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letters | making labor and delivery a family event

Allowing kids in delivery room should be a personal decision

re “Bring the kids?” by Liz Kowalczyk (G section, April 23): Would I let my children be in the delivery room while I give birth? I don’t know. It is a decision that is both personal and situational, and that I will make with my family when the time comes. But it is just that — a decision — that I, as a patient, should have the power to make with my family.

If the decision to have children in the delivery room is made, it needs to be done right, which takes planning and education. This means involving every member of the health care team in planning for the birth and educating the kids in an age-appropriate manner. We need to think like kids when preparing them to be part of the delivery, which includes helping them to understand what they will see, what other people will be doing, what they will hear, and being there for them before, during, and afterward to answer questions or talk about what they saw in a nonjudgmental, safe way.

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Not allowing patients and their families the opportunity to make this decision would rob them of what could be a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Amy Chan

San Francisco

The writer is a student nurse at University of California, San Francisco.

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