Parenting, What's On Our Mind

Would you have your kids in the delivery room while you gave birth?

Melissa Imbesi by Melissa Imbesi
August 9th, 2016

Who did you have in the delivery room when you gave birth? I always knew that my husband would be in there (of course) but it was really important to me to have my mum in the room also. Having vaginal births allowed me this option and giving birth to my children in front of the woman who gave birth to me was so incredibly special it still gives me goosebumps to think about.

But how about if you had older children and were gearing up to give birth? Would you consider having them in the room?

In downright lovely news, Jamie Oliver’s wife Jools gave birth to their FIFTH babe yesterday, a beautiful little boy. In the delivery room was Jamie, Jools and their two eldest children, daughters Poppy Honey, 14, and Daisy Boo, 12, who even cut their new little brother’s umbilical cord. I can’t imagine just how special it would have been to have their girls bear witness to what is seriously the most incredible human experience possible. But I’m not sure I’d be up for it.

While my baby-making days are done and dusted, the thought of having my kids in the room while giving birth makes me feel a little conflicted – part of me thinks it would be such a beautiful, bonding family experience but the other part thinks it could very possibly scare the shit out of them. My first birth was difficult and VERY screamy and I wonder how my kids would fare seeing me in that state, or even seeing the amazing – but confronting – reality of what actually happens to a vagina during birth. Would it freak them out and make them anxious about birth in the future? Would it be the world’s best ever education of the power of a woman’s body? Would it serve as the BEST reminder to be vigilant when using contraception in the future? Perfect!

I also wonder if it partly comes down to the mother’s take on childbirth too?  While birthing my babies was hands-down the best day of my life, the experience of childbirth didn’t feel beautiful to me. I felt totally out-of-control of my body and my mind and I don’t know if that’s a state I’d want my kids to see me in. Jools Oliver, a mum who had already had four babies, may be much more relaxed and confident in her body and the way she deals with the pain of childbirth.

Jools Oliver giving her new little boy his first feed.

Jools Oliver giving her new little boy his first feed.

Jamie and Jools no doubt know their girls best and knew that they’d be able to cope with seeing a live birth. And that’s really all that matters.  No two kids are the same, so while one 12-year-old might totally lose their mind and be frightened by watching their mum give birth, another may be much more equipped to see it for the bloody awesome feat that it is.

Here are some of our favourite ladies talking about their birth experiences On the Couch with Monty…