Originally Posted by Arwyn
Now Odent rubs me wrong, too, with his insistance that even having a supportive male partner there is hindering!
There's just no one I completely agree with.
And that's ok!
semantics here, but he doesn't insist
it. in fact, in most of the births he attends, fathers are very much involved. (although re-reading that chapter after this post I can see how one can come away with the idea that he believes all fathers are a hindrance...I just happen to have read some articles and heard some talks in which he elaborates a bit more on the topic....)
he is just trying to bring up a differing viewpoint: that men think VERY differently than women (they're very linear generally) and they bring alot of their own fears to birth. I think, as a midwife, I've seen this so much (to the point of men forbidding their partners to have homebirths or freaking out that things "take too long"). But, the same could be true for grandmothers, too. I don't think it's restricted to gender, but men are horrifically left out of the truth of birthing (we women talk birth ALOT, men don't really do this much, if at all) and what they come away with is normal: they love their partners, they don't know much about birth and what they have heard scares them, they want the best for their babies, they think more linearly (like the medical model), etc.
Then again, come to think of it, many MIDWIVES (read: women) do the same thing in terms of hindering a birth because of their presence, beliefs about birth, fears and intervention. So, there ya go!
Some men don't fit the generalization and I've definitely seen women who really need their partners. To me, it's more about what the MOTHER and FATHER both want and what they envision for their birth. If you'd rather have your dog there than your partner, go for it. I just think that there are some men who don't really want to be at the birth, but are afraid to look like losers if they say so.
(My partner's birth was the most difficult birth I've ever been to and possibly the closest I can come to really understanding what a father goes through...it was so hard emotionally!)
I think it's a valid viewpoint, even if we consider it for just 1/3 of what he's saying. Then again, it could be that he's really one of the few voices out there that really shifted my way of being a midwife in a very complete way. So, maybe it's my bias.
did any of this make sense? i just finished a margarita (hey, I'm not on call!) and I'm thinking that I can't type, make sense and drink at the same time. ok. I'm done now.
p.s.: Michel Odent is not my lover. I gain nothing from gettin' his back.