What do you think, should Daddy stay away? - Mothering Forums

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Old 04-15-2008, 11:58 PM - Thread Starter
 
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(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
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Old 04-16-2008, 12:10 AM
 
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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.

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Old 04-16-2008, 12:17 AM
 
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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.
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Old 04-16-2008, 12:19 AM
 
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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?
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Old 04-16-2008, 12:31 AM
 
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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.
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Old 04-16-2008, 12:34 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
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Old 04-16-2008, 01:05 AM
 
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this might work for some but not for all.

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Old 04-16-2008, 01:32 AM
 
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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.

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Old 04-16-2008, 02:24 AM
 
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I think that article and his opinion is the biggest load of crap I've read in a long time.
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Old 04-16-2008, 02:40 AM
 
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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
what she said. i could NOT have had my son without my husband. period.

another OB to add to the ignorant list.

SAHM to Hannah (11/04), Cash (02/08), and Adelaide (07/10) dh, Chris.
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Old 04-16-2008, 02:47 AM
 
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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.
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Old 04-16-2008, 03:19 AM
 
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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.
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Old 04-16-2008, 03:38 AM
 
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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.
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Old 04-16-2008, 04:31 AM
 
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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.

Danell - Craft Savvy mama to Evan (3/31/06) and Andre (8/29/07)
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Old 04-16-2008, 09:32 AM
 
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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?
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Old 04-16-2008, 10:44 AM - Thread Starter
 
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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.
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Old 04-16-2008, 11:55 AM
 
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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.
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Old 04-16-2008, 11:56 AM
 
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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.
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Old 04-16-2008, 12:25 PM
 
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the "what are midwives for?" discussion in the UC forum has some good insights on this topic. In particular, check out Fourlittlebird's post.
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Old 04-16-2008, 12:26 PM
 
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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.
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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.
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Old 04-16-2008, 12:29 PM
 
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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.
Odent isn't attending typical hospital births. He's one of the pioneers of water birth in France. "The most important thing is not to disturb the birthing mother."

I'll agree, the "all fathers" tone is bad. However, have you ever seen a book or article that is in favor of fathers being at the birth that acknowledges that it might not be right for all couples?
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Old 04-16-2008, 12:31 PM
 
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What I got from this article can be expanded to mean: anyone not really helping or nervous cannot be helping the mother in labour.
But for many women, that could be worse if it was their partner whom they were relying on to be a bastion of support.
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Old 04-16-2008, 12:34 PM
 
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Odent isn't attending typical hospital births. He's one of the pioneers of water birth in France. "The most important thing is not to disturb the birthing mother."

I'll agree, the "all fathers" tone is bad. However, have you ever seen a book or article that is in favor of fathers being at the birth that acknowledges that it might not be right for all couples?
regardless of what he did, which i am sure most of us are aware of, any article that has that tone, or any other generalizing tone like this is bad in my eyes.

articles that try to lump all women into one of two or three categories are part of exactly what is wrong with the medical model right now.

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Old 04-16-2008, 12:37 PM
 
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Anyway, for me, I'm very aware of my dh's needs. So he won't be at the birth barring a sudden change in my needs when the time comes. His presence would make me continually aware of how he was feeling, what he needed, how *I* could make *him* more comfortable and not worry.

Had that belief *before* reading Odent's article about a year ago.

Have also had condescending UAVs tell me they're "sorry" that I don't have a dh I can "rely" on.
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Old 04-16-2008, 12:46 PM
 
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Myself and my husband do fit that profile, but I don't think that means everyone does. He's very needy, and nervous around birth and feels like he has to be *doing something* and ends up doing something STUPID when what he really needs to do is sit down and shut up. I dunno, maybe he'll have learned his lesson last time, or maybe I'll be sending him to the pub. Man, I hope this birth isn't on a Sunday.
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Old 04-16-2008, 01:14 PM
 
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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.
You must not know Dr. Odent's story. He publicly announced about fifteen years ago that he would no longer attend births, because he believes that men don't belong in the delivery room. He now focuses on research, teaching and speaking at midwifery conferences. So, yes, he put his money where his mouth is, and walked away from being Chief of Staff at Pithiviers, outside Paris. He's been on the forefront of changing birth for decades, and isn't afraid to alienate anyone.
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Old 04-16-2008, 01:36 PM
 
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regardless of what he did, which i am sure most of us are aware of, any article that has that tone, or any other generalizing tone like this is bad in my eyes.

articles that try to lump all women into one of two or three categories are part of exactly what is wrong with the medical model right now.
right. but what is also wrong with the medical model is entirely dismissing possible biological discoveries and truths because it makes generalizations that do not fit their specific/personal/financial/routine agendas. maybe we shouldn't do that here.

no one likes their pre-conceived beliefs to be questioned.
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Old 04-16-2008, 01:40 PM
 
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right. but what is also wrong with the medical model is entirely dismissing possible biological discoveries and truths because it makes generalizations that do not fit their specific/personal/financial/routine agendas. maybe we shouldn't do that here.

no one likes their pre-conceived beliefs to be questioned.
i am perfectly fine with questioning an article that is poorly written and full of generalizations.
i said in my first comment that it might work for some, but not for others... and i stand by that.

some women couldnt imagine their births without their partners. this does not make them freaks or wrong. this just makes them part of the many that do not fit into someone's idea of what they believe birth is like.

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Old 04-16-2008, 01:46 PM
 
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Hello from houston!!!

Hello!!!
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Old 04-16-2008, 01:49 PM
 
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I was honored to hear Dr. Odent speak at the Trust Birth Conference. While we are all entitled to have our own opinions and do as we see fit, I do believe Dr. Odent has done a lot of research into the subject. The first time I read this opinion of his, my gut reaction was that it was a lot of bull.

Then, I started thinking about my own births. DH was always there. How frightening was it for him at the first when I was in pain and he couldn't do anything about it? What about when they all descended on me to prep me for a c/section? He was there in the OR with me and still talks about seeing my insides. He tried to be strong and was great with the baby, but it must have been distressing for him.

At the next birth, the hospital staff pushed him aside completely, and he began worrying all over again when they started whispering about a possible repeat section. Instead, he got to watch the CNM cut open my perineum.

At the next one, the CNMs again tried to push him aside and keep him in the dark. He let them know that he didn't appreciate it then and he wanted to know what was going on. He has told me he felt awful making me do all this stuff to make labor progress when he knew I was in pain... even though we had agreed upon all that. My impression of his help at our 3rd birth was that he was wonderfully supportive... but he felt helpless.

He missed the next one. Maybe there is something to Dr. Odent's theory. I was at 5 cm and so he went out to check the older kids in my inlaws' motorhome in the hospital parking lot. He needed to calm a few of them down, then showed the ER staff the Hale-Bopp comet on his way back in. He thought he'd walked into the wrong room because I had already had the baby. He felt badly for missing it, but my labor just took off after he left. He'd only been gone about half an hour.

Then we had babies at home. He busied himself with readying the supplies, cooking and other tasks most of the time. He caught the first one we had at home. He stayed in the kitchen except for the actual birth for the next one... he was pretty busy at the next setting up and letting me lean on him for awhile, but he kept busy in the kitchen for some time before and after the birth, and with our last one, he was present but again, left it to "us women." I've asked him about it, and while he loves to witness the birth of each of our children, he feels there really isn't anything for him to do except take care of the other kids, cook and get things ready. He says that he is comfortable knowing this is a "woman's thing" (his words).

So, maybe there is something to what Dr. Odent says. It may not be on an obvious level... and I know I like to depend on my hubby when I need him, but he sees this as something he can never fully be a part of. I know I was always on my own during my 3 miscarriages... the last one had a full-blown labor, and he stayed in the living room as I labored in the bedroom. At the time, part of me was upset that he wasn't in there holding my hand, but then I found the strength in myself to realize this was my task... not his. I depended on myself, and I think because of this, my last birth went very calmly. I didn't need him to do anything at that birth that he was not comfortable with... I labored on my own and he got to participate in his own way instead of feeling he had to take care of me.
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