How to Prepare Younger Children for a Homebirth
If you are planning to have a young child or children at your homebirth, it is best to prepare them. Explaining the process ahead of time to them will help alleviate fears about birth and will make it more enjoyable for both of you. Here are some tips to prepare a younger child for the event.
5 Steps to Prepare Younger Children for a Homebirth
1. Ask your child if he wants to be there.
It is not a good idea to make him stay or be a participant if he really has no interest or is opposed to it. If he says he doesn’t want to be there, follow Steps 2 and 3 and then ask again. It may just be that he doesn’t know what to expect and is unsettled about the process.
2. Talk to your child about what happens during a homebirth.
Explain what she may see or hear from you. Go through the birth kit with your child and show her some of the things you and the midwives will be using. Focus on the baby cap, the tape measure and the scale. Explain that she will be able to touch and care for the baby right away.
3. Find and watch a video about birth and homebirth with your child.
Seeing the video may make the actual event less scary for your child when it happens. If you think a video is too graphic, find a book about birth written specifically for children.
4. Hire a friend or doula to come and sit with your child, especially if he is under the age of 4.
Homebirth can sometimes be a long, arduous process, and although your child may be excited, he will also have his own needs. A friend or doula can fix food, take him to the park if he needs a break and put him to bed if it is an overnight labor.
5. If you choose not to have a friend or doula available during the process, think about who you will call if a transport becomes necessary.
The person you choose should be no more than 10 minutes away.
Tips and Warnings
- Make sure the person you choose to care for your child is someone she knows and trusts.
- Do not depend solely on your partner to take care of the child. You may find that you need him and if he is busy fixing lunch or dinner, you may be handling labor alone.
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