One of the great things about being midwives is that we often get to work with families over many years, and see them through multiple pregnancies and births. We also have clients come into our care after they already have one or more children. During interviews, we are sometimes asked whether it is okay to bring the other children along to prenatal visits, to which our answer is, “Of course!”
We absolutely adore seeing the faces of your little ones – and it’s so special when we get to see those babies that we have helped into the world grow into little people. We also see the value in providing a space in which you can get your prenatal care without having to interrupt your family routine overmuch by arranging child care (though some of our clients prefer to use this time as a few rare child-free moments, and that is just fine, too!)
This week, we were asked more than once about bringing children to the office, so we thought we’d write down a few thoughts about how to make including your children in your care work smoothly:
Our office is child-friendly, and we have toys and books in the waiting room. Keep in mind, these toys are not necessarily for little babies who put things in their mouths, so supervision is needed. Luckily, we have a glass wall between the toy area and the “visiting” room, where you would normally sit and chat with us during your appointments, making it easier to keep an eye on everyone. Even though it is easy to see the children, we have found that young toddlers most often prefer to stay with you during your appointments, and this is completely okay – we support that need for attachment and security, and would prefer that your child is happy and with you rather than anxious in the next room.
On that vein, sometimes small children get scared when their mothers go to use the restroom during their prenatal visit (this normally happens at the beginning of the visit, when you do your quick urine test), and they cry when they are left in the office, even with their friendly midwives and siblings present. If your child falls in this category, we encourage you to bring them with you to the bathroom – we want coming to our office to be a positive experience for your child, and not a scary one.
Your children are also welcome to come into the exam room with you. We have had many a child who is interested in how we listen to the baby, and we are more than happy to show them and answer curious questions, to your comfort level. And kids can be great helpers!
We would love to hear stories about how you included your children in your own prenatal care – let us know if you have an experience or an image to share. In a future post, we’ll talk about including kids in your birth.