Moms are inviting more people than ever into the delivery room, according to a new survey by video blogging site Channel Mum. The survey found that younger moms average eight family members and friends in attendance. Eight. In the delivery room.
What. The. Hell.
I’m trying to think of a worse idea than being flanked by eight of your closest family members and friends while you’re forced to lay on an uncomfortable hospital bed with your vagina exposed for hours on end. I can’t.
Mother-in-laws are now the most popular birth support after the laboring woman’s partner and own mother. The survey also found that childbirth is becoming increasingly public, with almost 25% of moms sharing their experience through social media.
Siobhan Freegard, founder of Channel Mum told The Telegraph: “The younger generation are used to sharing every aspect of their lives, so why not birth? Many women feel it is their biggest achievement and so want to share the moment with all of those closest to them.”
This may be one of those situations where the thought of the idea is way different than the reality. Having your closest friends around you sounds like a great idea until someone starts playing Minecraft on their phone because they’re bored. Or until someone starts looking worried. Unless every, single person you invite into that room is the most Zen person on the planet, more people can potentially equal more stress. And stress is not good for the birthing process.
A 2004 study called “Do Not Disturb: The Importance of Privacy In Labor” noted that, “In nature, when a laboring animal feels threatened or disturbed, the stress hormone catecholamine shuts down labor. Similarly, when a laboring woman does not feel safe or protected or when the progress of her normal labor is altered, catecholamine levels rise and labor slows down or stops.” I imagine the same thing would happen if your mother in law started talking about your thighs. Or if your usually sensitive best friend brought a piece of pizza you couldn’t eat into the room. Actually, any talking could be potentially annoying when you are in the throes of a contraction.
The survey also revealed that the increasing number of observers in the room also puts pressure on moms to refuse pain medication for fear they will be judged. Ugh. Anything that makes the experience of childbirth any harder than it has to be is a terrible idea.
Young moms — you don’t need to invite an army into your delivery room. Just let them wait until the baby emerges and come with food. And ginger ale. And possibly a foot spa.