Imagine being at a funeral service and overhearing staff discussing their upcoming vacation or how much money they saved on car insurance.
Crazy, right? I'm not saying it never happens, but it's likely very rare.
Now imagine being at your birth and hearing the same kinds of conversations from your nursing staff, OB, midwife, surgical team, etc. while awaiting (and working really hard on) the birth of your baby.
It happens all the time.
Both events call for reverence, and yet people are less likely to maintain the same level of respect when it comes to birth. Being subject to irrelevant conversations during birth sounds like no big deal, but as a doula and a person who has given birth three times, I can tell you that it mattered to me and it has mattered to the families I've supported. People focusing on the hard and important work of labor and birth notice when staff members dismiss the significance of the moment by passing the time with stories about a bad date, weekend plans, etc.
Some hospitals are even catching on to the importance of this issue. Connecting the Dots, our sister blog for birth professionals, reported this week about signage in laboring rooms at a Seattle-area hospital that reads: "Please limit your conversations to THIS BIRTH. Quietly. It is THEIR birth. No other conversations apply."
If you're preparing for your upcoming birth, you should know that you have the right and power to stop unrelated chatter during your birth, should it occur. First, add the request to your birth plan. It can be worded as simply as this, "Please hold conversations unrelated to our care/birth outside of our hospital room." Be sure your partner and birth support team (doula, family, friend, etc.) are aware of your preferences for irrelevant chitchat, and ask that they speak up if it happens. They can simply say, "Excuse me, we/my partner/friend/NAME has asked that any conversations not related to their care/their birth take place outside of the hospital room. Thank you for honoring this time."
Birth is a time that deserves honor and respect. For hospital staff, it becomes a routine event, but for parents going through the experience, it's always special and significant. Asking staff to hold off on unrelated conversations is a small ask for them but a big deal for you.
TagsBirth plans Hospital Birth