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Hubbys in the delivery room - Page 3

post #41 of 53
Originally Posted by lactatinggirl View Post

His co-workers actually made fun of him for going to all of my midwife appointments, but when I gave him the option to not go last week (because it was just a boring appointment and he had extra work to catch up on), he still decided to come with.


Yep... same here.  He is not easily shaken by other males comments.  That is one huge (of many) why I decided to marry the man and have his child.  Glad to hear there are others!!!

post #42 of 53

I know people are jumping on Devaskyla's post as being offensive, but I just wanted to say I really appreciated it.  I don't think she was referring to men who are squeamish about seeing the birth because they're squeamish around bodily fluids/medical things.  I think she's referring to guys like the last one I dated, who said he didn't want to be in the delivery room at all (he'd wait outside) and that he never wanted to see or hear about breastfeeding because he wants to think of breasts as sexual only.


It's great reading stories from all of you about supportive husbands who love that you're their sexual partner and a (future) mom!  It's very healing for me as that guy's attitude really hurt me.  It was also nice reading Devaskyla calling those types of men immature, because that's what had finally helped me move on...realizing he was just immature, and that there are plenty of supportive men out there!



Originally Posted by Devaskyla View Post

I'm not talking about men who are surprised or even upset by any damage, but ones who have trouble seeing their wives as sexual after the birth. Ones who refuse to have sex with them and often wind up divorced because of it. And there are a few of those kind of guys out there. And I do consider them immature.



post #43 of 53

I admit I did not read through the entire thread before I posted, and yes that kind of attitude is immature.

post #44 of 53

cresting, I'm glad someone understood what I was getting at & that it was maybe helpful for you.

post #45 of 53

Sorry to revisit such an old thread, but this is on my mind a lot as we get further along.


I read this article today from Dr. Michel Odent about why husbands should never be in the delivery room:



To be quite honest, I had never considered not having my husband there before pregnancy, and I don't think he ever considered not being there either.  Social norm is that the husband goes to every prenatal appt, every class, every shopping outing and holds your hand as you push.  But is that really natural?  As I get further along, I am beginning to have serious doubts. It's mostly about me.  There are so many things about the delivery that I feel are just as private as having a BM, I am not sure if truly a man has any place there.  I am also not sure how well a man, on a purely primal and subconscious level can handle the experience.  Has anyone really considered not having their husband there?

post #46 of 53

I don't believe the social norm is to have the male partner there for every appointment, class, etc.  Rather, it seems more common that the partners show up for the "big stuff" (at least that's how it is in my circle).


My feeling is that the baby is just as much his as yours and he should be able to attend and witness the birth as his own comfort level.  I seriously wouldn't have even considered telling my old man that he couldn't attend.  Partners don't have to watch the actual birth (in fact, some are probably not prepared for that visual) to be present.  I also don't think they have to cut the cord or hold gooey babies.  If they want to hang out at the head of the woman and just get the same view as her that's perfectly fine.  But to tell the father that he can't attend?  No way...unless there is a real reason why he shouldn't be there.

post #47 of 53

Well, it took me a minute to pick my jaw up off the floor.  And honestly my mind's going in a million different directions, I don't know if I'm really even making a point here...


You know, it's such a personal preference, from woman to woman.  Think what floored me the most about that article was the sweeping generalities he made ("ALL men should NEVER be present).  I guess society has also put the pressure on men to witness birth, so you can argue generalities there, as well...sheesh, I don't know...


He made good, plausible points, too, don't get me wrong, but wow...  And what's funny is he keeps saying that there's no evidence from studies that say that having the partner in the room is beneficial, but he writes his whole article based solely on HIS OWN observations, with no formal research to back anything up either...  I don't know...  And it's coming from the Daily Mail, which really doesn't help his credibility (they put in buzz articles that will generate readers to click on them, because they're controversial, etc).


And I could be wrong (I usually am) but I swear I read a medical report stating that men DO release a hormone that helps them bond with the baby, if they see the birth.  But then again...maybe that could be released at any time, as long as it's the first time he sees his child, I don't know...


Think the THEORY is solid.  But humans have had so much change to make his theories hard to follow through on -


- We don't live in small, secluded tribes anymore.  Like he mentioned, we are a "nuclear family" now - with most people living only with their immediate family and that's it, but with A LOT of outside contact.  We don't have a whole lot of women that eat, sleep, bathe, work and play in the same dwelling as us for the majority of our lives.  Obviously, that leads to a feeling (even if it's slight) of uncomfortableness around anyone (man or woman) who lives in a different location than us (Man, I hope this is making sense).


- HOMEBIRTHS ASIDE...but a fair percentage of women nowadays have their baby outside of their own home, leading to more unfamiliarity in the environment while laboring. 


So if you add those two things together, about the only thing a "modern" (read: not cave-woman) woman has anymore for familiar stability is her partner, who just happens to be male in the majority of cases.


Now...I will say that if you end up with a partner who is similar to what you see on shows like "One Born Every Minute" (OMG, don't watch that show...it's horrible), where they love to portray the husband as a bumbling idiot, who would rather be watching the big game on TV and makes a big deal out of eating in front of his wife, while she starves...then yes...  I can see how someone like that would justify getting the boot in the delivery room.  But honestly...how many of us have a partner like that???


For the above, I tried to stay as neutral as possible, as you asked for the opinions of women who have thought about not having their male partners there and I'm not one of those.  However, below, here's my take on the matter.


For my first kid, my (now) DH only went to the first MW appointment, the ultrasound and rolled his eyes through Bradley classes (so I don't think the partner going to "everything" is the norm), however methinks my head would've exploded if he wasn't there by my side through the birth.  In my case, I birthed in a hospital with a staff I wasn't familiar with, in a room I had never been in....I don't have the best relationship with my mother, I don't feel comfortable with my sister seeing that side of me...I did end up with a female friend in the room during the birth, but she hung back.  The ONLY anchor point I had was my DH.  And don't get me wrong, he wasn't the "coaching type", either.  But he was THERE and that's all I needed.  He was pretty calm through the whole thing, so I never felt like he was engaging my thinking side of the brain or upping his adrenaline levels.


This time around, I'm still going to be birthing in a fairly unfamiliar room (outside of a hospital), with a MW that I can hopefully identify by face, but probably not by name...still less-unfamiliar than before, but it's still not my house.  I'd prefer my anchor to be my DH, even if he's just there holding my hand while I get through a contraction.  And honestly, that's probably all he'll do and I'm OK with that.  But to kick him out entirely is just out of my range of thinking...


And just having asked my DH on his opinion on the matter, he couldn't fathom NOT being there, either.


Please don't hate me.  I just couldn't keep from commenting on that article.



post #48 of 53

Interesting. I read one of Odent's earlier books about his original clinic in France and there were tons of photos of husbands helping their wives to give birth -- even holding them while they squatted when the baby was crowning. He must have changed his mind along the way.

post #49 of 53

I couldn't agree with that article, but maybe it has something to do with the sort of husband one has?


I was very glad to have mine around during labor. He certainly didn't stress me out. I wasn't thinking about anything but the pain and hoping the baby didn't come before we made it to the hospital (he was born a few minutes later). Yeah, I had a 2-hour labor, so my husband's presence didn't slow it. smile.gif


In fact, I don't remember much from my labor (I do remember that as soon as we got to the birthing room, the midwife put my hand down there to show that our baby's head was already coming out). I think my husband saw something, and he wasn't bothered. He also cut the cord and dressed our son for the first time while he was still all gooey.


His presence at the birth did not hurt our sex life at all. Trying to conceive for a year for currently gestating baby did. A bit, anyway. Thankfully, we've moved past that. winky.gif


I'm a bit worried that he won't be present so much this time. If our son wakes up during his sister's birth, daddy will have to keep an eye on him and take him to another room if he cries or acts scared. We're thinking of doing a home birth with a midwife due to my previous fast labor, which I'll bet will give my doctor a heart attack when we tell him.

post #50 of 53
Thread Starter 

I'm going to give this article to my husband to read, and then ask him what he thinks.  His first reaction when I first told him about homebirth was that he didn't want to be anywhere near the room while I labored (which I was fine with).  He's warmed up to the idea of being there, and now talks about being present in a very matter-of-fact way.  I'm curious what he'll think of this article, and honestly I would be happy with whatever decision he made.

post #51 of 53

The Odent article was going around when I was pregnant the first time, and I did consider at the time whether or not I really wanted my husband there. 


Honestly?  Nothing he brings up in the article applied in our case.  My husband knows me and how I deal with stress and KNOWS not to ask me questions when I'm stressing.  He definitely didn't pry while I was in labor.  No doubt he felt some anxiety about watching me labor-- but he did not pass this on to me through his actions and his adrenaline did not somehow osmose into me.  Modesty was not an issue at all.  When I hit active labor, I literally ripped my clothing off.  Could not have cared less who was there.  Why would I be concerned about my husband-- who regularly sees me naked-- seeing my body while in labor yet not concerned about the medical personnel coming into and out of our room, my doula, etc, seeing me in that state?  Maybe some women would but again it didn't apply...  Also, the argument that having your  husband there will somehow block your release of oxytocin-- why would this apply to your husband but not your midwife/doula/anyone else who might be there in a non-UC birth?


Can I picture a man who I wouldn't want with me during labor?  Yes.  Is that man my husband?  No.  Do I think it's fair to generalize and say that no men/fathers should be allowed to be present for childbirths ever?  Definitely no.

post #52 of 53

This article read as a pretty hokey to me.....  The crowning piece of ridiculousness is the fact that it seeks to link any amount of blame for the high number of medicalized births and cesareans with the presence of the father, in the face of copious amounts glaring evidence against common routine practices of the hospital.  It seems highly unlikely to me that a woman can be poked, prodded, hooked up to monitors, kept in bed flat on her back, kept under glaring lights in unfamiliar sterile conditions, and overseen by often time crunched and desensitized doctors and nurses during the process of giving birth and anyone can come to the conclusion that it is the man that she conceived the child with that is causing the problem. 


I'm not saying in any way that every partner should be at the birth of their child.  For some couples, that may be simply uncomfortable... and, of course, they should make choices that feel right to them.  It is the generalization of all men as bumbling idiots who can't be supportive or helpful, have any level of awareness of the intensity of the situation, or muster the respect to help hold the birth space as sacred that seems completely unfounded.  I also think the idea that a man can't really be expected to handle the visuals of the birth process without a damaged psyche seems insulting to all of the partners that not only gave rock like support and encouragement but also now treasure a beautiful life changing experience of their own.  In this very thread many of us talked about our experiences with our partners in the room during birth as loving, supportive, and relationship affirming.  The experience that I had with my partner gave us a mutual sense of respect and awe for each other that helped us get through the tough times with a new baby. 


Like I said, there are absolutely reasons to not have your partner with you during your birth.  Maybe you want to birth alone.... maybe your partner is way too nervous and both of you acknowledge the fact that he would be a hindrance..... but to say that NO father should be at the birth of his child seems truly disrespectful of the ones out there each of us know deserve to be there.  They happen to be many of our partners. 

post #53 of 53
Thread Starter 

I told my husband about the article, explained the main points objectively, and he said that his role was to make me happy and comfortable, so whatever I requested he would do without getting offended.  I think this is how Odent's article should be approached, as a caveat that *some* women might react in X,Y,Z manner to the presence of their spouse, so it's important to discuss expectations ahead of time and establish that the woman's requests can change throughout labor, so the man doesn't feel useless or hurt.


Also, I thought a lot about how I feel about my husband actually seeing a baby come out from between my legs (which was the main reason I started this thread in the first place) and I decided to ask my husband to stay near my shoulders while I delivered the baby, because I feel more comfortable with that.  He pointed out that one of our friends told him he didn't want to have sex with his wife for three months after witnessing the birth of their child (and this is a very warm, loving, mature couple, not some immature guy).  I know my husband and how he was raised, so we came to that agreement and he was perfectly fine with it.


If anything, this article should be read to get the couple talking, but I agree with everyone else: it should not be a Bible for how we should birth.

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