|About the pages in Daily Mail, first I was not the author of the article. It was written by a journalist after an interview on the phone. Also it is probable that people just read the sensational title. In fact I have never said that men 'should not be at the birth of their child'.
In The Nature of Birth and Breastfeeding (credit to Laura Shanley for finding this,) he says,
|When the mother-to-be is alone with the baby's father and he seems to really share the emotions, leaving our world at the same time as his wife -- a scene that would have been considered unbelievable fifty years ago -- it is also possible that the birth will not be too long away or too difficult. In this case, once more, nobody behaves like an observer. It is not the woman who is giving birth; it is the couple.|
In his article in Midwifery Today on the subject, he writes,
|There are many sons of men: some can keep a low profile while their partner is in labor; others tend to behave like observers, or like guides, whereas others are much more like protectors. At the very time when the laboring woman needs to reduce the activity of her intellect (of her neocortex) and "to go to another planet" many men cannot stop being rational. Some look brave, but their release of high levels of adrenaline is contagious. [...] It is often during the third stage that many men have a sudden need for activity, at the very time when the mother should have nothing else to do than to look at her baby's eyes and to feel the contact with her baby's skin in a warm place. At this time any distraction tends to inhibit the release of oxytocin and therefore interferes with the delivery of the placenta.|
|Absolutely true. There is a great potential for disaster in having men take on a role that is not natural to them or to the birth process. For couples to ignore the possibility of this having an adverse effect on the process in the name of "husband-wife childbirth" as the ideal, I think is very, very foolish.
However, in addition to acknowledging that, we also need to be asking: what is it that makes these men nervous? What is it that keeps them from entering a primal place? Would their behavior be different (just as the laboring woman's often is) if there were not observers? Why is the mother sometimes apparently self-conscious and distracted by her mate and not (ostensibly) by clinical observers? What is it about the way men and women are conditioned to be with each other in various subsocieties that affects how they relate their sexual relationship to the birth process? Etc.