Quora user Isabella Laguna was pregnant with twins when she posted a question that infuriated the internet. During their preparations for childbirth, her husband demanded to have her in-laws in the delivery room.
Childbirth is a beautiful thing, but it’s also a private affair. Stress and emotions run high and most future mothers prefer to have only vital persons present, such as doctors, spouses, and sometimes their parents or close friends. In-laws, in most cases, don’t make the cut. In fact, their presence could add more stress to an already taxing situation.
However, in Isabella’s query, she explains that “my husband is forcing me to let his parents in the delivery room, but I don’t want that.” She asked the internet what she should do.
Having In-Laws in the Delivery Room
All of the answers took Isabella’s side. Some took a more humorous approach while some stayed serious. They agreed that the future mother is the boss of the delivery room and she gets the final say on who should be there. After all, birth is a stressful event, not a performance. There will be plenty of time to celebrate the new arrival after the baby is born and the mother has some time to rest. 
Many answers scoffed at the husband for seeming to be so inconsiderate of his wife’s wishes. Some even questioned the healthiness of their relationship.
“I would probably suggest that my husband let me pump a basketball up while in his anus while my friends watch and once done we could talk about his parents but it doesn’t sound like you have that sort of relationship,” said one user.
Another use took a similar approach. “I would tell my husband that is fine. His in-laws will observe his vasectomy … just to make sure things go okay. No — not joking.”
The Mother Runs the Delivery Room
Another user explains how a husband should act in this situation. “Your husband’s role during childbirth is to be helpful and 100% supportive of you. That’s his only role in the process. You are the one giving birth and you need his total support. You need to explain this to him. He also needs to be counseled about this.”
A midwife chimed in as well. “When women feel safe and nurtured in labor, their bodies produce the natural hormone oxytocin which causes the contractions and the cervix to dilate. I have seen several occasions where I could see the young woman was not at ease with the people in the room. And guess what? The labor just doesn’t progress well. It may even completely stop!”
She goes on to explain that she privately checks with the mother if there’s anyone present who she doesn’t want to be there. Then she tells everyone to leave and doesn’t allow the guilty party to come back in. She lets herself be the bad guy in this situation, and in most cases, doctors and nurses are willing to be the bad guy too. “Staff will not allow anyone in, including the father of the baby, against the birthing woman’s wishes.”
Setting Boundaries with the In-Laws and the Husband
Others suggested speaking to the husband about boundaries with his parents. Many added that they should seek counseling.
“There’s NO way he should be siding with his parents over this issue, much less FORCING something on you at this time. If he won’t go with you, go by yourself,” said another user, a marriage and family therapist. “Remember you cannot be FORCED into anyone being in the room, which may or may not include him…” She adds that it seems like the husband doesn’t have “healthy distance and emotional boundaries with his parents.”
She concludes, “Don’t let him make YOU the bad guy (girl) here and tell his parents that you’re the one who doesn’t want them. He needs to say, ‘We want to do this privately, and you can come in about an hour (or whatever) after the baby is born.’”
A Happy Birth Story
One writer, Magdalena Sophia San, shared her similar experience. She and her fiancé’s families were booking flights to join them in the delivery room. However, as the big day came closer, she realized “I no longer wanted everyone and their mama in there.”
So she explained to her parents and her in-laws that they could still fly in but not to join them in the delivery room. They agreed and continued to book their flights. Then the story took an unexpected twist: Everyone’s flights were delayed or canceled.
Only her fiancé was present, and it was perfect. “The labor was intense and I am SO HAPPY that it was only us parents sharing this. He held my hand and legs and kissed me and kept cheering me on until our beautiful first baby was born. I’m happy that was OUR moment, as selfish as that may sound.” 
Hopefully, Isabella’s story will turn out as happy as Magdalena’s, with her partner becoming supportive of her and her in-laws staying outside of the delivery room.
- “Pregnant Woman Asks What To Do With Husband Who Wants His Parents In The Delivery Room, Internet Gives Best Advice.” Bored Panda. Giedrė Vaičiulaitytė. 2018
- “I’m pregnant and my husband is forcing me to let his parents in the delivery room, but I don’t want that. What should I do?” Quora. Isabella Laguna. 2018.