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Ban partner from delivery room?

Forum: Labor and Childbirth


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July 20th, 2011, 01:14 PM
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 1
So I read an article by a famed and accomplished obstetrician Dr. Michel Odent that basically says that men, husbands, significant others, etc are actually detrimental to the mother's birthing process and can inadvertently create complications with the pregnancy (their "participation" prevents the mother from shutting down her brain's cognitive function in order to deal with labor pain and for labor to progress, and this causes complications).

I love my other half, but I'm very bad with medical settings to begin with, and have a panic disorder when it comes to needles and other things of that nature. I am worried that his enthusiasm about being "involved" in the birth will make things hard for me.

I'm the kind of person who, when in pain, needs to just be alone, in peace and quiet, so that I can focus all of my energy on coping with the pain. I worry that anybody talking to me, asking questions, or touching me (besides the medical staff for legitimate reasons) will make things harder and more painful for me. I also worry that he will not see me as attractive or sexy anymore, as some marriages tend to fall apart after the husband witnesses his wife give birth and no longer sees her as sexy.

However, I feel HUGELY guilty even thinking about asking him to leave me alone during the delivery process. The last thing I want to do is exclude him from what could be the one of the most important moments of his life.

Basically, I'd feel more at ease and more comfortable being as alone as possible giving birth, but I also worry that my feeling guilty for excluding him will damage our relationship almost as much, if not more than him being present.

I hear a lot of people say that it's YOUR birth and YOU have the right to make yourself as comfortable as possible, but don't the fathers have rights too? Does the father have the right to be present even though it will probably cause issues for me?

What do you guys think?
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July 20th, 2011, 03:42 PM
Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 1,925
I'm for sure the hospital will allow what requests the mom will make to be allowed. I sure do wish that I had said No to two people in my L&D room as my uncle and my son's dad .

With them both being there while I was in Labor and delivering my son to going I didn't really like seeing my uncle see how I gave birth but my mom wanted to her the first cry and I'm like going why didn't you have my son's dad call you so you could hear it etc but I wasn't really thinking that way .

So it can affect your mental state definetly and you may say yes to some things you don't really want .

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July 24th, 2011, 03:20 AM
Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 3,300
Have you talked to him about how you feel? Tell him what you just told us and the two of you can come to an agreement on what is expected of him during labor and delivery.

Side note: Where did you hear that marriages fall apart after a man sees his wife give birth? That's absurd, sounds like a lame excuse to me. However, it is a fact that lack of honest communication does lead to broken marriages.
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July 24th, 2011, 08:12 AM
missy123's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Originally Posted by lrowe70 View Post
Side note: Where did you hear that marriages fall apart after a man sees his wife give birth? That's absurd, sounds like a lame excuse to me. However, it is a fact that lack of honest communication does lead to broken marriages.
I agree! My experience was that with my ex-husband being in the room with me brought a new found respect in the relationship. He saw the sacrifice and pain it took to have the boys and it opened his eyes to how strong women really are.

Even though we have been divorced for 15+ years he still says that it was an amazing experience.

I think you should go into labor with an open mind as you never fully know what to expect. Have a conversation with him beforehand and let him know that there may be times you want him to leave so you can deal with the pain yourself. Or you may go into labor and find that just being able to look at him while focusing on your breathing may be what you need as well.

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Last edited by missy123; July 24th, 2011 at 08:14 AM.
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July 30th, 2011, 06:27 PM
New_England_Girl's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Honestly, that OB (while he may be famed and accomplished) sounds like a complete and blithering idiot. He has absolutely NO idea what he's talking about. Zero. Zip. Zilch.

Watching their wives give birth to their children is an amazing experience to a man and makes him view her with renewed respect and love. Not only that, it is his right to see his own child born. Keeping him away could be far more hurtful. And I assure you as a wife and mother of two, that he will still find you attractive and sexy after the birth, even if your body is different.

All that being said, I think that your husband should learn what YOU need during labor and delivery. It is an intense and wonderful time that will take all your focus. His role should not be eating in front of you and cracking jokes, lol. If you want him to hold your hand but be perfectly quiet, teach him that before you're in labor. If you don't want him to touch you, teach him that before labor. If you want him to rub your back and whisper love and encouragement in your ear when you're scared, teach him beforehand what to say. But don't just cut him out completely. I think that would hurt him and make him bitter and resentful. Of course he wants to be involved! It's his baby too!

Good luck, hun! You'll do just fine. Let your fears go and concentrate very hard on meeting your baby. And try to be patient with your husband, even if he bugs you, lol
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August 1st, 2011, 09:14 AM
Keepin' it real!
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My dh was there every delivery. He got on my nerves the first time, shut his mouth the last 3 times. lol He learned that I don't like to be talked to while I am in pain.

The only thing he did to irritate me THIS time? I turned on the TV while in labor and he changed the channel! But otherwise, was quiet and as long as he didn't talk much, I was pretty well fine.

The thing is: It's different for everyone. You can try to have husband in there and if it's not working, then have him "do stuff" for you that will have him leave the room as much as possible. You might even find you do indeed, want him there.

Honestly at the pushing stage, I kind of forgot who all was in the room this time, because labor was long, so it didn't bother me that dh and my IP's and a bunch of dr's and nurses were in there.

The one thing I always remembered: If something were to happen during the delivery (not saying it would), then he's there. I began hemmorrhaging the last 2x around and I couldn't imagine if things had gone horribly wrong with it, my husband not being there to consent to a blood transfusion or worse: say his goodbyes. Obviously, I am typing this so we were able to stop the bleeding with just several simple medications (and no blood transfusions!), but that was a huge bother to me both times and so I am glad he was there.

You don't want to be alone IF complications arise...and I dont believe anything like someone you love being in a room causes complications in a labor. That's just weird to even think! (What a quacko doctor!)
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August 7th, 2011, 05:00 PM
Calendula's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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I think it depends a lot on your husband. Having my husband there cut down on the unwanted touching and asking distracting questions a lot. It was amazing to have him there to run interference between me and the overzealous staff- like the cafeteria girl who wanted to take a breakfast order during back labor spasms.

My younger sister has a husband who, quite frankly, makes it more difficult for her while she is in there. They've agreed that he should mostly hang out in the waiting room unless she sends our mom to get him for decision-making or pushing time.

Discuss it together, and maybe even give it a try and see how it goes. It isn't an all or nothing thing, just finding the balance.

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September 5th, 2011, 08:13 PM
JulieMc's Avatar Loving my babies. :)
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He might actually be relieved that you don't want him in there...

Based on my personal experience, my husband wasn't needed. With our first, we both agreed he didn't need to be in there..but somehow the nurses suckered him in and he was even helping holding my leg while I pushed. He was like a deer in headlights. lmao. With our second he was sitting far on the other side of the room reading a newspaper while I was doing my thing (the room was rather large). lol. Perfect for me because I didn't want anyone interacting with me at all.

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September 13th, 2011, 08:30 PM
Thismamaisonherway's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: May 2011
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If you feel it is that detrimental to your feelings, then don't have him in there. It is your birth, but I do believe father's have rights too. He is your husband and just wants to support you. I think you should sit down with him beforehand and discuss how you want things done. ( I know when I was in labor and the nurse and my sis kept telling me 'good job' or almost done', I wanted to kill them so things being quiet is okay.

I think that when a man sees a woman have his child, if you are in the right relationship, there will be more love. Men have no idea what women can handle until we bring their children into the world. If for some reason it affects your marriage, then there are underlying problems.

I suggest not stressing about this but rather talking to him and coming up with a birthplan so that everyone involved respects your wishes.

Good luck!
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October 11th, 2011, 09:40 AM
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 126
I can't imagine not having my husband there with me during childbirth. For one thing, I want his love and support. For another, I can't imagine denying him the amazing privilege to meet his child the second it enters the world.

As for what that OB said, I've read the exact opposite - that women whose husbands are present have shorter labors and more positive experiences. My husband is my life partner and I want him to be my birth partner as well.

As for this notion that men are turned off from their wives after seeing them through childbirth? Wow... major hogwash. The husbands I know have all said how much being their gave them a new respect and deeper love/admiration for their wives.
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