when mum and bubba are settled - we'll keep you posted on that front' just to pre-empt any unannounced visits. I am mortified to think that people would just turn up after some has just given birth but from what I've read it seems quite common!
I totally agree though, you should defo have the final say about who comes and when! xx
My mom was there when I had ds2, and MIL was watching ds1 at a near by hotel. So my mom spent the night that first night and MIL and ds1 came back in the morning. So they all got to see ds2 when he was just hours old. But that was ok because I did get some rest beforehand (I was awfully energetic just hours later).
My dad and brother came a day or so later, and my friend came a week later. Otherwise after that first week I was pretty much up like normal so people saw him when I was out or came by.
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