Also, consider whom you'd like to have present during labor and delivery. "It's totally an individual decision who is in the room ... Hospitals have become very acclimated with this procedure and follow [parents' wishes] as much as they can," says Dr. Louis Borgenicht, MD, pediatrician and author The Baby Owner's Manual: Operating Instructions, Trouble-Shooting Tips, and Advice on First-Year Maintenance.
Don't feel pressured to include your entire family in this event—make the decision that is most comfortable for you. Laurel Fay, a licensed clinical marriage and family therapist in Washington, DC, and mom to twin girls, says, "Birth is the start of a period of intense adjustment for the new family, and it is important that friends and family understand that, too, and give the new family time to adjust."
If you're having a girl, you can skip this section—but if you're having a boy or are waiting to be surprised, it's important to address circumcision before the doctor hands you a stack of consent papers to sign.
"This procedure is usually done in the hospital on the second day after birth," says Dr. Borgenicht. "Generally emotional and social factors contribute to a family's decision to circumcise, so these are things you need to discuss—whether the father wants the son to be like him or there are deep religious beliefs that would influence the decision."
Do some research and look at both sides of this much-debated issue. Talk to your partner about why he feels a certain way, and don't feel pressured by what friends or family say. If you do decide to circumcise, says Dr. Borgenicht, make sure you select an experienced and knowledgeable doctor for the procedure.
Recovery Room and At-Home Visitors
Besides who will be in the delivery room with you, try to establish before Baby arrives how you'd like to receive visitors at home. "I think [a visitors' schedule] is a very important topic for a couple to discuss ahead of time," says Fay. "In a very real way, it defines the couple and child as a new family unto themselves and lets extended family know where those new boundaries are."
To avoid conflicts and hurt feelings, Fay suggests creating a tentative visiting schedule for well-wishers. "I would recommend a schedule that is as concrete as possible, with lots of room for flexibility and change. It's also important that the couple be on the same page in terms of understanding what the other partner wants, needs, and expects from the visits of family and friends."