Hubbys in the delivery room - Page 2 - Mothering Forums

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#31 of 53 Old 09-18-2011, 05:31 PM
 
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I told my husband about this post to see what he would say.... however I admit that this never crossed my mind. I never thought of not having him there or if it would change the way he viewed my body ect.... and clearly neither did he LOL. He looked at me and goes umm it never crossed my mind?

 

*shrugs* dunno what that says about us but seeing as I am pregnant again I guess our sex life is ok after him seeing our 2 year old born :)


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#32 of 53 Old 09-18-2011, 10:01 PM
 
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My husband literally caught our baby (accidental home birth) with me on all fours. We had sex 2 weeks later. :-P

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#33 of 53 Old 09-19-2011, 03:59 AM
 
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I think it also depends on your birth experience you choose, at least in my experience and stories from friends and acquaintances.  Take into consideration of who will be there assisting you. 

 

How involved your partner is in the pregnancy and birth, it was very important to me, and to him. 

 

Midwife Erika nailed it-great posts!

 

My Husband was at every appointment with our MW, was at every Bradley class and literally was my doula.  He was apart of everything, which I believe empowered him as well as myself. 

 

As far as how he sees me after birthing....  I think it is the same admiration, just in a different light.  Birth changes a woman (and man) in so many ways.  We too had sex a couple weeks later.  I can attest that it was different at the beginning, but gets better and better with time, compassion and understanding. 

 

 

 

 


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#34 of 53 Old 09-19-2011, 10:15 AM
 
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DDCC as this is being promoted on the home page...My dh never stopped being attracted to me, and he even caught our last child while I was on my hands and knees...AND I pooped while pushing(the ultimate NO-NO for me! but it didn't phase him!) He seems to see all parts of life as meshing all together and doesn't have to compartmentalize. I've had an overload of discharge with this pregnancy, and I have always been embarassed about that sort of thing but it never phased him. It seemed to make him more...excited...for me to be so wet? lol It's a good thing he doesn't get embarassed about so much like I do, else we'd never get anywhere. I so love my hubby! We're at the end of pregnancy #4...

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#35 of 53 Old 09-19-2011, 10:29 AM
 
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My first DH (now ex-DH) was not only in the room for baby #2, but he was right between my legs watching in awe as I pushed her out.  He had no problem seeing me as a sexual being afterward, and he is one of the most immature men I've ever met.  ;)

 

This is my current DH's first birth experience, so we have watched the Business of Being Born a couple of times to familiarize him with what is likely going to happen, he's watched a couple of other births on TV, etc.  He knows he wants to cut the cord, but isn't so sure about catching the baby or anything like that, and I'm okay with that being a "game time" decision.  He's more worried about hurting MY feelings if he doesn't want to be that involved, and I've spent some time assuring him that I really couldn't care less.  (I want him to be THERE, but his level of involvement is irrelevant as far as I'm concerned.)  YMMV, of course.  I'm sure part of the reason why I don't really care is because this is baby #4 for me, babies #1 and #3 were done without my ex there, so this isn't my first trip around the block, so to speak.  ;)


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#36 of 53 Old 09-19-2011, 07:24 PM
 
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I totally agree. My husband is also very involved throughout the whole process. 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. I also love the line "he literally was my doula" because that SO describes my daughter's birth and my husband's role.
 

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Originally Posted by goldenwillow View Post

I think it also depends on your birth experience you choose, at least in my experience and stories from friends and acquaintances.  Take into consideration of who will be there assisting you. 

 

How involved your partner is in the pregnancy and birth, it was very important to me, and to him. 

 

Midwife Erika nailed it-great posts!

 

My Husband was at every appointment with our MW, was at every Bradley class and literally was my doula.  He was apart of everything, which I believe empowered him as well as myself. 

 

As far as how he sees me after birthing....  I think it is the same admiration, just in a different light.  Birth changes a woman (and man) in so many ways.  We too had sex a couple weeks later.  I can attest that it was different at the beginning, but gets better and better with time, compassion and understanding. 

 

 

 

 



 


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#37 of 53 Old 09-20-2011, 07:48 AM
 
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This was a really good question. Everyone is different, but this is my story, just to give some perspective and background.

 

We had a waterbirth at home, and my husband was on a construction job out of state at the time [he owns his own business, and has to go where the contracts are -- anywhere in the southeast!]. Due to his schedule, which was crazy at the time, he didn't really have the time to 'read up' on what to expect at the birth. Still, we have a pretty mature relationship, and he seemed okay just doing whatever I needed him for, even though I was afraid he was going to be traumatized by the whole thing, lol... I told him he didn't have to be more involved than he wanted to be, or to see any more than he wanted to. For example, I'm a lot more comfortable with bodily fluids than he is, and birth involves a variety of those, lol.

 

So he comes back into town when I called to tell him I was in labor, and he was super-attentive and sweet and concerned... and although he had to be coached regarding technique [please don't grab my shoulders like that and pinch them when you're massaging me!], I couldn't have asked for someone more willing to be there and support me. I delivered a healthy 9 lb 12 oz boy in one piece in the birth tub, just two little skid marks and no complications. And DH was absolutely in love as a first-time dad at 46 [I was 28]. It was beautiful, and he started calling up our friends as he was holding his new little boy and he was just in awe of the whole thing. This from a guy who never 'saw himself' having kids.

 

Fast forward about a week. We're both being broken in as new parents, my undercarriage still doesn't work that well, but the lochia is slowing down. I have noted that love is often something you do, not necessarily something you feel. You don't take care of your baby just when you feel like it, right? lol. Any relationship is like that, but especially long-term, committed relationships like marriage or parenthood. You don't just take care of each other when you feel like it. My personal rule [and this is just me] is that I'm available as long as I'm not sick [no sense spreading that kind of love] or injured. I don't perform that great when I'm exhausted, and I know it, but I don't cook gourmet all the time either. As long as nobody's starving, grilled cheese or cereal is okay some of the time. :P

 

I felt emotionally ready to be with him again long before I felt physically ready. I was exhausted and my nipples were sore, and I had postpartum mommy-body issues and I told him I didn't feel that attractive at all... but I was willing to try. I told him I wanted to try, if he wanted to. It was one of the sweetest and most intimate things we've done together. He's not a talker, especially during sex, but he said some things to me when we made love that I will never forget.

 

Love begets love.

 

 

Anyway...

If you're afraid of being all loosey goosey, do your kegels at every red light or every diaper change, both before and after you deliver [as you're able]. It helps!

And I do realize that if you've had damage and stitches, it's not going to be wonderful for awhile and you're not going to be able to enjoy the blessings of your bed as soon as I did. I was blessed not to have required repair -- although I was very grateful for the sitz baths that first week! I think if you express your love for him and your willingness to be open to that part of your relationship as your body mends, it'll be all good.

 

In my [admittedly limited] experience, good communication and a stable, mature relationship are what determine your guy's view of you as you become the mother of his children and your relationship grows to include more people. That's what happens when you have too much love to contain in just two bodies. :)

 

I think I should also make it clear that it is a relationship that is growing. It retains the kind of love that made the baby to begin with, and grows to include the parental love you both show your new little one. It's a growth process, not an either/or dichotomy.

 

And yes, I realize there are exceptions out there, but imho they should be exceptions. I'm talking about stable, mature people in long-term committed relationships. I realize those can have variations and that you have to do what works for your variation. :P

 

Sorry for being long-winded and philosophical, but we have to deal with that kind of thing in life. :P

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#38 of 53 Old 09-20-2011, 10:51 AM
 
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My husband was there for both of our births, the first at home and the second in a birth center. Sexually speaking, he doesn't view me as different. We've had to communicate a lot in the years since because life and kid obligations are constantly changing and we must change with it. I think sex-birth issues are reflective of something else in either the current relationship or past experience. I am related to someone who says she will never breastfeed because it is gross. And I've talked to women who schedule C-sections because they want their vaginas to stay "intact". I feel that is truly regrettable because the rationale has more to do with fear and exposure to sexism than the child. As far as men, they get pressure from each other and the media to be grossed out by childbirth and changes in the body. I think it's really admirable that so many partners here on MDC have supportive husbands!!! I'm thankful for my hubs approach and I think having conversations about this are really crucial to combatting all of the negative women/body/birth/sex messages we are bombarded with regularly.
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#39 of 53 Old 09-20-2011, 11:00 AM
 
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My husband has been present for, and watched, all 3 of my previous births. He actually was really hoping to help catch DS2 but I only pushed twice and there was honestly not time for him to put his hands on the baby before he was out!  It doesn't seem to have impacted our sexual relationship at all, nor did it ever occur to me to worry that it would. In terms of things being "looser" or different, I'd say they're different but better.  My breasts do end up off limits when I'm breastfeeding because stimulation there makes me let down and that turns off any romantic feelings I may have had. That goes back to normal when I'm done nursing though. :)


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#40 of 53 Old 09-20-2011, 12:32 PM
 
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or 3 births he has been with me but has not seen the baby come out, and I am okay with that. He is a much more prudish person then I am, and he has still been with me supporting me. IN fact once we were out of the hospital having a baby (the last 2) he wouldn't have been able to see stuff because I wrap my arms around his shoulder and he helps support me while I push the baby out. that is where I NEED him.

 

I was also pretty offended by the woman who would say not being willing to see that is a sign of immaturity. Some people just have different comfort levels.


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#41 of 53 Old 09-20-2011, 01:22 PM
 
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Quote:
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!!!


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#42 of 53 Old 09-20-2011, 09:18 PM
 
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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!

 

 

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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.
 



 



 

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#43 of 53 Old 09-21-2011, 12:18 PM
 
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I admit I did not read through the entire thread before I posted, and yes that kind of attitude is immature.


Courtney and Cree, baby made 3, added one more then there were 4, sakes alive, then we had 5, another in the mix now we have 6!

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#44 of 53 Old 09-21-2011, 07:42 PM
 
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cresting, I'm glad someone understood what I was getting at & that it was maybe helpful for you.


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#45 of 53 Old 11-10-2011, 08:05 AM
 
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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:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-559913/A-obstetrician-men-NEVER-birth-child.html

 

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?


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#46 of 53 Old 11-10-2011, 09:29 AM
 
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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.

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#47 of 53 Old 11-10-2011, 09:53 AM
 
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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.

 

 


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#48 of 53 Old 11-10-2011, 10:26 AM
 
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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.


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#49 of 53 Old 11-10-2011, 12:09 PM
 
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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.


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#50 of 53 Old 11-10-2011, 12:32 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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.


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#51 of 53 Old 11-10-2011, 12:36 PM
 
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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.


Mother of two great little guys, G (9/28/09) and W (1/20/12)

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#52 of 53 Old 11-11-2011, 03:49 AM
 
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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. 

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#53 of 53 Old 11-11-2011, 07:31 AM - Thread Starter
 
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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.


Happy housewife and mom to big Z, born at home 1/2012. m/c 07/14 @ 5w and happy to get back to trying!  
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