When it comes to motherhood, there are many decisions to be made and preferences to be had. And for many women, those decisions start before baby even arrives. Choosing who you want in the delivery room with you is a highly personal choice that doesn’t come with any clearcut “right” answer.
We asked #TeamMotherly to share who was in the delivery room with them and why. With more than 500 responses, it’s clear this is a topic that mamas everywhere are passionate about. Some only wanted their own mothers or chose alone time with their partner. For others, they were high-risk and needed a number of doctors and nurses during labor. And some welcomed their entire support team with open arms—doulas, MILs, friends.
While there is no right or wrong answer, it’s enlightening to see how other mamas came to their decision. Here are some of their experiences.
1. Just us
“Just my husband. We didn’t want anyone in the waiting room, either. We wanted time with just our family of 3 before everyone started playing ‘pass the baby.'”—Jennifer L.N.
2. It was pretty crowded
“This is not a joke… my husband, two anesthesiologist, four nurses per baby (three babies) three nurses for me, 18 medical students, and I can’t remember how many doctors and fellows. There was a fight between doctors as to who was going to deliver us. We had triplets and it was an event. Modesty was tossed straight out the window when everyone piled in and they started to talk about me in the third person and explain my case. 😂”—Brandi T
3. We had a doula
“My husband and my doula. No family was even allowed to visit until we’d had a week together as a family of 3. I’m currently pregnant with our second and I won’t be as strict with number two.”—Hannah A
4. My mother-in-law
“With my first it was my husband and my mother-in-law. My husband is adopted and my MIL never had a chance to witness a birth or to give birth herself, so I wanted to include her so she could experience the birth of our son with us. My mom didn’t want to be in the room, because she said she couldn’t handle seeing me in pain. For my second, it was just my husband, because my daughter was born very quickly.”—Menka S.S.P.
5. Just my fiancé
“Just my fiancé. We didn’t tell any family or friends that I was in labor as we didn’t want anyone showing up at the hospital. We wanted the birth of our daughter to be seen by just us (and the midwives obviously) and we wanted time as a family to bond before we were overwhelmed with family.”—Shahnee R
6. Both moms + sister, too
“My boyfriend, his mother, my mother, and my sister. It was very cool to have them all there to witness our son being born and sharing that experience with us! It made us at ease and not as scared. I wouldn’t change a thing! Next one will just be him and I.”—Millie W
7. My mom
“My mom held one leg and my husband the other. My mom took ALL the pics when the nurses jumped in and we have the best memories of that day. Especially when she caught my face as they told us we had a girl and not a boy as expected LOL.”—Laura L
8. Invite the in-laws
“My husband, my mother, my oldest sister, my mother-in-law, and my sister-in-law, and two midwives. I felt my birth was important to share with my family. My sister is a postpartum nurse and she was very curious about a birthing center birth. They were all very grateful to be apart of my son’s birth. It was also nice that they were all in there to help so my husband could rest and take breaks. It was a long day.”—Jessica L
9. It was just me
“Me, myself, and I. It was a very last minute emergency C-section. I had gone to the hospital for fetal monitoring because he wasn’t moving, and not 10 minutes after I arrived I was in the OR. However as I was being prepped I was able to call my mom and my fiancé’s boss to let them know. By the time I woke up my mom, fiancé, and sister were all there, and soon after that I got to see my very healthy baby!”—Jessica G.D.
10. With our midwives, at home
“Home birth with two midwives, my mother and a close aunt (to keep my momma company during the moments when she felt anxious). Of course the husband as well. It was one of the most beautiful experiences of my life. After 18 hours of hard labor two family friends can even by with home made hot meals, right as my first was born. ❤️ It was perfect.”—Rachael E
11. My friend
“[My friend] was there for the birth of my Isabella Gianna, she made me feel so comfortable and her excitement was so cute. I’m glad you got to be a part of Isabella’s arrival. love you babes!! ❤️ “—Carla B
12. No visitors, please
“I had a C-section, so only my husband was allowed in the surgery room, however I didn’t want anybody else in the delivery room anyways. To me, this moment is really private. It was perfect the way it was. I’ll want the same thing if/when we have another kid. I also didn’t want any visitors at the hospital.. it’s so crazy busy with all the check ups for baby and mama anyways! Two people came and I don’t feel like I had time to spend with them at all.”—Cindy T
13. My twin sister
“My husband and my twin sister were in the delivery room with me. It was a memorable experience to say the least. I chose them both because I knew they were the ones willing to motivate me to keep “pushing”, literally. I don’t regret the decision at all. It’s a memory I will cherish for a lifetime.”—Julie M
14. My fellow nurses
“My Mom, MIL, great-aunt (like my Granny) all attended. I was also a nurse IN our L&D/Nursery, so all the nurses were there. It was a bit like a 3 ring circus, but it was so special.”—Natalie S.S.H.