Jamie Oliver’s new birth story hits the headlines!
We were so excited to hear the news that Jamie Oliver has had his fifth child, and that two of his kids were present at the birth. Is this something that you have ever considered? Many of you may rule it out immediately, knowing wholeheartedly it was not for you. The distraction of your kids, and their many needs will make you completely sure that you could never have them around you whilst you labour, however some may well be considering the pro’s and cons.
If it helps you to know, I had a homebirth with 3 of my children and at the last two, my kids were indeed in the room. It wasn’t an issue really as it was during the day, and they were off and playing for most of the birth. They may have checked in for a while, but soon got bored and then ran off again. When i started to feel the urge to push, i then informed my midwife and she let them know that if they wanted to come in, then now was the time. I wasn’t worried about them, and yes there may have been a little bit of preparation involved during my pregnancy about what to expect when a baby is being born, but they seemed quite keen to come and welcome their sibling with wide eyes. I am not at all trying to suggest that i wanted to make my kids watch me give birth regardless of their own feelings! You must understand that when you have a large family, it is quite an organic process of discussion around the role of birth. I assume it could also be the same when you have a large gap between kids. Lets face it, what i am talking about is a greater awareness of new life with slightly older children, versus the odd toddler running around who stresses you out and makes you feel too distracted!!
You might think that it is easy to achieve this when you plan a homebirth, and yes you are right. To be honest, we don’t see many of our clients have their children present at their birth when they go into hospital, but just recently with the arrival of midwife led units, we are starting to see it more and more. In fact one of our clients did indeed have her daughter present at her hospital birth recently. Not many people would think it was possible, and that the hospital would not allow it, but in this case it was a necessity. Our client couldn’t have left her little girl at home on her own, as her childcare wouldn’t have arrived in time, so her husband bundled them all into the car, and drove to them all to the hospital with the baby arriving shortly afterwards.
I recognise that this is not the example that Jamie Oliver gave in the announcement of his Son’s birth, but if having one or more of your children present at your birth sounds like a wonderful idea to you and them, then i believe that there will be a way to help you to achieve this.
For more information, please contact your nearest midwife led unit, or speak to a Supervisor of Midwives at your local hospital for help and information on how they can adapt their policies and guidelines to suit your needs.