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More than a leg-holder and ice-chip fetcher

A “Top” obstetrician claims husbands/fathers should not be allowed to witness childbirth. The inclusion of men in labor and delivery in the last 35 years or so is responsible for longer labors, more interventions, and the increase in c-sections.

He makes some pretty outlandish claims about how damaging it is for men to see a human emerge from his wife. What do you think? If your husband was present at the births of your children, does he report having the sudden urge to hit the pubs or move to Rome?

The article can be found here. It is the Daily Mail, which makes any article a little iffy—but they are always entertaining and often thought-provoking.

10 comments to More than a leg-holder and ice-chip fetcher

  • jen

    Huh. I’m of the thought that “you got me into this, you’re staying to get me out of it!” To heck with the doctor…odds are good it’s a man, right? Let him squeeze out a human and then we’ll talk. 😉

    jen’s last blog post..My home away from home

  • I suppose if a husband only thought of his wife as a sex kitten then maybe it would be a little unsettling to see a baby emerge from her. Fortunately, my husband sees me as more than that. He was there for the births of both girls and it made him a better person for it. It would have been devastating to me if he hadn’t been there, so I’m glad he was very supportive!

    Stephanie’s last blog post..Week 203: Pause and Wonder

  • My husband has witnessed all three births, at the bottom of the bed, and still thinks of me as a sex kitten! I personally prefer him to be quiet and not touch me during my labor, but I can’t imagine not including him in the birth of his child!


    Adventures In Babywearing’s last blog post..Bloggers Falling Over Dead

  • Nicki

    I’ve only had c-sections, so our experience is some what different. However, my husband watched all three of our babies being pulled from my body. It was an amazing experience for him. And, it has only increased his love and respect for me.

    He will often joke around that now he can truly say that he loves my guts…because he’s actually seen them.

    Gross, I know. But, it makes me happy. LOL!

  • You know, my husband was there to stick to his (er, my) guns since I was too oxygen-deprived to do so. We wanted no interventions and we got no interventions. That said, he has commented numerous times since that he doesn’t want very many children because the birthing experience was too traumatic for him.

    Heidi’s last blog post..Weekend Update

  • Snort.

    Interesting article, and I do agree that we as women don’t have the female support network that our grandmothers and great-grandmothers had.

    However. The article starts by saying, sympathetically, that having the father in the room during labor makes it hard for the woman.

    But the rest of the article focuses on how hard labor is for the man.

    Ultimately, he didn’t raise a single objection that can’t be handled pre-birth by a healthy couple talking about their wishes.

    Kelly @ Love Well’s last blog post..My Favorite Story

  • My husband was deployed to Iraq during my first pregnancy and delivery, but was there for the second. I really don’t think it helped or hindered me in anyway. Well, except for the fact that I went much quicer than expected the second time and had to wait for him to get back from a food run.

  • Ann

    My first delivery took around 7 hours, but my second and third deliveries went nice and fast! All I know is that with each of them, when I went into heavy labor, I completely tuned out everyone and everything around me and just prayed and focused on my music playing.

    I don’t know if there is any truth to that article, but I do know that I couldn’t imagine Eric not being there. I do wonder about the author’s comments on how observing childbirth might affect intimacy, that seems like a pretty good point, and it makes sense kind of that the husband would go into a state of depression, but maybe not from just watching the birth, that could be anxiety from worrying about how to care for the new baby, etc.

    Interesting article!

    Ann’s last blog post..Answered Again!

  • What a sad point of view. Rather than help men learn how best to support their wives, let’s just kick them out. I’m pretty sure this isn’t progress.

    Kira’s last blog post..Poop talking boys

  • I don’t see any comments from dads here, so I thought I should weigh in.

    When Agalia was born I was in the room with my wife. While I wouldn’t even pretend to suggest that all the lamaze we learned was put to good use, and that I made her labor easier by coaching her breathing (she pretty much tuned me out and did her thing), I thought there were a few positive things I brought to the birth. Since I was the only one in the family at that moment that was a) able to speak and b) not in excruciating pain or in an epidural-enhanced state, I took my role as mom and baby advocate pretty seriously. That included making one important decision and one important assertion.

    As for watching my daughter come out…how do I put this delicately…I felt like I was watching Bruce Banner after I’d just made him angry. Like I was now seeing the Incredible Hulk Vagina. Features seemed wildly out of proportion, and I remember thinking “Oh my God. I’ve ruined my wife’s hoohaa.”

    But minutes later our daughter was out and all of my attention was on her. That image haunted me for a few months, but not so much that I didn’t ravish my wife the first time she showed interest.

    Thankfully my wife’s hoohaa was not ruined; our son is living proof.

    Clayjack’s last blog post..Guilt

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