Mum 'livid' after mother-in-law holds newborn before she does

"I'm livid," says Mumsnet user Miss Bax.
"I'm livid," says Mumsnet user Miss Bax. Photo: Shutterstock

A mum has been left devastated and angry after her mother-in-law held her newborn granddaughter before she did.

Taking to Mumsnet with her "mother-in-law rant", forum user Miss Bax shared that she had given birth to her baby girl six weeks ago via an emergency c-section. "Shook up" after the experience, her husband called his mother, a doctor employed by the NHS, to "de-stress".

Despite not working in the women's hospital, Miss Bax explained that nevertheless, her mother-in-law managed to obtain access to the recovery area, "without permission" using her NHS work access card.

"I wasn't asked if it was okay if she could be there," Miss Bax wrote, noting that because she was still being stitched up in theatre, her mother-in-law held her newborn baby girl first.

"I'm so angry and upset about this," she said. The new mum added that she and her husband had discussed not having any visitors for at least a day, making her mother-in-law's intrusion all the more painful.

"I'm livid that the midwives allowed her to be there without asking me," Miss Bax wrote, adding that she was also furious with her husband for not advocating on her behalf. "He should have told her not to come, or to wait outside," she said.

But it wasn't just the fact that her mother-in-law had held her baby first.  Miss Bax shared that a doctor had come in to speak to her while she was recovering, meaning that her mother-in-law was privy to personal medical information about her, too.

"I'm actually in tears this morning thinking about it all again," she wrote, "and so angry and upset still."

Although it's been six weeks since she gave birth, Miss Bax explained that because of complications during the delivery, she had only just processed what had happened. Despite being "really upset" Miss Bax added that she had yet to speak to her husband about the incident because she didn't want to "make him feel bad".

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Mumsnet users overwhelmingly sided with Miss Bax, with many suggesting that she needed to talk it through with her husband - and possibly seek some formal counselling.

"The trauma of the birth has been compounded by your MILs thoughtlessness, but don't let it cloud your thoughts and taint this precious time with your little one," one commenter wrote. "You might benefit from talking to someone other than your husband about it. He should apologise, but that is all that can be done, it can't be changed now." 

Other forum users suggested Miss Bax make a formal complaint to the hospital about her mother-in-law's behaviour, with one commenter advising it would be considered a disciplinary offence.

"I'm an NHS employee and have access cards to wards as part of my job," she wrote. "It would be a disciplinary offence to ever use the card for a non-related purpose, which is exactly what your MiL has done ... she should have rung the ward bell and waited like a normal member of the public, she wasn't there in her capacity as a doctor; she was a relative visiting her son. And I'm sure she's smart enough to know that this would be a no-no under her trust policy!"

Other women felt strongly, however, that launching disciplinary action against her mother-in-law, was not the right thing to do - and would only make the situation worse. "Really? The best way to deal with this is to launch a disciplinary procedure against the woman the baby's father called on for support?" one woman argued. "Before even addressing it with the father or the mother-in-law? How could that possibly make the original poster's life better?"

Another offered a different perspective - as a mother-in-law herself. "If my son ever phoned me in a state of distress, desperately needing my support, I would be there in a flash," she said. "I make no apologies for that, and I expect you would do the same for your child."

In an updated comment, Miss Bax admitted that she realised she needs to speak to her husband. "I need him to be on board and assure me that nothing like that will ever happen again," she wrote. "He was there to advocate for me when I was at my most vulnerable and he knew I didn't want any visits for a while. He would have especially known how important it was to me to have a moment with my daughter before any other family members."