Who should be present during your homebirth?

 
Most of my clients have other children and a wide circle of family and friends. Up for discussion when they opt for a home birth is having their other children present and/or family members.
Do other people usually watch a home birth? Who you invite to your labor and birth is a personal decision. But generally, the less people there the better. You may have family and friends who are curious and want to attend but your emotional state is extremely important and influences the progression of labor so make sure you only invite people you feel safe and comfortable being around. Whether to have your other children at your birth is also a personal decision. My experience is that they do quite well at the birth and it’s not traumatic for them at all. It’s helpful to prepare them ahead of time as to noises mommy might be making as well as watching appropriate home birth videos if they are old enough to understand and benefit from the visual. As the video plays, you can point out sights and sounds that they might witness during your home birth and put things in terms they can understand depending on their age and maturity. I also always recommend that someone be at the birth whose job it is solely to look after your other children. That way if your little ones get tired or overstimulated, their caretaker can take them out of the room. If you’re not sure you want your children present at the birth, you can give yourself the option to choose in the moment.