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|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. (from The Nature of Birth and Breastfeeding, as quoted in Laura Shanley's book, Unassisted Childbirth.)|
|[Odent] cautions husbands not to prevent their wives from shifting into another level of consciousness. They must not look into the eyes of their wives as if saying, "Stay with me". Rather, they too must fearlessly allow themselves to experience the new and exciting shift in consciousness if they are to make a positive contribution to the birth.|
At my own births, my dh was beyond wonderful. He is a very intuitive labor support person, and I felt so close to him during our births. I can't talk really at all in labor, and he was able to interpret what I wanted without any trouble. I felt best in labor when I could just bury my head in his chest and feel his arms around me. I felt very inside myself, and inside our private love for each other, and like the rest of the world wasn't there. I loved also that he wasn't too sympathetic. It was funny, because when ds#2 was born, a friend attended to be ds#1's support person. Fortunately, she was very unobtrusive during the birth, but after she said several times that she didn't think my dh was very supportive because he hadn't seemed worried or concerned about me. I felt the exact opposite throughout labor, though. I didn't want to be asked if I was okay, or have an "Oh, you poor thing" type attitude going on. He was able to give off an air of confidence and support, and also seemed properly in awe of the work of labor without seeming worried, if that makes sense. Considering our first birth together was an accidental UC, it was no small feat! Whenever I feel irritated with dh, I think about how wonderful he was during our labors and I can forgive him almost anything.
I think as mentioned above that laboring women absorb the emotions around them very easily. I think dads are often great support for their partners, especially if they are allowed to do so naturally. I think that just as birth attendants can hugely muck up the natural flow of a labor, they can also muck up the dad's ability to be helpful and involved.
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