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

Responses: 39


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?

No thank you

My mother in law is a lovely, compassionate woman, however she is not one of the few people in the world who most sets me at ease, and therefore I would not want her at my birth. Fortunately she is also understanding of these matters and did not ask to attend. My STRONG advice is to invite people to your birth around whom you can feel completely safe, vulnerable, and spiritually at ease. Do not invite anyone out of a sense of guilt or obligation. Birth is an incredible and challenging experience, and everyone attending should add to your comfort, relaxation, and trust. If your MIL fits the bill, then by all means invite her. If not, get out of it however you can. A close female friend is probably the ideal candidate because she can stand to see you in pain/challenge in a way your husband or your own mother may not be able to.
—Guest KateC

It is my baby

I am pregnant with my first child and my husband and I are very excited.I have to have a planed c-section. Not worried about the surgery after I have already gone through both hips being replaced more worried about not being able to hold my baby before the rest of my family. My sister had her daughter 8 years ago and was left unable to see her daughter for 24 hours. She couldn't get out of the bed to go to the NICU and it turned out her mother in law held and bonded with the baby the whole time as long as she stayed in the NICU. My poor sister didn't know till she was able to see her and walked in to her mother in law holding the baby. Even after all these years she stills feels she missed something because she didn't get to be the first one to hold her own child. She didn't even got to see her fora whole day after birth. I just want to be my husband and I for a while even if that means I have to wait a little while before I can enjoy being a mom for the first time
—Guest Shanna


My mother in law and father in law were not invited to the birth of my son. It was just supposed to be my husband and my mom in the delivery room with me. My mother in law came into the delivery room to say hi and check in and when I was fully dilated my husband asked her to go to the waiting room to be with my father in law but then she said to me "Well actually your father wanted me to ask if he could be in the room too" and being fully dilated and having an unmedicated birth I was in no place to fight about it, I said whatever. So they forced their way in and afterwards I was not comfortable with what had happened. It was not what I had envisioned for the birth of my son.


Only invite who you want there! I want my husband and my own mother, besides it might get too crowded with too many people in the room.
—Guest sara


With my first child I thought it would be okay for MIL to show up... It wasn't. I actually had a c-section and only my husband was there for that. But then while I was in recovery mom and mil and hubby were with baby. Then I came up and instead of leaving mil was all over baby. My mom was concerned for me as the whole thing had been rough. But then things really went downhill when mil got right in there when I was trying to get the hang of breastfeeding! She even took photos! I was upset and ad someone who usually got along with mil, surprised. Photos of them fawning over baby later did not help. So, even though that is a regret I live with I'll not male the mistake again. This time as I am having a scheduled birth, mil is not invited to hospital until later Day 1 or even the next day. My mom is caring for my daughter. I spoke to my mom and she understood. Now to tell Mil...
—Guest Heidi

Love my MIL dearly...

...but really want the first day to be about my husband & I bonding with our baby girl. Our son will be the next to meet her and then we plan to spend some quiet, uninterrupted time as a family. Don't want to be distracted by others pacing outside the room. Hoping MIL and all other family members will respect that and give us that first day -and that they'll come celebrate our baby's arrival the next day.
—Guest sally


When I had my DD, I lived away from my mum, so had DH and MIL in with me. Thank God she was there, he was useless, she was brilliant! Her daughter had C sections so she hadn't seen a birth and the bond between her and DD is and always has been exceptionally close and I think this is one of the reasons. DH and I no longer together, but still have brilliant relationship with ex MIL - it does depend on the relationship you have.
—Guest Marie


MY MIL dropped lots of hints about being there for my first son, I never asked her or invited her. When I went into labour she asked my husband would we like her to come over and he said no we'd be fine on her own. She took it well which I did appreciate and then didn't come to see us till the day after he was born because I had such a long labour ending in an c-section, so she was very considerate for a finish. But I didn't want anyone except my husband and the midwife - no way, I'm too private.
—Guest AM

Not a chance in Hell.

I am due in less than 2 weeks and my mil has invited herself after being repeatedly told she's not allowed in the delivery room. It will be my dh and my mother. The only reason my mom is there is because she's my labor coach cause my dh can't handle it himself. If she still insists on showing up the nurses have been told she's not welcome and my doctor said if she still persists she'll have her removed from the hospital grounds. I don't have a problem with my mil coming in after the baby is born and I am cleaned up but there's no reason for her to be there during the pushing phase but she wants to bring the whole family with her as in dh's brothers and grandparents and his step father. I don't get along with her anyway and I would be afraid of what would come flying out of my mouth if she were in there. I know it wouldn't be nice and she would leave highly offended. So I would rather her be offended about not being there than by some mean (but truthful) comment that I made.
—Guest Krista

Couldn't imagine her not being there...

MIL is basically like my own mother and I definitely want her there to share the birth of her first grandchild and because I know I'll have love and support the whole time with her and hubby at my side. Now if my own mother was still alive there's no chance I'd have even told her I was pregnant far less for having her at the birth. It all depends on the relationships you have in your life I think.
—Guest Bookworm

no WAY!!

I found giving birth an extremely intimate and private event that brought my husband and I closer together. I am 30 weeks preggo with my 4th and haven't had my mom or MIL present at any of the births. IN FACT, no one has been allowed to meet my babies until their brothers (I have 3 sons) meet them first. So, everyone has been asked to wait for a phone call. After my boys have met our newest addition, and the 6 of us bond as a family, then everyone else will be invited to share in our joy. This is what we have done for all of our births and I cherish the first time my entire family is together. PLUS, my boys feel included and special . .. this is their baby too. So far we haven't ever had any jealousy issues either. It seems to be working for us quite lovely. I also agree, I am not a modest person, BUT I still don't need my MIL seeing EVERYTHING. :)
—Guest heather

No way!

It was just my DH and I (mom lives far if not she would've too). I made it clear to DH that MIL was not welcomed. Never will be! She invited herself early on in my pregnancy until at about 4 months pregnant I made it clear to her that she was not allowed to be there and it would be my DH and I. As soon as DH called our parents to let them know I was in the delivery room she rushed over to the hospital and waited out in the lobby for a couple of hours waiting for me to let her in but I actually requested not to let anyone besides DH in.
—Guest Veronica


I thought it was fair if I had my mother in there that my husband should have his! She was shocked when I told her she was welcomed in the room! I wouldn't care who came In I'm a women and we all have the same parts just because I don't want her seeing me naked should be the factor that she misses the birth of her first grandchild. My mil had scheduled c sections and never got to experience labor, so this was all new to her! I'm due in 9 weeks but my sister really wants to be there this time! Told my mil she can be there for the 3rd.
—Guest Bmiller

My F-I-L!!!

My father in law asked if he could, but said he would understand if I wasn't comfortable. Good thing he understood!!!!! No way did I want that much of me on display for him.
—Guest Guest in MI


When I was pregnant with my oldest my husband now ex-husband, wanted his Mom at the birth we argued over it several times. I finally told him since I'm the one giving birth I get to decide who is there and who isn't. It ended up just being my Mom since I was separated from him by the time my daughter was born. Now with this baby my MIL doesn't even want to be there since she knows it is a private event and I never left an opening for her to invite herself to the birth.
—Guest Kristen
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