Ask the experts: Intimate delivery

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My mom assumes I’ll want her in the room when I deliver, but my husband and I would really like it to be just the two of us (plus our medical team, of course). How can I break the news without hurting her feelings?

Since your mom “assumes” you want her in the room, she is probably under the impression you may need her support during the delivery and is doing you a favor by acting on your wishes. If she assumes she is going to be in the room without a discussion with you first, you can kindly and diplomatically express to her that while you love her very much and are looking forward to her being a big part of your baby’s life, your delivery is something that you would like to share privately with your husband.
You might also consider giving your mom a special job, like keeping people posted on your progress and calling people after the baby has been born. You can also ask her to let everyone know that the birth is a memory you would like to make with your husband and new baby and to keep them from walking into your hospital room until you are ready. By assigning her specific tasks—that you’ll truly be appreciative of—she’ll still feel loved and involved.
—Diane Gottsman, national etiquette expert and owner of The Protocol School of Texas

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