I am not due for several months yet, but the thought of having people abusing visiting priviliges is already eating at me.  My Mil and husbands family mostly.  My mom I know will be fine, if she comes over, it will be helpful company, bringing dinner, folding laundry etc.  My dad, will be a pain, but easily dealt with, he will pick it up quickly, I think. Has anyone thought about, or already dealt with, having visitors just stopping by, unanounced, and unwelcomed, during labor or the first few days after baby is born?  I am seeing it as more of a problem than with a hospital birth.  And I am also worried about people not giving me ample recovery time, because I will be at home, it might just be assumed that I am up and around, ready to face anything.  I thought about sending out a letter/email to everyone, but wonder what to say to be polite, but still not give in to my wishes.  Any advice?  Has anyone else dealt with this yet, how did you handle it?

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I made it very clear before my home birth to all my family (6 siblings and parents, in laws) and friends that no one was allowed to come over during labor and when the baby was born and we were ready for visitors then I would call people and let them know. I also asked that anyone who wanted to visit call before they came over in case I was sleeping or in the shower and was not up to having company over. I told everyone this very nicely and made sure I let them know how much I cared for all of them but that I needed them to understand that this was very important to me. I think that if you are not able to talk to all of the people you are concerned about face to face then sending an email would be perfectly fine. Sometimes when people called I just ignored the phone if I was not up to having people visit. Your recovery and that bonding time with the baby are important, don't let other people (while good intentioned) wear you out and make you feel like you have to entertain everyone. Wishing you all the best
Please do not start out with an adversarial relationship with your baby's grandmother. Grandmother's are not like everyone else. If you honor her special place in the family sphere, she will honor yours. Give her constructive ideas, or ask her nicely to do somethings for you. Even if all she wants to do is hold the baby, that can be a great help as well. And remember, in 20 or 30 years, if you have a little boy, you may one day be the paternal grandmother too!
Be careful about anticipating too much in the negative. That can lead to hurt feelings and difficult relationships. But, having your husband let his family know to call first and that he and you would like the first few days alone with the baby would certainly be appropriate. You should be the person to let people know (nicely and positively) that you and your family plan to spend the first few days alone with just each other for bonding time, after which, anyone who would like to visit to see the baby and help out, bring food, etc., are welcome to visit after calling to make sure you and baby are up and ready for visitors.

In my experience, most people were very considerate. Our friends coordinated bringing meals several times a week, which was pretty awesome. Aside from that, I was actually encouraging people to visit because I was lonely after the first week. :P
This is going to baby #5. The first 4 however were hospital births. I am not trying to start off a bad relationship with inlaws etc, but trying to prevent the abuse that has already happened with previous births, from happening again, when I don't have a friendly nurse there to interceed. She has been present at #3's birth, and it was a nightmare, I heard a lot about "put your big girl panties on, you knew this would hurt didn't you?" And with my last she atually brought my BIL up with her, and asked me to get some clothes back on so he could come in the room and visit for a second, while I was in transition, nurse had to make them both leave, not allowed to come back, when she left, she tried to get dh to talk me into an epidural, so I would be more comfortable and he could leave with them to go eat lunch. I could go on and on about how he dealt with things when we cam home. With my last one, she showed up 2 hours after we got home, asking if we would be able to cook dinner, because they were the guests. I know how she is, and so does my husband. his idea was to not tell her the baby was born, untill about a week or so later, but i can't do that to her, she is grandma after all, I just want to set some clear bounderies, because she doesn't think any of them apply to her (in the past at least) I want to make them clear, but at the same time be polite and not leave any loop holes.
DAYUM! I would have told her what's what re: put some clothes on for the BIL to visit?? Get out of here.

This birth is your chance to reclaim your space. Be proactive, set boundaries. Setting boundaries and limits leads to a better relationship with the in-laws. Don't be flexible;) Just a succinct, we are celebrating the birth as a household only, we have 4 children to contend with and introduce to the new baby, this will take some time those first few days. If you would like to offer help, please call ahead, feel free to bring meals or entertain an older child - these gifts of time are what will be most precious to us.

My MIL, bless her heart, did respect our visit/labor rules with the hospital births. WIth our home birth, we failed to set boundaries, and they stayed overnight at our home and I ended up cooking the meals and paying for takeout, 3 days postpartum. I was pissed.

"No" does not leave any room for loopholes. There is no room to argue with facts and rules. Leave out specifics and details, just a brief, we are going to "a, b, c", and we will be happy to welcome visitors in a week. think of it as marketing spin. "we would be MOST grateful for help with the older children, meals, and extra hands with light chores. Your visit will give us the best home birth experience with this gift of your time and consideration. (this announcment can be used with any visitor).
We are awaiting our little one, due Nov 25th, and a lot of these thoughts have crossed my mind. I found this link to be helpful in setting up some "ground rules." I adapted the list to suit our needs and printed copies to give to friends or family, and emailed it. Hope it helps.
http://www.glorialemay.com/blog/?p=34
Our midwives helped us draft a sign we hung outside before the birth:
The time before birth and 6 weeks following is a sacred time for bonding between Mother and Babe, please help us make the most of this experience by following these guidelines.
Scheduled visits only
Please limit all visits to 1 hour, I am little and my mommy and I get tired easy
While you are here please help lighten my Mommy's load by doing a little house work
Make sure you are symptom free for 24 hours
and whatever else you want to add then sign it
Thank you for helping my family
Baby >>>
When I had my second baby girl she was born at home and the first visitors came over the same night I delivered because they were my friends who were babysitting my older daughter, so they brought her back home.
All the other visitors I received the next day, in bed and I never got up unless I felt like it. In fact everyone showed up with either some food or presents for the baby. They were eager to help and wanted me to rest. My hubby really pampered me bringing all meals and drinks to bed. The midwife ordered me to bed rest for 2 weeks! I couldn't possibly resist staying motionless all that time, so she said I could get up but stay upstairsI was allowed to walk around from the bedrooms to bathroom.

Normally people will call the house before coming to visit. And if the baby or I were asleep people understood and came back at a different time.
So i wouldn't worry too much, anyone who's had babies before knows what you've gone through. You can ask your husband or your Mom to speak for you if your MIL doesn't understand your situation. Also you could ask her if she wants to come she has to make herself usefull, please, and ignore her if she becomes demanding..

Good luck!
I am fortunate not to have a mother-in-law like that..however I understand where you are coming from based on my sister's and best friend experiences. I hope you can find a solution that works and puts your mind at ease.

I would definitely NOT announce when you go into labor..put up a sign on the door AND have the midwives understand the situation and intercede (and/or your doula) if need be. Other than that, I can't think of much more you can do.
Just don't call her until you are ready to see her. Make sure your husband is home to field any rudeness from her and receive her in bed so that it is very clear that you won't be getting up and entertaining. I'd have your husband suggest, when he calls to tell her about the baby, that she bring over some dinner for everyone - even if it's just some pizzas.
I know I am too late but would love to know how you handled this!  My in laws are very old fashioned, and i want them to feel comfortable, so I say, 'oh, they recommend a new thing now.  The doctor says no visit for [however long]  They say a new thing now.  So we will see you next Friday.'  I dont want to hurt anyone feelings.  Even though I have home birth i say 'the doctor says i must stay in bed for ten days'

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