What do you think, should Daddy stay away? - Page 3 - Mothering Forums
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#61 of 87 Old 04-21-2008, 07:19 PM
 
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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'.

Warmest regards

Michel
Thanks so much, nashvillemidwife. When I was reading it the Daily Mail article I was confused -- it doesn't sound like the way he writes or speaks, it is absolutist unlike his other writings on the subject, and... "It is not possible for women to birth alone"? Um -- he certainly didn't write that. So yes, there is quite a bit of misrepresentation going on there.

In The Nature of Birth and Breastfeeding (credit to Laura Shanley for finding this,) he says,

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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.
Which was the case for my husband and me -- in one out of my four births. Which, not coincidentally, also happened to be the most private of my four births.

In his article in Midwifery Today on the subject, he writes,
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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.
My response (mostly copied and pasted from a previous thread):

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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.
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#62 of 87 Old 04-21-2008, 08:38 PM
 
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This is a decision that individuals need to make based on individual strengths, weaknesses, and relationships. Personally, I cannot imagine birthing without my dh. He has been incredible and perfect partner and support during both of my (natural) births. Both births have been important and moving bonding experiences for him and for all of us. My 2 yr old dd was also present for her brother's birth, and that too was a wholly positive experience.

It depends on the individuals and their relationships. For us, it was right and strengthening and good and almost, for me, necessary (I suppose I could give birth without my dh, but it would be very difficult to do so).
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#63 of 87 Old 04-21-2008, 11:23 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Kidzaplenty View Post
It seems to me that every reason that was mentioned for the husband to NOT be there could actually given for every other person in the hosptial room, INCLUDING the OB.
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And having a thousand strangers in the room all trying to stick a hand or two up your yoni while your in the middle of a contraction and epidurals and 10,000 interventions in a brightly lit unfamiliar hospital room has nothing at all to do with longer, more painful labor
Yeah, Odent doesn't think any of those people should be there either. He's said about a thousand times that the only person who should be near a birthing mother is a motherly, low-profile midwife, who does nothing unless there's a problem.
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#64 of 87 Old 04-21-2008, 11:28 PM
 
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Yeah, Odent doesn't think any of those people should be there either. He's said about a thousand times that the only person who should be near a birthing mother is a motherly, low-profile midwife, who does nothing unless there's a problem.
I would love to find an OB like this. Even if I did plan on a UC. But sadly, I have never met one that was even remotely close.

Any misspellings or grammatical errors in the above statement are intentional;
they are placed there for the amusement of those who like to point them out.
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#65 of 87 Old 04-21-2008, 11:52 PM
 
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I do think it should be an option, for the father to not be present if not mutually desired. It wasn't O.K. when men or support people were excluded. It's not O.K. to demand the presence of people. There should be enough space in the world for all types of people, including those that make decent fathers but bad birth attendants.

I'm not sure how women and men are supposed to figure this out before the baby arrives - people have such strange ideas about what labor is like in general. And there is such personal variation, who knows how to predict what will happen for any one woman.

OT: my mother would make a great doula - for other people. She freaks out when I get hurt. She shouldn't come to my birth.

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#66 of 87 Old 04-22-2008, 01:21 AM
 
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I do think it should be an option, for the father to not be present if not mutually desired. It wasn't O.K. when men or support people were excluded. It's not O.K. to demand the presence of people. There should be enough space in the world for all types of people, including those that make decent fathers but bad birth attendants.

I'm not sure how women and men are supposed to figure this out before the baby arrives - people have such strange ideas about what labor is like in general. And there is such personal variation, who knows how to predict what will happen for any one woman.

OT: my mother would make a great doula - for other people. She freaks out when I get hurt. She shouldn't come to my birth.
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#67 of 87 Old 04-22-2008, 11:02 AM
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In The Nature of Birth and Breastfeeding (credit to Laura Shanley for finding this,) he says,

Quote:
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.
i really believe this to be the case. i completely "foresee" this being the case for my husband and I--it only makes sense.

of course, i do not know for certain, and we're both prepared for me to solo birth as well, but this is our preference, and it makes sense to us.
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#68 of 87 Old 04-22-2008, 11:13 AM
 
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Interesting.

"Of course, it would not be possible for women to give birth alone."

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#69 of 87 Old 04-23-2008, 09:44 PM
 
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Perhaps the OP could be edited to include the information in post #57? Sometimes people read just the OP and not the whole thread, and I hate to have people continue to assume that the article accurately represents Odent's views. People, he didn't write it.
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#70 of 87 Old 04-23-2008, 09:57 PM
 
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of course, i do not know for certain, and we're both prepared for me to solo birth as well, but this is our preference, and it makes sense to us.
Same here, only exactly the other way around. We're both prepared for me to need him, but our plan is for me to have a solo birth.
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#71 of 87 Old 04-24-2008, 12:06 AM
 
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This is an interesting article that should make a women with difficult births question who is at her birth. I can definitely see that there are some men who would hinder their partners birth.

I have read on the homebirth forum several times about women who have to direct their husbands during birth because he doesn't know what to do so they make lists for him. These are probably the men who should stay busy boiling water in the kitchen or something.
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#72 of 87 Old 04-24-2008, 01:18 AM
 
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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
Ditto. In my birth with my first, it was sort of funny because my husband was really the most comforting thing in the whole room...

Fact is, if we're close to our husbands emotionally, they really do know us best...

I was irritated by the women.

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#73 of 87 Old 04-24-2008, 09:47 AM
 
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I'm glad I read the second article. The first one, I just couldn't believe it was coming from Michel Odent! But then I read the second article, and now it makes a lot more sense. He is basically saying that men weren't needed at birth until birth moved into the hospital and women lost their extended female support network. Makes sense.

I wouldn't choose not to have dh at our births... but after my original reflex denial reaction to everyting Odent said, I had to pause and think again. I loved having dh at ds1's birth in the hospital. He was wonderful... but I also had a doula who helped him figure out what to do, and stepped in to do things it would never occur to him to do (like get a wet washcloth for my forehead). So, the responsibility wasn't really on him to be my coach... he could just be there for me.

When we planned our homebirth, dh wanted to catch the baby. But what actually happened is that while I was laboring in the bathroom, dh was scrambling around trying to get the pool set up in the bathroom... and there were a lot of problems that cropped up, such as the hoses leaking and water spouting everywhere. Needless to say, the pool did not get set up in time... the exact scenario Odent described. So, for us the birth pool was the equivalent of "boiling water."

Dh had really wanted to catch the baby, but when the bay's head was arriving before the mw, there was a lot of freaking out. She arrived just in time, and dh gladly stepped out of the way, completely forgetting he wanted to catch!

All I really needed at that birth was someone to sit quietly near me and fetch water inbetween contractions. My friend kept trying to help by rubbing my back (I really did NOT want to be touched) and my mom asked me if I was supposed to be breathing like that. I don't regret having them all there; they were great. And labor was progressing so fast that a train could've driven through the house and not disrupted anything... but then again, nobody got there until I was deep in transition, and when I first started contracting it was just me awake in a quiet house.

So now I think Michel Odent might really have a point. That doesn't mean I don't want dh there... but I think I'll be fine with him just coming in for the main event and otherwise, I need to find some task he "needs" to do!

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#74 of 87 Old 04-24-2008, 05:39 PM
 
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Dh was my support and my rock for all 3 babes. Calm collected, caught #3. I think it has been good for our marriage and for his relationship with the kids.
If a guy takes off after seeing her give birth, he wasn't real committed in the first place!!
Though he shouldn't feel obligated to be there if the couple decides its a bad idea and someone else would be a better partner.

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#75 of 87 Old 04-28-2008, 06:00 PM
 
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Bumping this cuz someone with a WordPress account needs to run and tell Hathor that Odent didn't actually write this article...it won't let me register or I'd tell her myself. She's discussing it in her latest comic and I think she needs to know. Maybe link her to this thread? I know she is a member here...
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#76 of 87 Old 04-28-2008, 06:50 PM
 
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Bumping this cuz someone with a WordPress account needs to run and tell Hathor that Odent didn't actually write this article...it won't let me register or I'd tell her myself. She's discussing it in her latest comic and I think she needs to know. Maybe link her to this thread? I know she is a member here...
Done.

I'm finding this whole situation amusing since Odent's the main positive reason I'm looking to UC. (The main negative reason is birth plans.)
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#77 of 87 Old 04-28-2008, 07:03 PM
 
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I think the ideal is to listen to the woman and do what's most comfortable for her during labor. If she wants her DH there, then he should be there with her. If she wants to be alone, she should be left alone. If she wants to be supported by a few select women and doesnt' want her DH around, that should be supported.

I think some people may think that "the baby's dad HAS TO be there" in spite of what the pg woman and her male partner are really feeling. This article may open some people up to the idea that it's OK if a particular couple chooses something other than what they're expected to want. It's not a good thing if it starts creating pressure in the opposite direction.

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#78 of 87 Old 04-28-2008, 07:12 PM
 
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Done.

I'm finding this whole situation amusing since Odent's the main positive reason I'm looking to UC. (The main negative reason is birth plans.)
Thanks! I just went and saw your comments.

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I think the ideal is to listen to the woman and do what's most comfortable for her during labor. If she wants her DH there, then he should be there with her. If she wants to be alone, she should be left alone. If she wants to be supported by a few select women and doesnt' want her DH around, that should be supported.
I've known several Amish women who birthed without their DH. (Granted, the idea of dad being present in the delivery room is still a relatively new one, and the Amish are anything but modern. ) Mom would go into labor, and dad would round up some of the kiddos and take them into town or do something out on the farm while the midwife, mothers, sisters etc. attended the laboring mom. They'd come back a little while later and meet the new baby. No biggie! It's been that way for thousands, millions of years, and I think for many of us our brains may still be hardwired to that norm....maybe there is a good reason birth has historically been a women-only event?
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#79 of 87 Old 04-28-2008, 07:18 PM
 
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My DH was my rock as well. He did everything for me. He rubbed my back, got me water, helped me move, caught DD, etc.. Our midwives were there, but they were not active. It was perfect for us.
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#80 of 87 Old 04-28-2008, 08:21 PM
 
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I'm glad M.Odent did not say those generalized 'quotes' in the article. He is a very smart guy and had some great stuff to say about birthing moms and our place to have a respectful, non-violent birth. I haven't read much of his work but when I did read some years ago I was impressed but felt he was kinda a bit take charge like This is The Way. As for men being present during birth well I don't think men should be further seperated from birth, life or death and certainly not more absent from birthing and raising children, growing with them, I mean men are part of the process too. Men can be rocks during birth and they see their woman working hard to birth their child and can go through some process of spiritual and loving growth, maturing to take on responsability for a new life. Some men are a total hindrance during births and yeah they should avoid stressing the moms out more but deffo not all men as the mail( dreadful rag, really fascist crap)points out. I have to read some Odent now but I don't want anyone in charge of my births period, it's scary how regulated birth has become. Anyone, regardless of their gender, who is not an ally during my birth is just not worth having there but I'm also someone who quite happily and more freely would birth alone.
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#81 of 87 Old 04-29-2008, 02:14 PM
 
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It's been that way for thousands, millions of years, and I think for many of us our brains may still be hardwired to that norm....maybe there is a good reason birth has historically been a women-only event?
There's also been a lot of human history where men were frequently away, hunting, going to war, whatever. If dh wasn't around, I guess I'd rather have women around me - maybe - than men. I really seriously have my doubts about the pretty picture I often come across of all these women surrounding the birthing woman and being all supportive. Maybe it's a cultural thing, but it's not something I've seen a whole lot of. There are...four women I'd want anywhere near me in labour. It's possible there'd be others, if I got to know them, but as it stands, there are four.

I used to read about women having babies when I was a kid - which was before partners attending births became widespread, I think - and I dreaded the idea of having a baby, because of the missing partner aspect of it. Having the person I loved and trusted most outside pacing the floor while I was having our baby seemed...freakish. It still does. One of the many, many, many things I hate about c-sections is the enforced separation from dh (only while they place the spinal). It sucks.

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#82 of 87 Old 04-29-2008, 02:38 PM
 
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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
that:

Looking in DH's eyes was all I wanted. I just wanted him to hold me.

My doula and midwives were too bossy and distracting for me.I was grateful they were there to reassure me that I wasn't dying and DD was okay, but I didn't need them for moral support at all. Also, most other women have not been through a homebirth or even an all natural labor, so they would have no idea what I needed either.

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#83 of 87 Old 04-29-2008, 03:55 PM
 
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There's also been a lot of human history where men were frequently away, hunting, going to war, whatever.
That's true. I didn't think about that. Good point.


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I really seriously have my doubts about the pretty picture I often come across of all these women surrounding the birthing woman and being all supportive. Maybe it's a cultural thing, but it's not something I've seen a whole lot of. There are...four women I'd want anywhere near me in labour. It's possible there'd be others, if I got to know them, but as it stands, there are four.
See, it is the opposite for me. I love to think about that pretty picture. I think it sounds heavenly. Like you, I don't have that kind of support system in my life, but if I did, it would be exactly like that. As it stands, though, I'd rather birth alone or nearly alone since I don't have the tribe of women to fall back on.
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#84 of 87 Old 04-29-2008, 04:08 PM
 
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I am joining in on this kinda late and I didn't read all the responses, but I read the article. I was so glad my husband was with me during the labor and delivery of both girls. He was quiet, hands off (unless I asked him otherwise) and was just there for support. I also found a lot of comfort with my OB/GYN (who is male) He was very nurturing and positive during the pushing phase and delivery and even gave both us huge hugs and a welcoming kiss to our daughters once they were both born.
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#85 of 87 Old 04-29-2008, 05:42 PM
 
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My husband went through the freaking out stomach ache thing mentioned in the article after my dd was born. He freely admitted it was from the gravity of the event he witnessed. He didn't eat for several days and all he could say was that it was the most intense thing that ever happened to him I, on the other hand, was in the midst of postpartum bliss, so I was like "what, that? eh, it was no biggie" hehehehe

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#86 of 87 Old 04-29-2008, 06:09 PM
 
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Hathor wrote me a nice thank you email.
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#87 of 87 Old 04-29-2008, 08:08 PM
 
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Originally Posted by MammaB21 View Post
Some of what he said was interesting and accurate. Women do need peace and serrenity during labor. I just don't understand why he is boxing in EVERY husband into this made up cattegory of stress filled, blubbering, panicking idiots.
I don't think this article does his point justice. I've read three of his books and its different in his books. He also says theres no place for man-midwives and he attends homebirths in the UK; he points out this inconsistancy in his book.

I don't think that I could have given the first time without my dh present. The second time I was so into what I was doing I probably could have UCed just fine with nobody there.

As a doula I have seen both supportive partners and partners I wished would go away and let the mother of their child labor in peace. One partner made me so angry at his lack of caring about the mother of his child I was relieved when he left. (before his baby was born.)

Heather Mike Married 8/1/99 Mom to Charlotte Aug 04, Nov 06, and Katherine Oct 07
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