We’ve all been there. That crazy time when we are expecting our first baby, everything is a bit scary, ten million thoughts and ideas are running through our heads every minute of every day, all while we are trying to plan one of the most important events of our lives. Well, guess what, buttercups? No matter how much planning we do for our big day of labor and delivery, we are still at the mercy of the rules and regulations put upon us by the doctors and hospitals. Even the best birth plans are likely to go the way the hospital sees fit.
If one truly wants to call the shots in the delivery room, a home birth may just be what the doctor ordered. In that case, the mom-to-be can have all of the comforts of home, while keeping far more control over the ins and outs of labor and delivery (pun fully intended).
For those of us with a nervous streak, however, we prefer to give birth to our babies in the hospital. Just in case anything unforeseen arises, we want to be in the hands that can handle an emergency. But what about when those hands start getting bossy and telling us what we can and cannot do during one of the most personal moments of our lives?
After all, WE are the ones giving birth, right? Shouldn’t we get to call the shots on what we bring into the delivery room with us? Well apparently, doctors and hospitals disagree with this concept. Over the next several pages, you’ll see what I mean.
15 Your Own Labor Gown
Nobody likes a hospital gown. They are ugly, uncomfortable, and frankly, don’t cover your ASS!! I get it. Doctors and nurses don’t want us to have to remove clothing every time we are examined in the hospital, but do they have to be so hideous? Can’t we just wear a cute little nightgown when it’s time to have the baby?
The overall consensus is no. You have to wear a hospital gown to give doctors access to all of your many important parts during labor and delivery. The good news? Many internet companies have started to make these horrific garments in cuter fabrics and patterns. The hospital may still need to okay it, but chances are, if it ties in the back and leaves your tush flying in the wind, you will get your doctor’s approval.
Once you are snuggly settled into your room with baby, the doctors tend to be a little more flexible on what you can wear. By that time, however, you may just be too tired to care.
14 No Lights, No Cameras, Just Action!
The world is certainly a different place than it used to be. Our babies are being born into a high tech environment, where often, people’s every move is immediately captured on camera, and almost simultaneously shared with the entire world. This is something that we, as consumers and parents have become accustomed to, the doctors however, are apparently not big fans.
Back in the old days, the fathers weren’t even in the delivery room. It was only mom and docs, so obviously nobody was there to snap a pic. Moving forward as the dads began to participate, they were happy to snap a couple pics, but it was all to be looked at weeks later when the film was finally developed. Even camcorders had their day in the delivery room, but usually not until after the baby was born.
Today, however, with smart phones and social media, doctors have become weary of prying eyes invading their space. They are concerned about lawsuits and criticism and are just not interested in becoming a side show while they are doing their jobs. Personally, I think they should shut up and smile for the selfie. Anything that makes them more afraid of screwing up and getting caught is a win/win in my book.
13 A Crazy Entourage
Doctors will be the first to tell you that you should listen to your gut when deciding who to include in your birthing experience. This is not only for the sake of you, the father, and the baby, but absolutely for the doctor’s sake as well. There are hospital policies on behavior that may force the doctor to exclude certain family members from your labor and delivery room.
The LD floor is full of moms that are trying their best to have an uneventful birth. If an unruly, loud, smelly, rude or rambunctious family member of yours is disturbing you or the other patients that are within sight, smell, or earshot, that person will no longer be allowed in the delivery room.
Think carefully when deciding who to bring. This is not the time to spare someone’s feelings. You absolutely need to do what is right for you and your growing little family.
12 The Beauty Bag
Of course we all want to look and feel beautiful during our special moments, but giving birth is a completely different animal. I remember thinking I looked half way decent when posing for pictures after my son was born (hours later, NOT in labor and delivery). When I actually took the time to look at the pics in the next day or so, I could not believe how AWFUL I looked!! So funny. My face was puffy, my eyes were tiny, and my hair looked all weird. Ahh, welcome to motherhood!!
In any case, no amount of beauty products would have helped me, and doctors do not want any foreign substances or smells surprising them when they are delivering your baby. The environment is supposed to be as sterile as possible, and nobody wants a big glob of face cream to plop into a newborn’s eyes by mistake.
Leave the makeup bag packed for after delivery. Trust me, you’ll want it!
11 Incense And Candles Are A Big No-No
Candles and scents are great for adding a pleasant atmosphere to many stressful situations, but the hospital delivery room is probably not going to be on that list. There are so many people in and out of that room, not to mention those in the hallways and through the ventilation system in the hospital, that the complaints would surely be too high if these types of scents were to be allowed.
Don’t get me wrong, I am totally for a pleasant environment, but doctors will most likely contain the aroma department to soaps, lotions, and fresh flowers, and even then only once you and baby finally make your way to your hospital room.
Nobody wants their baby to be born sneezing, and you certainly don’t want the doctor sneezing on the baby on its way out, so avoiding strongly scented aromas in the labor and delivery room is really kind of a necessary evil.
10 Check The Snacks At The Door
Hopefully, everybody wants mom-to-be to have a happy and healthy labor and delivery (well at least as happy and comfortable as possible). In this case, however, bringing in delicious food is not the way to the mama’s heart. Labor and delivery is a time when you are not allowed to eat or drink very much at all. Ice chips and popsicles if you are lucky. My labor was 21 hours, and I was freakin starving!!
Even if food is allowed in the delivery room for others, this would really not be a very nice thing to do to the poor hungry mama. She is working so hard, and would love to comfort herself with a donut or some candy, but there is always a chance of aspiration with any medical procedure, and giving birth is by nature, an uncertain situation. Things have to be able to take a different direction at a moment’s notice. What does that mean to you? NO FOOD!
9 No Jewelry… Especially Down There
Okay, mamas…come on!! There is no way that you could possibly think a sparkly hoo-hah is going to go over well with your doctor. Having a baby is truly different for each and every mother, but under no circumstances would you want your little one to get injured by your choice of personal expression. Not only could the jewelry itself injure the baby, but of course there would be the risk of infection to mama and baby alike.
Honestly, I doubt that this one comes up very often, but it just may rear its head in the doctor’s office once in a while. Perhaps more than one mother-to be may have required some assistance in removing such decorative pieces from one’s hoo-hah when they have a pregnant belly. Hopefully, all issues are resolved before mom’s due date.
8 Birthing Tubs And Labor Balls
Once again, these items are no problem if you are planning a home birth, but in the hospital, you may have a problem getting them into labor and delivery. Why? Well, both of these items have way too much room for error when not used properly. Doctors and nurses do not want to be responsible for any type of injury caused to mother or baby when using this type of equipment.
Sure, labor pains may be eased by some of the positions the mom-to–be can get into on the ball, and a water birth may make for a more peaceful entrance for baby, but in the mind of the doctors and hospitals, the risks far out way the benefits of either one.
Can you imagine if somebody bounced right off of one of those balls and broke a bone on the hard hospital floor? Or what about a slip getting in or out of the birthing tub? Not a chance that any hospital seems to be willing to take.
7 Leave The Family Pet At Home
I know, I know….some of you are going to disagree with this one, but hey, nobody wants their baby’s first big breath to include a fur ball. Seriously, can you imagine? The doctor is delivering your baby, and suddenly, out of nowhere, your dog starts barking, your cat pees on your bed, and the family parrot starts screaming, “Stupid doctor”. Does not sound like a relaxing scenario to me, but who am I to judge?
The bottom line is, that no matter how well behaved and loved your sweet little fur baby is, there is no way in the world they are going to be allowed in the delivery room. Again, perhaps a home birth situation would allow for Fido to participate, but in a hospital, they have strict sanitary guidelines, and this is a rule they will surely not bend. Maybe the hubby can sneak the pup in once you and junior are settled in to your private room? Probably not, but maybe!
6 Your Own Pain Medication
If you are planning a hospital delivery for your little one, obviously you have a doctor in mind to perform the delivery. Presumably, by the time you hit the delivery room, you have already had several conversations with the doctor, and have been advised on what to do, and not do, for OTC pain relief during pregnancy. The medical field generally has some pretty strong opinions in that area.
So when you finally get to the hospital on the big day, it should not be a surprise to you that the doctors will not allow you to take any of your own pain medications to assist with your labor and delivery. It’s a different ball game once you hit that hospital, and suddenly there is an entire team of people that will be visiting you to discuss your options for pain management.
Believe me; they are going to do a much better job at treating your pain than you would. Just let them do their jobs. You’ll be glad you did.
5 Young Children
I understand that many parents of young children want to include them in the birth of their new sibling, but apparently, I am not the only one that thinks this is a bad idea. Doctors and hospitals usually have an age requirement for children in the delivery room, and for good reason. Not only is it a very stressful and long process for mom, but the little one is sure to get bored and crabby when they realize that they are not getting enough attention.
Doctors have thought this one through pretty well. Mom's in pain, there's too much action, and Dad is freaking out. these are just a few reasons to keep junior out of the delivery room, but obviously safety is a factor too. Young children can be quite unpredictable, and having them in the room to possibly cause things to go awry is just not a worthwhile risk. Your kiddos can join you once you get to your room with the new baby.
4 Celebratory Drinks Will Have To Wait
Obviously mom-to-be is not going to be allowed to partake in any alcohol consumption during labor and delivery. I know, right? Wouldn’t that be cool if it was harmless to the baby and strongly encouraged by your doctor? Nah…just kidding. Of course most of us already know that this would be considered a problem while carrying or delivering a baby, but rules are always developed as a result of someone’s surprising, inappropriate or dangerous behavior.
Again, back in the old days, it wouldn’t be uncommon to see the men sipping on some scotch while smoking their cigars in the waiting room. Those guys were seriously in there partying it up. Today however, the dads are expected to be a part of the birth process, and even if they chicken out, they are certainly not allowed to whoop it up in the waiting or delivery rooms.
3 And So Will The Coffin Nails
Once again, back in the old days, smoking was socially acceptable everywhere. Although fathers were not allowed in the actual delivery room, they were all sitting out in the lobby smoking up a storm. Cigars were passed out left and right, and virtually everyone on the floor that was waiting for baby was smoking up.
Things are obviously much different these days. Hospitals do not even allow smoking anywhere inside the building, much less the labor and delivery area. If you are a mom-to-be that smokes, there is absolutely no way that you are sneaking those suckers into the delivery room with you.
If your significant other is a smoker, be prepared for him to be gone for long periods of time, because chances are he’ll have to go outside of the building by at least 50 feet to light up.
Save yourselves some aggravation and try to quit before you get to this point. Smoking is horrible for the fetus, and is certainly not going to do any of you any good once baby comes home.
2 A Doula Might Not Be Welcomed
A doula is a woman that provides emotional and physical support to the mom-to-be during pregnancy, labor, and delivery. Sometimes her services may even extend out to post-partum visits. Doulas do not provide any medical expertise, they do however, help the mom to learn pain management techniques, relaxation, and they provide an invaluable source to assure that the birth plan is followed.
Some doctors and hospitals are not big fans of this trend. Having a doula in the hospital for the expectant mom gives a new sense of empowerment to the otherwise vulnerable mother. Doctors may see this as an inconvenience of sorts, because much of their power is diminished when there is a strong advocate in the room.
It is important to choose a doula that meshes with your personality. It is also hugely important to make sure her presence is ok with your doctor, unless you want to have a last minute home birth.
1 Anyone With A Cough
Of course there are certain people that you want to have in the delivery room with you come hell or high water, but what if they are sick with a fever and cough? Boogers running down their face, and big puffy red eyes? Do you still want them breathing in your face and infecting the air where your newborn is about to make their first appearance?
Doctors say no. If a person is quite ill, the hospital staff will likely request that they exit the delivery room. If the sicky happens to be the baby’s father, they will more than likely make an exception, and stick Da –to-be in some sterile scrubs and a mask.
Nobody likes being sick, but when there’s a tiny little bundle of joy getting ready to see the world for the first time, nobody wants to have to spray him/her down with Lysol. Seriously, there is a need for certain level of cleanliness in a hospital delivery room.