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Older article, but some very interesting points - especially coming from an OB. I definitely agree that distractions can really hinder labour, even many well intended distractions (asking caring questions, for example). I also appreciate a sense of privacy too, but I like knowing DH and my midwife are near by if I need them.
Well I completely disagree for me, I can birth twice without my husband. He was deployed and out to sea for the other. It was something that I can never get back, I have no pictures of my husband holding our newborns. It took our 3rd child's homebirth and having him their for support to heal those wounds. I had great support from a friend but not having my husband there was not something I would like to do again.
My husband was fantastic at providing a barrier between me and distractions.
In cases listed, like one man fleeing the country after seeing his wife give birth? Women unable to deliver the placenta because the father has touched the baby? Those couples' problems are clearly much larger than where the father was standing when the kid popped out.
The author saying he knew his wife was ready to birth the baby, and the midwife wasn't there yet, so he gave his wife the 'ideal gift' of running away to mess with the thermostat instead of having anyone with her while she was pushing? I'm sorry, but I have a lot of trouble believing his wife was thrilled and relaxed by being abandoned during the final leg of her first home birth.
ETA: His assertion that other mammals don't allow the father to attend the birth has nothing to do with humans. Other mammals often have males that abandon the female as soon as mating is done, or males that live in packs where other members might attack and kill and birthing female and her offspring. This has no bearing on how species without these challenges should behave.
Last edited by Calendula; May 28th, 2012 at 08:00 AM.
While I love Dr. Odent, he has done a lot of great things for homebirth and natural childbirth, his view on this is utter nonsense. I've read this before, it's actually been around for awhile.
Everyone is different and everyone's birth is different. Most of the births I've attended where with a father present, and the births have never slowed down, they are not divorced, etc. They are actually very loving parents. Strangers or people you don't know well are usually the ones that hinder birth, not the person that you love.
Not all women want to birth alone, in fact, very few truly do. Most women feel comforted having their birth provider as well as 1 or a few people they love around them. They need that physical and emotional support, they also need reassurance.
I've never been to a birth where a husband was just asking questions and bugging mom. They are normally always off to the side lines until mom says she needs him (or her, sometimes it's a female partner). They have all been loving and supportive.
I think many of the things he listed were over exaggerated. Leaving the country seems a bit far fetched.
My DH was at both of the births. ds1 in the hopsital. He was great letting me hold his hand, wiping my tears, and telling me that everything is ok. There is no way that I wanted to be alone. ds2 was at home and I could not have had the amazing experience without him. He kept me going. There were times where I felt "I can't do this anymore, I'm too tired and I just need this baby born so I can go to bed". But my DH kept me going, he kept reminding me that baby is coming and that I need to stay active.
There is also no way I could deny DH seeing his children be born (he caught ds2). That is such an amazing experience and it's really unfair to tell a spouse that they can't witness their child be born. There is no other experience like that.
Mama to G, L & twins F & M
Started off 2013 homebirthing suprise twins Fia Celesta & Maddalena Isabella
I think it's a bunch of poo. I would have felt totally abandoned and scared out of my mind if my husband hadn't been with me when my daughter was born. I'm sure it would have caused some mixed emotions afterwards also. He doesn't seem to be traumatized by the event either. He's openly talked to people about it and how it wasn't a huge deal and it wasn't dramatic or excessively gross like some people warned him it would be. There was no screaming and hand crushing and blood and guts. We both felt confident going into the birth and we still feel that way.
At my first appt with my midwife she told us that there is a hormone called oxytocin that helps labor progress. That hormone can be produced by things like cuddling, kissing, lovey-dovey acts between the mom and dad. If labor slows down, the midwife would leave the mom and dad alone to make kissy faces or whatever...and labor would pick up. Totally opposite of what this guy is saying.
There's no way I could have given birth as easily as I did without having the person that I love and trust the most there with me.