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What do you think, should Daddy stay away?

post #1 of 87
Thread Starter 
(Sorry if this was already posted somewhere..)

What do you think on this article? http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/liv...n_page_id=1879
post #2 of 87
I can certainly see the reasoning he offers and think it would apply to many women. Not all, but many. As with so most other things, it really depends on the particular couple.

If women were more likely to be able to birth under the circumstances Odent finds ideal, the "necessity" of their male partners at the births may be diminished. But knowing the adversarial nature of things that we found in hospital births, my husband's presence was essential. The things we had to fend off in hospital made the "la-la land" mindset impossible anyway.

If I birthed again, I would UC at home. My husband would be home, but may well not be in the room with me. Whatever I decided at that time, I guess. But I do often fantasize that it would be even smoother at home and I would be entirely by myself in my bathroom.
post #3 of 87
I think it's fascinating how many reasons this MALE obstetrician has come up with to exclude MEN from the delivery room.

Personally, I am really glad my partner was there during my labor, and I know that he wanted to be there. I don't think that men should be in the delivery room if they don't want to be, but nor do I believe that participation in the birth of their own child causes men to become spontaneously schizophrenic, or that the experience will cause a stable couple to split.
post #4 of 87
Uhhh... he is a male OB??? And he thinks the father shouldn't be there, based on gender? Dude doesn't have a brain in his head obviously because he is arguing for his own retirement. Because if a man who the woman has an intimate relationship with has no place supporting her in labour due to his penis, why the heck should this guy be invited?
post #5 of 87
I think it really depends on the couple and most definitely can't be boxed up neatly as a "no man should be present at his child's birth" thing, which seems to be what Odent is trying to say.

On one hand, there are men who are wonderful participants in their child's birth, and the experience draws the couple closer than anything else ever could. On the other hand, there's fathers that are wringing their hands and sweating bullets in the delivery room and freaking mom out way more than she needs to be.

My husband is in the second category. I am strongly leaning towards not having him present at the birth of our next baby (a homebirth) until I start pushing, because he is the type to completely spaz out and pollute the room with negative energy. And to be quite honest, he's not really an active labor "coach" either, so it's not like I'll be missing out on anything.

THis is just our personal dynamic, and I know there are many more couples that feel this way. And I agree with Odent to an extent that it can destroy what would otherwise be a smooth labor. So yes, I can say that not all couples should feel obligated to include Dad in the labor proceedings, but neither should all couples exclude Dad if he has a geniune positive interest in being a part of his child's birth.
post #6 of 87
I don't buy it. Not at all.

I have never done well with most females. I don't, as a rule, find them comforting. I usually find them irritating.

My dh was my ROCK during my 31 hour labor with dd. He understood what I needed with the smallest gestures and sounds. If I had to explain my wants and needs to someone else it would have been VERY distracting to me.

-Angela
post #7 of 87
this might work for some but not for all.
post #8 of 87
I personally can see this as something that maybe needed for some but not all. I know I want my DF there for the birth but I plan to labor alone till then. He hates to see me in pain and I can sense when he stresses about my pain. So I am planning to avoid that next time. Of course if I feel I need him he will be right there for me.
post #9 of 87
I think that article and his opinion is the biggest load of crap I've read in a long time.
post #10 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by alegna View Post
I don't buy it. Not at all.

I have never done well with most females. I don't, as a rule, find them comforting. I usually find them irritating.

My dh was my ROCK during my 31 hour labor with dd. He understood what I needed with the smallest gestures and sounds. If I had to explain my wants and needs to someone else it would have been VERY distracting to me.

-Angela
what she said. i could NOT have had my son without my husband. period.

another OB to add to the ignorant list.
post #11 of 87
well. i don't really agree with that, but i think he is a pretty smart/valuable person to the birth community. didn't he start pushing for water birth and more homelike hospital environments in the 70s or something? i can't remember. maybe i'm confusing him with someone else.

that being said, it may be true for some people in some relationships. i am not one of those people, though. everything is better for me when my dp is around...including birth. i can't imagine being without him.
post #12 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by the elyse View Post
what she said. i could NOT have had my son without my husband. period.

another OB to add to the ignorant list.
I understand that you disagree with his stance in this article, but Michel Odent is FAR from "another ignorant OB." He helped pioneer the revival of the natural birth movement in the 60s, has written 11 books on the power of natural birth, has spoken at the Trust Birth Conference, and appears in The Business of Being Born. He's also written a number of articles right here on Mothering.
post #13 of 87
What I got from this article can be expanded to mean: anyone not really helping or nervous cannot be helping the mother in labour.
To make a generalisation about men, I don't agree with.
post #14 of 87
I wrote about this here.

http://www.truebirth.com/2008/04/15/...delivery-room/

In short; I think he's good to shake things up a bit. We should question every aspect of our birthing culture, because frankly, something isn't working.
post #15 of 87
I think the article is a sad case of correlation mistaken for causality.

Yes, birth has become more fraught with interventions since the 70s, when dads were first being allowed into the delivery room. But a lot has changed since those day in addition to dads' presence at birth. Routine fetal monitoring, reduced nursing staffs, an ever more intervention-happy medical community... Don't these things at least share the blame for the sad state of childbirth today?
post #16 of 87
Thread Starter 
I don't agree with his generalisation either. I feel like he has some good points here and there, but there's a lot of holes in there.

I do think that men should be what the partner needs him to be. He should be taught what to expect, what it means when a woman is screaming, and how to keep a low profile and to be calm and all that. I believe he should be prepared on what to do as the baby is born, what to do after the baby is born, before the placenta delivered and all of that. He should be fully prepared.

I also think he should keep in tune with the fact that if he doesn't think he can handle it, if he's going to be stressed about it etc, then he should have the option of kind of being out of the way or not there, if he wants to be, and should be ok doing so during if he feels like he is losing it, or if the mom wants him gone. I don't think the family should feel like it's a huge failure for him to not have been there because it should be about what mom wants at the time.

As for the father being responsible for the higher levels of stress and contributing to longer labors, well that's a bunch of crap. I mean, there is a LOT of stuff involved in hospital births that could contribute to the rise of the same stress labor-slowing hormones leading to interventions and complications, so I think it's a little dismissive to blame it all on dad being there.

I agree that the article is a mostly a bunch of crap, but I do think the guy has a point or two about preparing your husband and having a stress free birth. But it kind of sickens me how he just generalizes and put it on ALL men. ALL men are not the same. Some are calmer and more able to handle it than others. I think as long as a man is a calm supporter and can handle it, then what could possibly be not ok?

Oh, adding, I do think that what he says about men seeing birth = divorces and so forth is a load of archaic crap. Having a new baby is stressful on any relationship, and there are a lot of factors that could lead to a man feeling depressed after a birth, or lead to having marital problems.

I also don't like how he seems to assume there is something shocking and repulsive to a man about the vagina during birth that a man will automatically remember when he's trying to be intimate with is partner later down the road. His viewpoint on keeping a little mystery seems a little outdated, and that also depends on the couple.
post #17 of 87
So when Michel Odent talks about the cascading hormones of love and the importance of natural birth and midwives he is a guru, but when he says something we disagree with he is a "typical *MALE* OB doctor"?

I think that when women are attuned to their labors and do not fear birth he is right that it will go a lot faster and easier with no distractions. Bear in mind that in general when you're talking about dads in the delivery room, most of the time you're talking about the dads who come to hospital births scared out of their minds, waiting for their women to get their epidurals so they don't have to fret over how to care for her while she's in pain. This is out of the realm of experience for most of us here, but exactly what the "typical male OB doctor" sees of his hospital patients every day.
post #18 of 87
i think it's a very interesting article which raises many valid points and questions. i think his aim is to travel back to the basics, to look at how animals/mammals/humans in their most primitive form behave in order to unravel what we has humans have complicated with our minds/emotions/technology.

not saying i agree with all he has said, just think in order to continue to discover the intricacies of birth, one shouldn't entirely dismiss biological observations simply by the viewpoint of one's own experience without some examination.

it could be argued that having the male figure present is in some way an interference. but we have that choice of whether or not we want that interference that helps us get through it.

same is true that some woman do better with and want medical/non medical interventions during birth, doesn't change the true biological factors at play during birth.
post #19 of 87
the "what are midwives for?" discussion in the UC forum has some good insights on this topic. In particular, check out Fourlittlebird's post.
post #20 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by nashvillemidwife View Post
So when Michel Odent talks about the cascading hormones of love and the importance of natural birth and midwives he is a guru, but when he says something we disagree with he is a "typical *MALE* OB doctor"?

I think that when women are attuned to their labors and do not fear birth he is right that it will go a lot faster and easier with no distractions. Bear in mind that in general when you're talking about dads in the delivery room, most of the time you're talking about the dads who come to hospital births scared out of their minds, waiting for their women to get their epidurals so they don't have to fret over how to care for her while she's in pain. This is out of the realm of experience for most of us here, but exactly what the "typical male OB doctor" sees of his hospital patients every day.
Quote:
Originally Posted by babysanchez614 View Post
it could be argued that having the male figure present is in some way an interference. but we have that choice of whether or not we want that interference that helps us get through it.

same is true that some woman do better with and want medical/non medical interventions during birth, doesn't change the true biological factors at play during birth.
Huge : to both of you.
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