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Grandparent's Role During Birth

Attending the birth of your grandchild can be a powerful experience and intense bonding opportunity for you and your daughter or daughter-in-law. But it's probably been a few years since you witnessed a delivery and the procedures, philosophies, and equipment have changed a lot. So if you plan to attend the birth of your grandchild (whether it's a hospital or home birth), prepare yourself before the big event.

Take some time to familiarize yourself with current birthing procedures at hospitals, as well as home birth procedures, if applicable. A great way to do this is to attend the hospital tour with the parents-to-be and meet the doctor before the big day. There are also classes just for grandparents and many books available to bring you up to date with birthing practices today and the equipment used. Being well prepared will help you be more relaxed and better equipped to support the parents-to-be during the big day.

It's also important to sit down and discuss your interests and expectations with the parents-to-be in advance. You might want to be much more involved than they are comfortable with, or vice versa. Knowing the role you'll play ahead of time will help avoid disagreements or hurt feelings in the emotionally-charged process that is labor and delivery. Here are a few roles that grandparents may play during birth:

Photographer

Take over the role of photographer and/or videographer to give the father/partner time to focus on the laboring mom-to-be. Just be sure all your equipment is in working order, full of film or a new digital memory card, and the batteries are fully charged before the big day!

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Featured Sites:

Cord Blood Registry
March of Dimes
Susan G. Komen


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