Author Topic: Pregnancy/birth etiquette  (Read 62268 times)

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Lisbeth

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Pregnancy/birth etiquette
« on: March 01, 2009, 04:12:58 PM »
1.  Never assume that a woman who appears to be pregnant is.  Even if she is, she may not want to talk about it.  Take your cues from her.

2.  Never touch a pregnant woman's belly or any other part of her without her explicit permission.  Her mere existence and public appearance does not constitute "explicit permission."

3.  Do not call a pregnant woman whom you do not know by a maternal name, like "mama."  If you do know the woman but she is not your mother, take your cues from her.

4.  It is a kindness to offer a pregnant woman a seat, a parking space, to hold a door, to carry things for her, and so on, but if she declines your offer politely, accept that graciously.

5.  Only the mother gets to decide whom she wants to attend the delivery in the delivery room.  The parents jointly get to decide who can come to the hospital. Grandparents, in-laws, and other relatives and friends do not have an automatic right to be present-regardless of the fact that a new member of their family is about to be born. 

6.  It is not tactful to bring up miscarriages, abortions, birth defects or deformities, or graphic medical discussions of pregnancy or childbirth in the presence of a pregnant woman.  Nor should they be discussed at a dinner.

7.  If a pregnant woman does not tell you of the birth, do not ask about it.  What happened may be too painful a subject for her and also may not be your business.

8.  Avoid smoking in the presence of a pregnant woman.  For pregnant women:  While it is advisable that you avoid smoking and designated smoking areas, if you are in one, it is not acceptable to demand that those around you refrain from smoking.

9.   If you are not the pregnant woman's doctor or health care provider, do not presume to give her unsolicited medical advice or monitor her diet, including alcohol consumption.  Your concern for the child doesn't excuse your rudeness in doing this.

10.  It is okay to have a shower for a new mother (if it is in keeping with her culture), but it should not be a "surprise" shower.

11.  For pregnant women:  While many things can be forgiven, "the hormones" don't constitute a "get out of responsibility to be polite" card.

12.  The child's name is up to the parents.

13.  Pregnant women are not entitled to gifts, including those on registries.  Any gifts offered must be received graciously with an appropriate thank-you to the giver.

14.  For new parents-to-be:  Please do not assume that everyone wants to see a sonogram or video of the childbirth.  Ask your intended audience before displaying either.

15.  Also for new parents: Please do not assume that everyone is entertained by unsolicited stories of the birth.  Keep it private unless asked for.

16.  Again for new parents:  Superior parking spaces, places in line, and other "perks" are privileges and not entitlements.

17.  Finally for new parents: Be considerate of those with fertility problems-don't pressure them to hold your child, make any kind of derogatory comments, suggest that it's easy, suggest that they're lucky not to be parents, etc.
« Last Edit: April 03, 2009, 05:39:24 PM by KeenReader »
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RainhaDoTexugo

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Re: Pregnancy/birth etiquette
« Reply #1 on: March 01, 2009, 04:18:51 PM »

5.  Only the parents get to decide whom she wants to attend the birth.  Grandparents, in-laws, and other relatives and friends do not have an automatic right to be present-regardless of the fact that a new member of their family is about to be born.

I edited this one - the mother may have the final veto power, but the new father should definitely have input.

Quote
10.  It is okay to have a shower for a new mother (if it is in keeping with her culture), but it should not be a "surprise" shower.

Just curious, why are surprise showers rude?

Lisbeth

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Re: Pregnancy/birth etiquette
« Reply #2 on: March 01, 2009, 04:20:56 PM »

5.  Only the parents get to decide whom she wants to attend the birth.  Grandparents, in-laws, and other relatives and friends do not have an automatic right to be present-regardless of the fact that a new member of their family is about to be born.

I edited this one - the mother may have the final veto power, but the new father should definitely have input.

Quote
10.  It is okay to have a shower for a new mother (if it is in keeping with her culture), but it should not be a "surprise" shower.

Just curious, why are surprise showers rude?

I disagree with the edit.  The father is not giving birth.  If the mother doesn't want his parents there for example, they should not be there.  For that matter, if she doesn't want him there, he should respect her wishes.

I think surprise showers are rude because they involve sudden startlement of someone whose body is going through hormonal changes.
« Last Edit: March 01, 2009, 04:24:14 PM by KeenReader »
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RainhaDoTexugo

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Re: Pregnancy/birth etiquette
« Reply #3 on: March 01, 2009, 04:32:12 PM »
As I said, the mother has veto power, but it's the father's kid, too, and in my opinion, to lump his opinion in with that of the grandparents and friends is unrealistic.  New mom can put her foot down and say no, but she should give consideration to what he wants, as well, especially when it comes to people in the waiting room, as opposed to people in the birthing room. 

Lisbeth

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Re: Pregnancy/birth etiquette
« Reply #4 on: March 01, 2009, 04:35:07 PM »
As I said, the mother has veto power, but it's the father's kid, too, and in my opinion, to lump his opinion in with that of the grandparents and friends is unrealistic.  New mom can put her foot down and say no, but she should give consideration to what he wants, as well, especially when it comes to people in the waiting room, as opposed to people in the birthing room. 

Original message changed to:

Sorry, misunderstood your original response.  I still think that when it comes to the delivery room, only the mother gets to decide who, if anyone, accompanies her in there besides the medical staff.  But for the waiting room, it's something for her to decide together with the father.
« Last Edit: March 01, 2009, 05:54:11 PM by KeenReader »
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MaggieB

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Re: Pregnancy/birth etiquette
« Reply #5 on: March 01, 2009, 04:37:21 PM »
I see where you're coming from, KeenReader, but the way it is phrased originally makes it sound like no one, including the father, is allowed to bring this subject up with the mother.  It's true that it is rude for friends, grandparents-to-be and other relatives to invite themselves into the delivery room, but I think this is a perfectly reasonable discussion for new parents to have.  

And as for who has final veto power between the mother and father, that probably varies from relationship to relationship.  I'm not sure that's really an etiquette issue.  At least not one we will ever reach a consensus on.   ;)

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Re: Pregnancy/birth etiquette
« Reply #6 on: March 01, 2009, 04:38:09 PM »
I'm with Rainha, except in instances when the father has otherwise absented himself from the pregnancy.(purposefully absented, as opposed to being called away for important business/war/etc)
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Lisbeth

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Re: Pregnancy/birth etiquette
« Reply #7 on: March 01, 2009, 04:43:17 PM »
I see where you're coming from, KeenReader, but the way it is phrased originally makes it sound like no one, including the father, is allowed to bring this subject up with the mother.  It's true that it is rude for friends, grandparents-to-be and other relatives to invite themselves into the delivery room, but I think this is a perfectly reasonable discussion for new parents to have.  

And as for who has final veto power between the mother and father, that probably varies from rel@tionship to rel@tionship.  I'm not sure that's really an etiquette issue.  At least not one we will ever reach a consensus on.   ;)

I think that they can ask, but the mother does and should have final veto power.

Let's face it, childbirth is a procedure that involves pain and can in many ways involve what can feel to the mother like a major lack of dignity.  She should not be made to feel guilty or told how "hurt" others are that she doesn't want them there while she's undergoing a painful procedure that involves pushing something out of the lower end of her body or having an incision made in her abdomen and something removed-even if it's a child.
« Last Edit: March 01, 2009, 04:57:44 PM by KeenReader »
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Tai

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Re: Pregnancy/birth etiquette
« Reply #8 on: March 01, 2009, 04:43:51 PM »
POD to mom's choice only.  MIL decided that she wanted to be there when Peach was born, and DH decided it wasn't such a bad idea.  *I* decided that when DH is giving birth, he's welcome to invite his mom, but when it is *my* nether regions exposed I get to decide who is there.  Heck, my SIL is medical personell, and I threw her out of the room too.  

Yes, it is DH's kid too, but quite frankly I have "Domino's" deliveries in the middle of the night- We made it to the hospital with 8 minutes to spare before Luigi was born, and only 15 with Peach- and we live in the same city as the hospital they were born in....  Anyways, I have a problem with "make sure you call us when Tai goes into labor" because, well, if I'm in labor and not at the hospital, DH doesn't have TIME to call anyone.  

For everyone else, yeah, I think that MTB and DTB can have the discussion on pretty much anything regarding the birth- but MTB has the absolute veto.  For instance, if DTB thinks that pain medication is bad but MTB wants an epidural- MTB wins.  DTB wants MTB to breastfeed, MTB doesn't- MTB wins.  When DTB is having his own L&D, he can decide.  (of course, it should be a discussion where both parties listen, not just "I'm doing this.  Period")

13.  Pregnant moms-to-be:  You aren't entitled to ANYTHING, giftwise.  Nobody *has* to buy you anything, so be thankful for everything you receive.  


NOVA Lady

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Re: Pregnancy/birth etiquette
« Reply #9 on: March 01, 2009, 04:48:01 PM »
"8.  Avoid smoking in the presence of a pregnant woman."

8. Avoid smoking in the presence of a pregnant woman, unless she is is a smoking establishment or a designated smoking area.

...

For the pregnant woman:

13. Avoid discussing the gory details of pregnancy and child birth unless the other party is comfortable with it.

14. Do not expect to be given a seat, a closer place in line, etc. (But it is lovely when people do offer)

15. Do ask your friends/family how they are, do not make the impending birth the sole topic of conversation.

penelope2017

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Re: Pregnancy/birth etiquette
« Reply #10 on: March 01, 2009, 04:49:50 PM »
I see where you're coming from, KeenReader, but the way it is phrased originally makes it sound like no one, including the father, is allowed to bring this subject up with the mother.  It's true that it is rude for friends, grandparents-to-be and other relatives to invite themselves into the delivery room, but I think this is a perfectly reasonable discussion for new parents to have.  

And as for who has final veto power between the mother and father, that probably varies from rel@tionship to rel@tionship.  I'm not sure that's really an etiquette issue.  At least not one we will ever reach a consensus on.   ;)

I think that they can ask, but the mother does and should have final veto power.

Let's face it, childbirth is a procedure that involves pain and can in many ways involves what can feel to the mother like a major lack of dignity.  She should not be made to feel guilty or told how "hurt" others are that she doesn't want them there while she's undergoing a painful procedure that involves pushing something out of the lower end of her body or having an incision made in her abdomen and something removed-even if it's a child.

I think we need to clarify - are we talking in the delivery room? Yes, mom should of course get final say. At the hospital in some other area politely waiting for parents' cues? I think that should be joint decision. Grandparents or whoever else is allowed to be at the hospital can see the new baby through the window in the nursery shortly after birth (at every birth I've been to) with no disruption or interaction with the new mom if she so chooses.

Lisbeth

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Re: Pregnancy/birth etiquette
« Reply #11 on: March 01, 2009, 04:51:31 PM »
I see where you're coming from, KeenReader, but the way it is phrased originally makes it sound like no one, including the father, is allowed to bring this subject up with the mother.  It's true that it is rude for friends, grandparents-to-be and other relatives to invite themselves into the delivery room, but I think this is a perfectly reasonable discussion for new parents to have.  

And as for who has final veto power between the mother and father, that probably varies from rel@tionship to rel@tionship.  I'm not sure that's really an etiquette issue.  At least not one we will ever reach a consensus on.   ;)

I think that they can ask, but the mother does and should have final veto power.

Let's face it, childbirth is a procedure that involves pain and can in many ways involves what can feel to the mother like a major lack of dignity.  She should not be made to feel guilty or told how "hurt" others are that she doesn't want them there while she's undergoing a painful procedure that involves pushing something out of the lower end of her body or having an incision made in her abdomen and something removed-even if it's a child.

I think we need to clarify - are we talking in the delivery room? Yes, mom should of course get final say. At the hospital in some other area politely waiting for parents' cues? I think that should be joint decision. Grandparents or whoever else is allowed to be at the hospital can see the new baby through the window in the nursery shortly after birth (at every birth I've been to) with no disruption or interaction with the new mom if she so chooses.

I'm talking about at the actual delivery.  I agree that who comes to visit in the hospital afterwards should be a joint decision between the parents.
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drebay

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Re: Pregnancy/birth etiquette
« Reply #12 on: March 01, 2009, 04:52:18 PM »
POD to mom's choice only.  MIL decided that she wanted to be there when Peach was born, and DH decided it wasn't such a bad idea.  *I* decided that when DH is giving birth, he's welcome to invite his mom, but when it is *my* nether regions exposed I get to decide who is there.  Heck, my SIL is medical personell, and I threw her out of the room too.  


I agree.  I would not want MY mom in the room, let alone DHs mom.  The person giving birth has all veto power.  If mom-to-be wanted someone in, but dad-to-be doesn't, there needs to be a discussion.  Mom needs the support. Fair? no. Sometimes life isn't fair.

penelope2017

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Re: Pregnancy/birth etiquette
« Reply #13 on: March 01, 2009, 05:01:07 PM »
I see where you're coming from, KeenReader, but the way it is phrased originally makes it sound like no one, including the father, is allowed to bring this subject up with the mother.  It's true that it is rude for friends, grandparents-to-be and other relatives to invite themselves into the delivery room, but I think this is a perfectly reasonable discussion for new parents to have.  

And as for who has final veto power between the mother and father, that probably varies from rel@tionship to rel@tionship.  I'm not sure that's really an etiquette issue.  At least not one we will ever reach a consensus on.   ;)

I think that they can ask, but the mother does and should have final veto power.

Let's face it, childbirth is a procedure that involves pain and can in many ways involves what can feel to the mother like a major lack of dignity.  She should not be made to feel guilty or told how "hurt" others are that she doesn't want them there while she's undergoing a painful procedure that involves pushing something out of the lower end of her body or having an incision made in her abdomen and something removed-even if it's a child.

I think we need to clarify - are we talking in the delivery room? Yes, mom should of course get final say. At the hospital in some other area politely waiting for parents' cues? I think that should be joint decision. Grandparents or whoever else is allowed to be at the hospital can see the new baby through the window in the nursery shortly after birth (at every birth I've been to) with no disruption or interaction with the new mom if she so chooses.

I'm talking about at the actual delivery.  I agree that who comes to visit in the hospital afterwards should be a joint decision between the parents.


Sorry, again I mean at the hospital in the waiting room while the mom is in labor/delivering vs. in the delivery room itself. Not visiting afterward. Mom should be able to veto delivery room, both parents should be able to decide who is in the waiting room while mom is in labor. My comment about seeing the baby in the nursery was shortly after the baby is delivered, for people who are waiting for it to happen. You can do this without even going into the new mom's room and she won't be disturbed.

Lisbeth

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Re: Pregnancy/birth etiquette
« Reply #14 on: March 01, 2009, 05:02:34 PM »
I see where you're coming from, KeenReader, but the way it is phrased originally makes it sound like no one, including the father, is allowed to bring this subject up with the mother.  It's true that it is rude for friends, grandparents-to-be and other relatives to invite themselves into the delivery room, but I think this is a perfectly reasonable discussion for new parents to have.  

And as for who has final veto power between the mother and father, that probably varies from rel@tionship to rel@tionship.  I'm not sure that's really an etiquette issue.  At least not one we will ever reach a consensus on.   ;)

I think that they can ask, but the mother does and should have final veto power.

Let's face it, childbirth is a procedure that involves pain and can in many ways involves what can feel to the mother like a major lack of dignity.  She should not be made to feel guilty or told how "hurt" others are that she doesn't want them there while she's undergoing a painful procedure that involves pushing something out of the lower end of her body or having an incision made in her abdomen and something removed-even if it's a child.

I think we need to clarify - are we talking in the delivery room? Yes, mom should of course get final say. At the hospital in some other area politely waiting for parents' cues? I think that should be joint decision. Grandparents or whoever else is allowed to be at the hospital can see the new baby through the window in the nursery shortly after birth (at every birth I've been to) with no disruption or interaction with the new mom if she so chooses.

I'm talking about at the actual delivery.  I agree that who comes to visit in the hospital afterwards should be a joint decision between the parents.


Sorry, again I mean at the hospital in the waiting room while the mom is in labor/delivering vs. in the delivery room itself. Not visiting afterward. Mom should be able to veto delivery room, both parents should be able to decide who is in the waiting room while mom is in labor. My comment about seeing the baby in the nursery was shortly after the baby is delivered, for people who are waiting for it to happen. You can do this without even going into the new mom's room and she won't be disturbed.

I think that who is in the waiting room, as opposed to the delivery room, is something the parents should decide between themselves jointly.
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