How to Tell Someone You Don’t Want Them in the Delivery Room

While some women want friends and family in the delivery room others view it as a more private moment. For many women telling their friends, mothers, sisters, or mother-in-law that they don't want them there can be hard. This piece will share practical tips on how to deliver the news. 

When a mom-to-be is planning her labor and delivery there’s no decision that will impact her experience more than who she plans to have at her side. Some women prefer that their birth be mostly private with only their partner in the room while others look forward to celebrating the birth of their little one with a range of other people, such as their own mother or mother-in-law, their sister, or their friends. No matter who they have in the room, their support person or people need to be kind, calming, and strong. So, what happens when someone wants to be in the delivery room but you don’t want them to be there?

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Reflect on why you don’t want that person in the room

Sometimes the reason that a woman doesn’t want someone in the delivery room has nothing at all to do with that person- perhaps she wants the birth of her child to be a private moment shared just between her and her baby’s father. Other times the reason may be personal – perhaps the person who wants to be there can be domineering, loud, or disrespectful. Reflecting on why you do or don’t want someone in the delivery room will allow you to more effectively communicate your reasons to the person or people who want to be there.

Let go of guilt

Just because someone really, really wants to be in the delivery room doesn’t mean you have to let them. The birth of your child is a once-in-a-lifetime event and you have every right to choose who is or is not there. Do your best to let go of any guilt you may be feeling about hurting someone's feelings.

Share your intentions early and clearly

Sometimes the person or people who want to be in the delivery room haven’t even considered that you may not want them there. Communicate who you intend to have in the room early and without hesitancy. Instead of focusing on who won’t be there, share your intentions for who will be there. Try something like,  “Mom, I’m so excited for you to meet the baby when she’s just a few minutes old. I’m planning on keeping the delivery to me and my husband, I’m sure you understand how important the first few minutes of bonding are for a baby and their parents.”

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Find your allies

Whether it’s the sister who can back you up to your mother or your partner being clear with their family, having people on your team can help you avoid delivery-related drama. Ask your allies to back you up and don’t be shy about calling on them when you need some support.

Enlist day-of support

If you’re still worried about people trying to attend your birth as you get closer to your due date, enlist the support of the nurses you’ll be working with. Write your intentions into your birth plan and be sure to share them as soon as you arrive at your birthplace.


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How to Tell Someone You Don’t Want Them in the Delivery Room

Julia Pelly has a master's degree in public health and works full time in the field of positive youth development. Julia loves hiking after work, swimming during the summer and taking long, cuddly afternoon naps with her two sons on the weekends. Julia lives in North Carolina, with her husband and two young boys. You can find more of her work at ... More

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