And the Crowd Goes Wild… For Your New Baby
The birth of a child is one of the most intimate moments for any couple, but that seems to be going right out the window in today's world full of oversharing and limited privacy.
Seen more than once on reality television programs, the concept of "crowd birthing" has been picking up steam across the country. Expectant moms and dads invite more than just a few people — usually extended family and friends — into the delivery room to watch the magic happen live.
These requests pop up from time to time at CentraState Medical Center in Freehold, and according to Dawn Kline, director of maternal child health, the hospital makes every effort to accommodate the parents.
"Has it been 20 people? No. Has it been more than just the essential parties? Yes," Kline said.
But, just like most hospitals, space isn't endless, so there are limitations to how many people can be in the room at the same time.
The most unique in-room spectators, Kline said, have been young siblings of the expected child.
"Then we always encourage them to have at least one other adult, not the father…because if the child needs to leave the room, then we would want another responsible adult to be able to go outside with them so that way the father or the significant other doesn't need to miss the delivery of the baby," Kline explained.
And safety's first. Any "crowd" that's present wouldn't get a front row seat to the baby's grand entrance. Spectators are put to the side or towards the opposite side of the bed near the mother's head.
According to Kline, these requests don't have so much to do with parents wanting extra attention. It's just a sign that the dynamics of families have changed over time.
"It's not your traditional mother-father-child anymore," she said. "Other important people that are going to be involved with the new baby want to participate in the delivery process."
Requests for comment from other hospitals in New Jersey went unanswered.