Should Men Take Part in Childbirth and Why Having Them Involved Is Not as Scary as It Seems
Partner childbirth, when a husband not only brings his wife to the hospital but also takes part in the process, is becoming more and more popular all over the world. Some people think men shouldn’t witness this physiological process, while others, on the contrary, see a husband as a future parent who should go through all the hardships together with his wife and give her all the necessary support.
We at Bright Side not only studied modern research dedicated to common childbirth but also found many stories told by men and women who’ve been through it.
Moral support is the main thing.
It has been proven that having partner support during labor helps reduce the risk of postpartum depression. The father of the child is the very person who can cheer the woman up, when necessary, distract her, and do anything to help her withstand the pain and tension she is experiencing.
Despite the once popular opinion that a man who was present at the labor of his wife loses affection for her for a long time or stops loving her at all, many men who’ve gone through this experience say that it was the happiest and most exciting moment in their life. Moreover, women also confirm that it was just the precious support they needed.
- My friend was at his wife’s labor, including the following 3 days before check-out. The husband had downloaded movies in advance, made a menu, and brought an anti-stress coloring book for his wife. That’s what love and support are all about in my opinion! © mmmmmaaadii / Twitter
- I don’t think we should force someone to be at our labor. I would gladly leave mine if I could. Before the birth of my child, I heard scary stories about all the horrors happening during labor from husbands who have never been there. The only friend who was there with his wife during the labor said that it was the most emotional and cool event in his life. He ensured my husband that he should be there. We had no regrets! If we ever go for a second child, we will only have partner childbirth. © svetachalova / Twitter
Help is needed both during and after childbirth.
If the labor is long, doctors leave the woman in a hospital room and periodically check to see what stage of the process she is at. At this time, the woman needs support like never before because the period with contractions can be very painful and she may need help to even get out of bed, not to mention have snacks or drink water. If a man thinks that there is nothing he can do during childbirth, he is wrong. It’s worth taking special courses beforehand, learning how to rub her back correctly, and even creating a special relaxing playlist.
After the birth, the baby can be given to the father while the woman’s condition is being checked. If trained in advance, the new father can even help the mom to breastfeed and choose the best way to hold the baby and position them on the breasts. When a woman is exhausted after contractions, worry, and the lack of normal sleep, she cannot always remember and apply all the tips that she learned before she gave birth. She can’t even sit up all the time, and it can be difficult for her to get out of bed without help.
Here are some stories from men who talked honestly about their experience in birth partnership:
- I also didn’t want to. In fact, I was scared. I don’t like hospitals, blood, and screaming. But when it all started, I went there and did everything that I was supposed to do. It’s one of the most special events in my life. We didn’t even raise the question of whether I would be there or not with the second baby. © merrois / Twitter
- It all depends on the man’s attitude toward his wife. I was a birth partner and I started to love and respect her even more afterward. The only thing that was difficult for me was to understand that the person I love was going through immense pain and I couldn’t do much to ease it. But my wife says my presence helped her. © sfj_e / Twitter
- I didn’t pass out, I just cried so much and couldn’t stop. I cried more than my son when he came out and he was looking like, “Big dawg, you good?” © king__foots / Twitter
Birth partnership from a safety perspective
- In fact, being present at childbirth is not a whim but a matter of safety. Anything can happen during the process and no doctor will be in the hospital room for 24 hours, in case of long labor. The partner will be able to quickly find and bring the doctor to the room if an emergency happens. © PugachC / Twitter
- My father’s friend was there at the childbirth of their first baby together with his wife. When their second daughter decided to appear a bit earlier, he was able to help his wife at home. Had he not had the birth partnership experience, he says he wouldn’t know what to do. © rijsamurai / Twitter
The birth partnership also affects future relationships with the child.
Today dads have become more involved in preparing for parenthood and childbirth, as well as in caring for children from their first days. Modern research confirms that children whose fathers are involved in their development and upbringing from a very early age develop better both physically and emotionally.
Men who accompany their spouse at such an important moment, without fear and worries, prove that they are ready for the difficulties of the first months of parenthood, they are the first to see the baby, and in most cases immediately get involved in caring for the baby, sharing all the difficulties with the baby’s mother equally.
Despite all the advantages of the birth partnership, it doesn’t suit every couple.
Not all men equally understand the complexity and responsibility of the process that happens to women. That’s why some unexpected situations can happen in the maternity ward and that’s why various funny stories are so popular.
Eccentric and unpredictable behavior can interfere with both the woman in labor and the doctors. Therefore, a couple should weigh all the pros and cons before deciding to go for a birth partnership. On the other hand, if the wife is not sure that her husband will be able to help her during childbirth and won’t be scared, the birth partnership should be postponed.
Here are several stories from women who were disappointed by the presence of their husbands at the labor:
- Mine nearly passed out when he watched the doctor do the episiotomy. His knees buckled and all the nurses left me and rushed over to him. He also told jokes to the nurse as I was pushing. I told him to stop. Things went much better with baby number 2. © astronomydomone / Reddit
- The midwife kept suggesting more ice so my husband just kept poking me in the cheek with a plastic spoon filled with ice chips while I was having contractions. © Muthachucka / Reddit
- My sister was having her first baby and the midwife showed her husband how to squeeze out a cloth and cool her face. When she had her back turned he simply threw the soaking cloth right over her face! My sis started screaming “get that useless man out of here!” © TheKateMcK / Twitter
- My husband almost passed out. The nurse had to manhandle him into a chair & push him into the corner. Meanwhile, I’m bleeding out & he’s asking for an epidural for himself. © alala_lana / Twitter
Men can start to behave unusually due to stress.
Men can start behaving abnormally, not because of their character but because of the stress they are experiencing. When you are about to become a father and your beloved woman is suffering from pain, while you can’t help much, you feel stress and pressure instead of the forecasted joy. Most often, labors last for 12+ hours and the man is tense, feeling helpless, and worried the whole time. Anyone can lose their self-control in these conditions and do something that might be remembered for a long time afterward during cozy family get-togethers.
Internet users shared awkward situations that happened to them or to their parents during their birth partnership:
- He told me that my bra was showing... © Iloveyoupineapple / Reddit
- I was born C-section and my mom says that when they were doing the surgery, you know, behind a screen so she couldn’t see but my dad could, he kept saying things like, “You can’t feel that?!?!” and “Oh the blood!!” She was worried he’d pass out or something, but he managed not to.
© estrella172 / Reddit
- Nothing bad during it, but just minutes afterward he looked at me and said, “That wasn’t so bad. We could do it again.” I find it funny now but at the time all I could think was...um we? © mtwannahockaloogie_ / Reddit
What do you think about a birth partnership? Maybe you have something to share with us?!