pregnant woman hunched over bed prior to giving birth
Editorial credit: ChameleonsEye /
Birth Stories C-Section Labor + Delivery

Giving Birth is Not a Party

By Melissa Roy

Giving birth is not a party.

It sounds stupid to even say it, but it seems like people have forgotten what birth is really about.

Birth is not about having a get together with all your family and friends. It’s not about who is there to see it (except mom-to-be, her partner and her midwife or doctor.) It’s not about ensuring everyone has a good time and goes home happy. It’s not about who has hurt feelings when they don’t get an invite. And there certainly aren’t any goody bags.

It’s about having a baby. It’s about a woman getting a pretty large object out of her body. It’s about two intertwined lives becoming individual. It’s about the start of a brand new life.

I know, I’ve done it three times and on the brink of doing it a fourth time, and frankly, I’m tired of people thinking that my giving birth has anything to do with them and their feelings. It’s about me getting my baby out of my body as healthily as possible.

Some women spend a lot of time thinking about exactly what kind of birth they want, where they want to be at each moment and who they want to be there. I’m no exception and after four pregnancies, I’ve done my share of planning and creating expectations. But this time, it’s just about having a baby.

I just want to be healthy at the end of it.  I just want my baby to be healthy, too. I don’t want the drama involved with having a lot of people around. I don’t want to babysit or entertain other people while I’m waiting for the big day (I’ve already got three kids.)

But people seem to forget that birth is about the mother and baby, no one else.

This upcoming birth is purely about my experience. It’s about my life, my health, my baby. My birth is not a social event. It’s not something anyone should feel automatically invited to.

Giving birth is hard and it’s made even harder when you have too many eyes, ears and opinions in the room. It’s made harder when you’re worried about everyone else’s feelings instead of your own. It’s made harder when, on your big day, you’re not the center of attention.

So if you know someone who is pregnant, remember: her birth is not a party. She is not obligated to invite you into the birthing room whether she’s your daughter, sister, neighbor or best friend. Unless you helped get the baby in there or have been hired to assist with getting the baby out, she is under no obligation to let you in (and even then, she is in full control of when and where you are welcome to be.)

Our next reco: 10 Tips for Handling Visitors After Birth

Leave a Comment