You can choose whom you want to be at your baby's birth. In addition to your partner and birth companion or doula, there may be others you want to witness the birth.
Talk with your health care provider about the people you want with you.
Labor and birth rooms have limited space. There may only be room for two or three extra people. Check with your hospital birth center about having extra people in the room during the birth.
You have many options. Family members or friends can stay with you during labor or come for the last hour or so to be there for your baby's birth. They may stay in the room with you during procedures and exams or leave to give you privacy.
If an emergency arises, however, family members and friends not providing labor support may be asked to leave the room.
Consider your own comfort. You need to be able to relax and work with your labor. If the extra people will make it harder for you to cope with labor, consider having them come into your room after your baby is born. They could come in right away or after you have spent some time with your newborn.
If you wish to have your children at the birth, talk with your health care provider. With good planning, having children present can be a positive experience. They will need to be supported by a trusted family member or friend whose only job is to care for them. Children will be able to attend if they are not sick with cold, flu or other infection.
You and your partner need to be free to concentrate on giving birth. You will want to know that someone else is there to reassure your children and see to their needs.
Allina Health's Patient Education Department, Beginnings: Pregnancy, Birth and Beyond, seventh edition, ob-ah-90026
Allina Health's Patient Education Department experts
Visitors may be asked to wait in a family or visitors' lounge for the confidentiality of all patients.
Every situation is different. Your doctor or nurse will give your visitors direction.