Your whole family is welcome to attend your labor and birth if that is your desire.
With regard to older siblings attending the birth, there is no “one size fits all” answer to that question. The bottom line is your children are welcome but each family and situation is unique. Therefore the right answer to that question is also unique. It is important to us that you are comfortable with your decision because ultimately you are the one who knows what is best for yourself and your children. We will support you whatever you decide. If you need help we will be happy to help you determine the best plan for your particular family needs.
Little ones do need their own support person while at the birth center (not daddy, because he will be busy with mommy). So we do require you to make arrangements for a responsible adult to attend to the needs of your other children while you are in labor. Usually the best person for this is someone your child is already comfortable with such as close friend, aunt or grandmother. In our experience, children attending a birth are usually content to play or nap and check in on mommy periodically.
We have found that with basic age-appropriate preparation, children of any age can participate in the experience in a positive way. All children need the opportunity to bond with their new siblings. We recognize the importance of this bonding experience. Some parents choose to have their other children present for the birth and others only have them come in shortly after the birth to meet the new baby.
Occasionally we teach a “sibling’s class” at the Birth Center. This class is beneficial for all ages of children because we tailor it according to the ages of children who attend. The class is a fun way for children to learn more about birth and what to expect when Mommy goes into labor. So please let us know if you are interested in attending a sibling’s class and we will try to accommodate your needs by scheduling a class before your due date.