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Readers Respond: What did you tell your mother-in-law about your birth?

Responses: 64


Updated March 04, 2010

There is a lot of pressure these days to invite your mother-in-law to your birth. For some families this works really well, for others, not so much. Does it matter if you're having a home birth or a hospital birth? Do you feel pressure to invite her for the birth? Is that pressure from your mother-in-law or your partner? Or even society? How did you talk to her, no matter what you wanted from her at the time of birth? Share Your Advice

Ridiculous Requests To Women

It's so funny. I just laugh at all the women on this blog who who tell other women to compromise during childbirth. This is so ridiculous. It is unfair and so disrespectful to tell a pregnant women that she should compromise with her whiney behind husband. And you all say women nag! WTF? Would you woman tell these husbands to compromise and his wife parents in the room when he is having a vasectomy? The delivery room decisions are always the wife's decisions. This is not a time to compromise. And any mother in law that asks this is a mighty seflish, evil woman. Do not allow your husbands to disrespect your vaginas.
—Guest Pam in Fort Valley


I guess I am confused as to why any pregnant woman would be comfortable with her, FIL, her dad, her step dad, being there getting a good look/stare as her vagina as it stretches inside out, while she is in discomfort and pain. That is a woman's private vagina. I know that a woman can have who she wants in the delivery room, but I just question why she would have men looking at her vagina while her legs are wide apart and in the air, looking, much less these men, dad, FIL, and step dad. What man would want to stand there anyway and watch a woman's naked genitals? I think it shows a man without respect for a woman's boundaries. If my son, or my son in law wanted me to come in and watch as his penis was stretched inside out and bloody during a medical procedure, out of respect for him and his privacy and dignity, I as a woman would not go into his private space. I bet most of the women would also decline that. 8-25-13
—Guest Beryl

The Man's POV

My wife and my mother have a strong relationship. My wife is the first daughter that my mother ever had. She was a nurse and had delivered numerous babies herself, so it would have seemed proper for her to be there. But, neither my wife nor myself wanted anyone in the room with us until we had an opportunity to bond with our new baby. Our parents and siblings were notified when she went into labor, and were told ahead of time that we wouldn't be entertaining anyone until we felt satisfied with the time spent with our child. Everyone was supportive, we had an uneventful day where everyone remained in the waiting room, just waiting to meet our new boy. Now we have two, and aside from the delivery staff, it's just been me and my wife in the room. Our third is baking, and we haven't discussed who, if anyone, is allowed to come in. It really is about you, ladies. It is about the mother and the father and the baby, and what each wants and needs. I would do it the same way all over.
—Guest Dad's Perspective

MIL in the Room

I told mine that since I would be in pain and nude, that no others could come into the room.
—Guest Jean

No Right To Intrude

That is fine for some females to allow their MIL in the delivery room, but most of us want to birth without talking or looking at vistors' faces. We are in pain and naked. why would a husband even think about sujecting his wife to these situations? Why would we even suggest that visitors come into such intimate, uncomfortable spaces. Sometimes, I believe that we allow this abuse of women's privacy, in order to satisfy everyone else's desires.
—Guest Jean ( Valley Wildcat)

In Laws In The Delivery Room

I am still trying to figure out why women are so weak and gullible when it comes to letting your husband tell you who to look at your vagina. I also am trying to figure out what makes a woman allow her dad, brother, father in law, and step dad to come into the delivery room while her legs are wide open and her vagina is wide open. Then I wonder wh kind of man would want to have a line of vison with a woman's vagina that way, unless this is a strip tease show nd she is not a relative and he is paying the strip tease woman. Women have no sense of modesty, boundaries, and are downright nasty. I could bet a million dollars that not one of those men would allow this pregnant woman to come into the vasectomy rom and look at his penis stretched inside out. Last, what kind of husband minds sharing sucha an intimate view of his wife's vagina with her male relatives and her father in law. Seems a little strange to me. Would any of your husbands let female relatives see his stuff?
—Guest Pam( F. Valley Wildcat)

To be fair

As a daughter, I totally get the unique relationship between mothers and daughters (who are pregnant). Any woman should have only those she wants at the hospital and in the labor & delivery room. No one, including her mother, should intrude or try to control any part of the experience. MIL's should completely admire, love, honor, pamper, and follow the lead of the beautiful woman who married her son & bears her grandchildren! However, though the dear hubbies don't carry or labor - your child is as much his and your MIL should be treated with the same love & respect as your mother. The MIL is the other grandmother, not a second class grandmother. You are the woman of your home, in charge of your family, with your husband- you come first in his life and your children's lives .... But your mom and your MIL will&can be your strongest female allies through the challenges of childbearing & rearing. Just because she's his mom, doesn't make MIL less important than yours. Give her chance
—Guest MIL

keeping it quiet

my mother in law has put me in an akward position.she asked me outright if she could be at the birth,not long after second scan.it caught me off guard as I hadn't had a chance to think about it.i didn't really give a response,just said if its ok with midwifes and ill see how I feel.at the time I wasn't sure what I wanted.she keeps asking and telling me with her first two grand children she felt cut out.she didn't even know theyd been born till a week after...guilt trip! my bf is very supportive, hes happy to go with whatever I decide.at first I thought some support for him would be nice ,give him a break.however he says im not going to get a break ,so why should he. my midwife has been great too,asking how I feel about it. weve decided to go with her advice,let them know ive gone into labour then just not contact them until its all over.ive already told my mil theres no point her being there from get go.
—Guest sharon

yes for me but no for some

My mil and I are extremely close and I would never think of making her wait in the waiting room. I would have been hurt if she tried. I feel bad for all the women who said they dislike or don't trust their mother in law. On the other hand I think the delivery room is a place where a woman should feel comfy so I think its silly to worry about hurting sometimes feelings when they aren't concerned with yours.
—Guest Kristin


I've never even heard of anyone except dad being there.


Some day ladies you will be the MIL, and you can see how it feels.
—Guest K

He'll fin no

With my first I planed on me my partner an my mum to be there as I don't handle pain well or nudity I don't have a close relationship with mil but she thinks we do and went I went in to labour she came rushin in at 8hrs along and kept ask in mr bf if her wonted a ole or food and counting my contractions and tellin me I could scream if I wanted but all I wonted was to punch her and I'm not a Agro person , so this time Iv been droping hints that's she not welcome but just think of not telling her I'm in labour
—Guest St


This is the 21st century, and women are still afraid to tell unwanted people that they want privacy in the delivery room. What is wrong with women? Are we that spineless? I'll bet husbands would not allow their mothers and mothers in law to watch as their genitals are naked during a vasectomies. Women have got to maintain some decent levels of privacy like men do!
—Guest Jean

Why Do We Disrespect Pregnant Women?

It's hard to believe that this is Dec. 2102, and we are still discussing a woman's rights, namely privacy in the delivery room. If I can get someone in the law making area to hear me, I will ask about legislation for pregnant patients. And know I am not crazy, just tired of this disrespect for females' privacy. It's a darn shame that nurses and doctors allow non medical persons to burst up in the delivery room, but won't let people burst up in the vasectomy and prostate exam rooms. Go figure !
—Guest Jean

No Mother In Law

For my husband and I first child he didnt allow anyone in the delivery room. He was like this is our child and no one needs to be in here all in my business. Then after he was born my husband made calls to let family and friends know that our baby was born. For our second baby when he or she is born she wont be in the room this time around either!!!
—Guest Lachele

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What did you tell your mother-in-law about your birth?

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