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A Mom Explains What Mothers-In-Law Don't Get About Pushing Their Way Into The Delivery Room — 'Birth Is Not A Spectator Event'

Photo: Natalia Deriabina / Shutterstock
Mother holding her newborn baby child after labor in a hospital

A mom issued a straightforward message for anyone who is asking to be present in the delivery room as a woman gives birth.

In a TikTok video, a woman named Maddie insisted that it's not a woman's fault if she chooses to have only her and her partner in the room while she's in labor, and criticized anyone, especially mothers-in-law, who refused to give new parents their privacy during such a monumental moment. 

She pointed out that birth is not a 'spectator event' and mothers-in-law should not force their way into the delivery room.

"I can't believe there is a subset of the population that genuinely believes they have the right to attend the birth of a child that they did not help create," Maddie declared at the start of her video. 



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She explained that she didn't even know this was such a huge issue until she began receiving messages from other women. The messages consisted of women admitting that they had to fight tooth and nail to ensure that their labor and delivery didn't become a spectator event for other people to be a part of. 

"My first question for the people demanding to attend this birth is: Do you know what childbirth is?" Maddie demanded. "Because it either involves a woman, mostly nude, expelling a human from a very private location and often having a bowel movement in the process."

She pointed out that even if it isn't a vaginal birth, women who have to get C-sections are being cut open through multiple layers of tissue. In either circumstance, it isn't some glamorous event that people should feel this intense need to be involved in.

"It was really made clear to me with a comment that I received recently on Instagram. It was a comment that said something along the lines of, 'I've been there for five out of my 11 grandchildren's births.' The language that the woman uses, it's very clear that she completely disregarded the laboring mother."

Maddie emphasized that the only thing that mother-in-law cared about was the birth of her grandchild instead of the well-being of the woman bringing that baby into the world. "The woman experiencing the most life-changing, monumental, maybe even traumatic event, was basically an afterthought in this equation."

mom explains why some women dont want people watching their childbirthPhoto: Büşranur Aydın / Pexels

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Most expecting mothers prefer to not have extra company in the delivery room.

According to the National Institute of Health, 18% of women did not desire companionship during labor and 63% did not desire it during delivery. Many of those reasons for not wanting too many people in the delivery room stemmed from embarrassment and fear of gossip and abuse.

As Maddie mentioned in her video, giving birth is a deeply personal and intimate experience. While some women don't mind having people in the delivery room, including friends and family who aren't their partners, there are also many other women who feel more comfortable and relaxed in a private setting, allowing them to focus on the birthing process without the presence of a large audience.

Labor and childbirth require a lot out of a woman, and the last thing that they need to think about is how they are being perceived by other people. There's nothing wrong with waiting in the hospital waiting room to catch a glimpse of the baby once they are born, and it doesn't mean that you're missing out on some special moment by not seeing a baby leave their mother and enter the world for the first time.

It's time we stop refusing to acknowledge that childbirth is just about the mother as it is about the baby. Her needs cannot just be an afterthought, and at the end of the day, the decision of who is allowed in the delivery room is solely up to the mother and their partner.

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Nia Tipton is a Chicago-based entertainment, news, and lifestyle writer whose work delves into modern-day issues and experiences.