ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Should Your Husband be in the Delivery Room?

Updated on January 3, 2012

It seems these days that even questioning whether the husband should be in the delivery room is sacrilege.

The assumption of all baby books and videos and of most conversations we have with friends, family, and strangers is that the father will be present.   The only time when the father would not be present in the delivery room is if he was unable to get to the hospital in time.  This is the case in both the United States, where I am from originally, and in Taiwan, where my wife is from and where we currently live.

When did this change in people's worldview regarding birth occur?  In the United States, it would seem to be in the early 1970s, the time when I myself was born.  When I was born my father was not in the delivery room.  A couple years later when my sister was born, he was.  

For many the idea that a couple may not want the husband in the delivery room is unthinkable.  These people are only too happy to make the husband feel like a sociopath for not having a burning desire to be in the delivery room or the wife feel like she is denying her husband of an unalienable right if she doesn't want her husband present during birth.  Yet, given the fact that for much of history the husband was expected to not be present in the delivery room, I can't believe that I'm the only person who has thought about this.  Unfortunately, this is not even a bullet point for discussion in most pregnancy books or videos.

I hope that this lens helps reopen this important decision for discussion and, hopefully, prompts writers of pregnancy guides to address this decision as well. 

Remember that this lens is supported by your stars and cents.  Please, if you find this information useful, rate it highly by clicking on the stars at the top of the lens.  The more stars the better.  If any books or merchandise listed here interest you, please purchase them through the links on this site.

And if you look at this lens and think to yourself, "hey, I could do that!"  You're right, you can.  Why not sign up for Squidoo now?  Please use this link: http://www.squidoo.com/lensmaster/referral/ChouDoufu 

When the Father is Not a "Husband"

I struggled with selecting the title for this lens. I realize that my use of "husband" may alienate some mothers. I decided to use "husband" instead of "father" in part because of the ubiquitousness of the word in articles and posts discussing the issue, in part because the question arose in my mind in reaction to "Husband-Coached Childbirth" materials, and in part because of the lack of a satisfying alternative.

"Husband" and "spouse" may alienate unwed mothers and fathers, "father" may alienate the non-biological mother in a lesbian relationship, and "partner" didn't seem to capture the particular issue that this lens was dealing with.

Arguments FOR - A list of the most commonly argued reasons for allowing/coercing the husband into the delivery room.

See my list of links at the end of this lens for articles discussing, promoting, or objecting to these points.

  1. Provide comfort and support for the mother.

    For me, this is the most compelling reason. If the husband's presence will ease the nervousness, fear, and pain of the mother, then, by all means, she should have the right to have him by her side.

  2. You were there for conception (the fun part); you better be there for the delivery.

    The various permutations of this argument seem to assume that any husband that is considering not being in the delivery room is trying to shirk his responsibilities, because he is too squeamish or some other selfish reason.

    This reason is related to the first, if the wife wants him present. If she doesn't, than this argument just doesn't apply.

    My gut reaction is "right on!" But it does seem a bit unsympathetic to the small minority of husbands who have serious phobias to blood or surgery. Then again, he needn't look "down there." Not needing to look also applies to those who argue that witnessing the birth can lead to sexual dysfunction.

  3. But you CAN'T miss the birth of your child! / You May Regret it Later.

    Comments like this are usually based upon strong feelings about the momentousness of the occasion. The birth of your child is a milestone event in your life. Even if you don't feel this way, you may later regret it, at which time its too late.

    While I feel that this is good advice, how applicable it is to an individual husband depends a great deal on his personality. Only he can determine what witnessing the birth means to him and his potential for regretting not witnessing it.

  4. It is a life-changing (or spiritual, or transformative, et. al.) event and you'll never be the same.

    For many fathers, witnessing their child's birth was a life-changing event. It can be an incredibly moving event; for some it is a religious experience.

    For others, it is simply an awkward, uncomfortable, and gross experience and they'll bond with the child after he is cleaned up, thank you very much. And then there are those fathers for whom the experience is harmful, leading to fainting, sexual dysfunction, and difficulty bonding with the child BECAUSE they witnessed the birth.

    Again, how applicable this argument is depends on the personality of the husband you are directing it at.

  5. It is important for the husband to bond with the child.

    Few would argue that developing a strong bond is good for both the child and the husband. Personally, I'm not convinced that witnessing the birth creates a stronger bond than interactions with the baby after an unwitnessed birth. I'd be interested in reading any research on this, if it exists. Please contact me if you know of any.

    I think witnessing the birth is more important to strengthening the husband-wife bond; although this is obviously not the case for those men who report sexual dysfunction resulting from witnessing the birth.

  6. The husband can ensure that the wife's preferences are followed and help ensure that her needs are being met.

    I think that this may be true with some husbands, but other husbands might only make a nuisance of themselves. Also, a wife may change her preference for, say, pain killers during labor only to have her husband pressure her to "stick to the plan."

    If a couple is truly concerned about ensuring the wife and baby receive the proper and preferred treatment from the hospital staff, they should consider hiring a doula.

Books Promoting Husbands in the Delivery Room

Husband-Coached Childbirth : The Bradley Method of Natural Childbirth
Husband-Coached Childbirth : The Bradley Method of Natural Childbirth

This is the book that started it all. The "Bradley Method" is often cited as sparking the movement of bringing husbands and boyfriends into the delivery room to act as birthing coaches. It is interesting to me that none of the comments for this book on Amazon mention the husband. Many credit this book with easing the pains of labor and allowing a "natural" childbirth, but they say nothing of how their husband helped in this process. The very title of the book assumes that the husband is the obvious choice for "coaching" the mother, as opposed to a mother, sister, or doula.

 
Labor Day: Shared Experiences from the Delivery Room
Labor Day: Shared Experiences from the Delivery Room

While not really promoting husbands in the delivery room, this book contains chapters written by husbands about their delivery room experiences.

 

Arguments AGAINST - A list of the most commonly argued reasons for letting/keeping the husband out of the delivery room.

See my list of links at the end of this lens for articles discussing, promoting, or objecting to these points.

  1. Compromises the safety of the mother and child.

    While this argument is discredited in the United States and Canada, I've heard stories of hospitals in Taiwan using it to prevent the husband from entering the delivery room.

    Certainly, the husband's presence in the delivery room affects safety. He may get in the way of the doctors and nurses. He is one more person that the hospital staff has to worry about. If he faints, it is a distraction that will necessitate one or more staff members to attend to him rather than the mother and baby. His presence may make it more difficult to ensure a sterile environment.

    In many countries it is seen as the mother's right to have the support of her husband. Many people also consider it the father's right to witness his child's birth. These parental prerogatives trump the fairly insignificant extra risks posed by the husband's presence.

  2. The mother doesn't want her husband present.

    Many people hold the view that it is the mother's sole right to decide who will and will not be allowed in the delivery room. This "right" includes keeping her husband out of the delivery room if that's the mother's choice.

    There are many reasons that a mother might not want her husband present, including: inability to abide any "coaching", tips, or problem-solving from a man; worries that his nervousness will make her more nervous; concerns about how she will react to the pain and what she might say to him; concerns about the impact it would have on their sex life; and unresolved marital problems.

  3. Witnessing their wives give birth leads to sexual dysfunction in many men.

    Perhaps I'm unsympathetic, but if you are concerned about this, don't look "down there." A husband can stay up by his wife's head with his back turned to all the action and still provide comfort and encouragement.

    If the couple is concerned about this, they should let the hospital staff know their wishes so they do not invite the husband to look, hold his wife's legs, or cut the umbilical cord.

  4. This is just another attempt by men to assert yet more control over "their" women.

    There are those who argue that husband coaching during childbirth is of questionable utility. The purpose, critics argue, is not to benefit the mother so much as to give the father more control. Some see the increasing role of husbands in childbirth as part of the continuing domination of men over child birth and the move away from traditional midwifery.

    Of course most modern midwifes and doulas encourage the husband's participation. Moreover, there are many ways for a husband to participate in the birth that don't involve "coaching" if the mother finds that objectionable.

Quick Poll: What Did You Do?

For you mothers and fathers reading this, please take a moment to let me know whether both parents were present during delivery.

Was the father (if you are the father, were you) present at the birth of (one or all) of your child(ren)?

See results

Book Reviews

This section is for listing resources that are not specifically focused on promoting or challenging husband-coaching. My purpose is not to judge the materials on their entire content, but rather note depth and quality of their treatment of decisions relating to the husband's role during childbirth.

Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy
Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy

This has been our pregnancy "bible" and I recommend it highly. But, again, there is not much information regarding the husbands role in delivery. The book does, however, include a small three-page section on "What You Can Do as the Labor Coach" at pages 180-182 in the first edition (2004). The book is neutral on who the labor coach is (husband, friend, father, partner, sibling, etc.) and does not offer any guidence on deciding who will be your "coach." The book does encourage the mother to invite her partner to an ultrasound exam to "strengthen his emotional involvement in [the] pregnancy and foster his attachment to [the] baby." See page 99. The books discussion of creating a "birth plan" offers a checklist that recognizes the need to decide "your support person(s) during labor and delivery" but does not offer any guidence on how to make that decision.

 
Pregnancy for Dummies
Pregnancy for Dummies

We purchased the Pregnancy for Dummies videos through iTunes and watched them together. Overall these are very good videos that I recommend to all expecting parents. But I do not recall any discussion about the husband's role in delivery or any advice about making such a decision. I do not have the book that the DVDs are based upon, so I don't know if the book covers this topic.

 
The Unofficial Guide to Having a Baby
The Unofficial Guide to Having a Baby

My wife and I have been reading this excellent book throughout her pregnancy. This book does not address husbands in the delivery room. Rather it assumes that he will be present and only discuss "whether you would like to have anyone other than your partner present in the delivery room."

 

An Exception for C-sections?

While it is generally accepted that husbands should be present during their child's birth, for some doctors and hospitals that only applies to "natural" deliveries. Although delivery by cesarean section is now very safe, it is still a surgical procedure and it raises a host of additional concerns and potential complications.

Most U.S. hospitals allow the husband to be present during a c-section. Regional anesthesia (spinal or epidural) is used so that the mother is conscious during the operation. A curtain is typically used to block the surgery from the mother's and husband's view.

Sometimes, however, general anesthesia is used. This is not preferred as there is an increased risk to the mother and the drugs used can cross the placenta and into the baby, making him groggy. Knocking out both the mother and baby during birth complicates breast feeding. Therefore, general anesthesia is only advised for emergency (unscheduled) c-sections.

The mother, however, is often given a choice. Many women are horrified at the thought of being awake while they are cut open and opt for general anesthesia.

When general anesthesia is used, the husband is usually not allowed in the delivery/operating room. The reason? His wife is unconscious, so the husband can't comfort or encourage her, so he has no purpose to be in the room. The husband's desire to witness the child's entry into the world, even if via an incision rather then the vagina, does not seem to be a consideration. The infant will instead be cleaned up and brought out to the waiting room for the husband to hold.

Even if you are planning a natural delivery, make sure you talk to your doctor about his and the hospital's policy regarding the husband's presence during the procedure, including when general anesthesia is used. Check with other doctors/hospitals if you don't like his answer.

Everything was going well with my wife's pregnancy until her water broke and my son managed to move into a transverse position. General anesthesia was used and I wasn't allowed in the delivery/operating room. I was more concerned with my wife's well-being than not being in the room, but it all came as an unwelcome departure from our vision for the delivery. This was one situation we hadn't thought to ask our doctor about.

This section is both for my random thoughts, which may be a bit off topic or simply don't fit into the man body of this lens, and visitor feedback. Please add your thoughts about the subject in general, or your suggestions for improving this lens.

Feedback

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      Jean 2 years ago

      It is not my son, but our son.men Re confused.

      When the woman is a patient, the husband can not force his way into the room. He has to wait until the baby is out.

      Feb 2, 2015

    • profile image

      Anonymous 2 years ago

      Yes, .thank goodness we have a law.

      This just goes to show how evil and arrogant some men are in this world.

      And to the poster who kept saying "my son"? Listen male poster, the child does not belong to just you. The correct way to refer to a baby that came from both your wife and you is, " our son"

      In this world, there are some men who make the male gender look really bad, when they make sick comments veing able to intrude into a woman's territort and private body space, in order to satisfy his sick narcissistic attitude.

    • profile image

      Anonymous 2 years ago

      ...

      Can't believe we still have arrogant men, puffing out their chests like spoiled little boys and being ugly to these other commenters about bow they will not be shut out of their wife's room.

      Glad that the judges finally make a law where men cannot force their way into the room.

      Some men need to grow up.

    • SBPI Inc profile image

      SBPI Inc 4 years ago

      Great Lens.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Hospitals today certainly encourage fathers and family members to be in the delivery room with the mothers, but it wasn't always like this even only back in the 70's things were different. In 1978 Woonsocket Hospital (in RI) did not allow me, the father, into the delivery room to see my son being born! His mother and I had argued with staff about the matter. She wanted me there and I definitely wanted to be there more than anything, but the hospital would not allow me in! I had to stand looking thru two small windows from closed doors outside the Delivery Section while my son was being born in one of the side rooms. And when a nurse came out carrying my son in one arm she opened the doors and walked right past me like I was not even there! She did not stop even as I called out in shock and followed her! I don't know why to this day! I only got to see my son in the window of the nursery! I was 17 yrs old at the time, a junior in High School and my girlfriend was a senior. We hadn't been married (yet). That's the reason the hospital gave us why they wouldn't allow me in the delivery room. We would have been married, but my father wouldn't allow me to marry until I was 18. I loved my Dad and respected him so I listened. I have to say, though, the event at the hospital the day MY son was born had left me not nearly as happy as I should have been.. The obstetrician that had taken care of my son's mother during her pregnancy had told us in the beginning that I'd be allowed into the delivery room, but she forgot all about it the day she delivered my son. My girlfriend at the time had been quite distracted by the pain and everything going on in the room and thus didn't put-up a fuss at that point to the doctor. At least my son was born very healthy and kicking and he was beautiful. His mother and I married shortly after I turned 18 and we joined the U.S. Air Force to have the best life we could considering our ages and lack of college.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      No matter which words we use to disagree, the woman still has control over her private patient rights, until the baby is outside of her body.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Woman's decision only.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      There are some crazy men in this country and this world, if they think they have the right to bring their parents into the delivery room while his wife is giving birth. A man who thinks this is okay, should be ready when the wife, gets up off her delivery bed and usesher foot in his a_____, plus security will to kick their butts out, no questions asked.. The inlaws do not, do not, do not, have the right to come into any room while any woman is naked, and that includes their own daughter. I don't know why American males think they can do anything they want. That's a lot of evil coming from a man's heart who disrepects his wife and lets his dad bring his butt into a room while his wife is naked. I don't care if she is giving birth to a thousand babies made of gold. Her naked bodyis her body. His parents do not have any rights. My dad is a judge and he states that men are confused about that right. A man cannot override the woman's rights as a patient and while she is naked and being treated as a patient.

      The police would be called and haul the inlaws and him too, off to jail, if he was violating her rights. He could try to sue all he wants, but her in laws have no rights to come into the delivery room, no matter how evil, nasty, and disrepectful he is.

      Men cannot control everything. Women, please stand up to your husbands and inlaws. I support you!!!!!! We are not afraid of a man!!!

    • ChouDoufu profile image
      Author

      ChouDoufu 4 years ago

      @anonymous: Thanks Jack. I encourage anyone reading this lens to fine Jack's other, more detailed, comment about his hemophobia. It is well written and gives insight into the condition and, hopefully, will help more of us be more understanding and empathetic about the condition.

    • ChouDoufu profile image
      Author

      ChouDoufu 4 years ago

      @anonymous: Jack, thank you for sharing your personal experience and insights. It is easy for people to downplay or display skepticism of the challenges and disabilities of others. I think that criticizing someone for fainting at the sight of blood and telling them to toughen up is like telling someone with narcolepsy that they should toughen up and not fall asleep rather than shirk their responsibility for helping drive the family around. It is not constructive, is based on a complete lack medical understanding (and empathy!), and if their advice were followed would simply put everyone at risk. It is unfortunate that Squidoo hides recent comment replies. I will try to call out or highlight your comment in one of the main modules above.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      @anonymous: I'm sorry I'm going to comment to you again as you seem a really bitter women particularly towards men. A real man loves and supports his family and would happily trade his life to save theirs. It appears you have no concept of what a real man is and are blinded by your bitterness (obviously from something in your past or perhaps even present). I think your comment to Chris was pretty silly as well. No good can come from a man laying unconscious on the delivery room floor. Especially when there's a chance he could be quite badly injured. Whether he's injured or not, nurses will have to make the decision on who they help, do they continue to help deliver and just step over the man on the floor, avoiding the ever growing pool of blood that there may be? Or do they take time away from their job to care for the injured man. Lets not forget the stress this puts on the Mother, "is my husband ok", "Is he hurt" "do they need to care for him and if so what about me/my baby". Of course any stress the mother feels, the baby also feels. But hey who cares about people's health? As long as the man tried as futile as his efforts may or may not be "Attaboy"...

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      @anonymous: See my other comment, some men can't look at blood without passing out. This doesn't make them any less of a man and no amount of "sucking up" can change what really is a serious life altering problem. There is no correlation between blood phobia and baby's urine or feces. I have changed many babies with no problem, runny noses don't bother me either, but the sight of blood makes me faint and vomit. I'm sure your husband is the most wonderful husband in the world because he delivered your baby. If me not being able to do that makes me the worst husband in the world then that's something I'll have to live with as its out of my hands.

      Jack

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      @anonymous: I think phobia is the wrong word to describe the problem some Men have with blood. Its not like being scared of spiders or the dark, its actually physically fainting and then normally vomiting at the sight of blood. You make it sound like an excuse when it's a very debilitating problem perhaps even an illness. I was born with Blood Phobia as it is hereditary. I faint at the site of blood and when I come round suffer with Vomiting. My Dad passed out in the delivery room when I was born and split his head open. He was taken away for stitches and various scans and missed me being born. Him being in the delivery room put my mum and me at risk, not to mention his own health. I have Blood Phobia even worse than my Dad and have no idea how I will cope with childbirth. For you to say that men who have Blood Phobia shouldn't be allowed to be Fathers is the cruelest thing I've ever heard anyone say. There is nothing I want more than to be a Dad, to hold my child, feed, cloth, wash and love with all my heart. But am stuck between a rock and a hard place. I don't think I could ask my wife to go through childbirth alone but at the same time know that being in the delivery room will probably be pointless as I'm sure I won't be conscious. There's no such thing as the "head end" either. It's ironic that Blood Phobia was created by Evolution yet is stopping me from doing what I was put here to do (reproduce). I hope your views on men and blood phobia someday change. It is a horrible thing to live with day in day out and I worry every day about childbirth and hope that it won't effect the one thing I want most in life. I'd trade everything I own to be rid of Blood Phobia but I can't. The same way people can't change their height or eye colour, it's hereditary. I understand your views on childbirth as I'm told it is pain a man can never experience and lasts sometimes for days. Dignity is almost thrown out the window and it doesn't just stop after childbirth. A women can have gynecological (word?) problems for years after. So I understand your frustration but don't agree that men should "man up" or don't deserve to be fathers. There are millions of fathers out there who don't give a damn about their children, who don't want to work or help out or pay their share or be involved at all. They don't deserve to be fathers. I think it's extremely unfair and narrow minded to say men who were born with an extreme phobia of blood shouldn't be allowed to have children. Blood Phobia goes back to the days of ancient war when Men would pass out when wounded on the battlefield or to "play dead". If a man faints when he's been stabbed with a sword he's going to be on the floor and losing less blood. If a man faints and the enemy thinks he's dead he will survive. Unfortunately this "skill" is almost completely unnecessary in modern life and has effected me all my life.

      P.S I have no problem with other bodily fluids, just blood. I think urine and feces are something that can be overcome if a man has that problem (never heard of fainting at the sight of either of them).

      All the best Nina

      Jack

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I don't give a crap if it's her body or not, if it's my child then he/she has the right to have both of his/her parents in the delivery room during that painful time. Outside of that, she can pick everyone else she wants that will fit in the room. As if it matters anyway whether the baby cares about being totally naked and uncovered in public during the actual process with a man in the room or not. It's not about my rights, it's about the rights of our baby, and the baby's rights supercede the mother's rights. I haven't been in the situation yet, but I encourage Jean to just try to stop me when the time comes.

    • BritFlorida profile image

      Jackie Jackson 4 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      My husband was with me but primarily because it was 'the done thing' at the time. I wasn't aware of any advantages at all other than the 'awwww' factor. We're nor exactly at our best when giving birth. The idea that it helps bonding is nonsense in my opinion.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      @anonymous: Oh... so what you are saying is that the husband can force the wife and hospital to let him in, but the wife cannot choose her way of delivering her baby? What a load of crock a poo!!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      @anonymous: Thank you for that comment. We adult women have got to teach our daughters who will be giving birth later, to think of themselves and not what a husband wants while we are flat on our backs, emitting fluids, in pain, and naked. This is a disturbing trend that has taken off like wildfire and women just let it happen.

      Wake up women. this is definitely a good time to stand up to your husband. Do not be afraid and do not let him coerce you. You have a mother. Hie and his mother need to respect you at this time. I will call the hospital security and the police, if you need for me to. Just email me. Pam 10/8/12

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Having my husband in the delivery room almost led to us divorcing. In fact, I'm still not sure that it wont, because I don't seem to be moving past the way he (mis)treated me during a very painful labor. It took our hospital's anethesiologist two hours to bring me pain relief, and by the time they got to me, it was too late. I was in an exteme amount of agony, and my husband was sitting quietly in the corner of the room, playing on his phone. He later said that the extreme stress of the situation caused him to "shut down," and that he was coping the only way he knew how, and trying to stay out of the way. I am trying to understand his point of view, but I truly feel as though he abandoned me in an exteme time of need, and I'm not sure that I can ever forgive him, or learn to trust him again. To put it in perspective, I asked him, "How would you feel if you collapsed to the ground with a heart attack, and I just stepped over you and went into another room, without calling for help, and just left you there, scared and in pain?" That's the way he treated me. I know from stories I've heard from other women that I am not alone if having a husband that acted less than appropriately. I can assure anyone that if we do stay together, he will NOT be allowed in the room if we have another child. Regardless of who put the sperm there, it's MY vagina, my moment of vulnerability, and I and I alone will decide who gets to be by my side in that moment....

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      @anonymous: Sorry but a man can not force his way into a private birthing space if the mother does not want him to be there. She has the right and can call the police or security.

    • sibian profile image

      sibian 5 years ago

      In my opinion, being or not in the delivery room it is a father's personal choice.

      Assuming a healthy relationships between the two partners, there should be no problem with the pregnant partner agreeing to that.

      However, there are circumstances when she may not want that, and that should be acknowledged and complied with.

      I was present when my wife gave birth to our gorgeous boy, I wouldn't have missed that for the, and let me tell yu, it was BY FAR the best moment of my life.

    • profile image

      Didge 5 years ago

      Excellent lens!

    • ChouDoufu profile image
      Author

      ChouDoufu 5 years ago

      @anonymous: Are there no other options? Could you choose a different hospital to have your baby at?

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      The hospital in Shanghai where I'm delivering will not allow my husband to watch the birth. So depressed....

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      @anonymous: to a point, i agree but do you have a phobia? I have a fear of dolls, if I see one in the room, i get terrified.sometimes i have to leave the room.it may be irrational but it is still terrifying. the man may have that problem with blood, maybe after some event took place that scarred him emotionally. there are times when it would be worse for the father to force himself through the fear than to just sit outside the room and wait. I personally would be in the room wether my wife wanted me too or not, but i don't have a fear of blood or anything.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      if the father wants to be in the room, then the mother should have no right(excluding cases where the father is abusive, spun out on something,etc)to tell him no. if my wife told me no (which she has not, she wants me in there) I would be in there anyway, and if the hospital staff would not let me, I would sue them. no one has the right to tell a father that he can't witness the birth of his child.however, if the father does not want to be in there, don't force him. he has the right to choose to stay out if he feels uncomfortable about it. I personally look forward to cutting the cord, but some people just can't even take seeing the blood on the baby when the doctor gets it out.

    • ChouDoufu profile image
      Author

      ChouDoufu 5 years ago

      @anonymous: You raise an interesting point about women with blood phobias. Not sure how such a woman would handle birth; under general anesthesia perhaps? Also, as you implied, I suspect that someone with a real, clinical blood phobia would be unfit to parent, at least without help. What would a parent with such a phobia do if their child was severely cut at a park (or in the home) and they were the only ones there? We're getting a bit off topic here, but interesting none the less. I think blood phobia accounts for a statistically insignificant number of father who are not present for the birth. Religious taboos, culture norms, and personal preference (mother's, father's, or both) are likely the main reasons. Even religious taboo is probably a very small percentageâat least in North America.

      I also agree with you about how adaptable people are. If we HAVE to, we can deal with all kinds of things we never thought we could have. While some people truly have debilitating mental illness, most people probably just need a dose of getting over themselves. That said, I'm not in the position to make that determination.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      @ChouDoufu: If you have a phobia so serious that you can't be there for the mother of your child when she needs you most, can't be bothered to face the consequences of your actions, and you miss the birth of your child? You need to seek help. I know your heart's in the right place with your sympathies, but people do need to get over themselves a little bit. The last thing we need is people making more excuses to get out of responsibility.

      Have you ever thought about whether women have any of these phobias? We do, the same exact ones men have, but we don't have that option of "opting out" when it comes to childbirth. We have to get over it because we have no other choice. And voila! We survive for the most part.

      I was actually majoring in Psych for a while before I switched majors last year. I took quite a few classes, especially ones dealing with mental disorders such as phobias. Guess what is the most effective treatment for long-term recovery from any kind of phobia? Desensitization. We actually encourage those with phobias to eventually be thrown right into the mayhem and face their fears head-on (and come to realize they are quite irrational). There's also very good, strong anti-anxiety meds just in case =). Mind you, it's also very hard to conceive while taking some of those meds, so if man is quickly approaching fatherhood and suffers from a phobia it makes me wonder how responsible this man is (not seeking medical attention until he is forced to by a third party).

      Also, blood phobia by itself is one of the rarest phobias (especially in men). It's much more prevalent in women, mostly in the form of needle-injection phobia. If you aren't diagnosed by a professional or psychologist as having any sort of blood phobia, then you don't really have as legitimate a reason for your squeamishness. I'm squeamish about fecal matter, but when my nieces and nephews need changing I get to it because it needs to get done and it's my job to be responsible for them. I am also not like others who proclaim about their pseudo-phobias. I know the requirements for a phobia and know for a fact that it's just something I dislike among other things that are necessary to do (like cleaning, exercise, wiping my great grandmothers behind because she is incapable of doing so herself). A husband's job is to be responsible for his family. If he doesn't actually have a clinically-diagnosed phobia then he is making lame excuses. Straw-man aside, some people need to grow up. Guys who can't get over squeamishness (something nowhere near as serious as a phobia) will have their work cut out for them as fathers. Babies are messy! So no, you are wrong. If a man's sole reason for not being there for the birth is because he is afraid of the mess of blood and guts and fluids, those same reasons will prevent him from being as helpful of a father as well. Baby poop is disgusting, wet, sloppy, and it gets everywhere. My nephew peed on my face and in mouth once when I was changing his diaper. My niece broke her arm two months ago while I was babysitting and the bone broke through her skin, creating a lovely bloody mess. Wouldn't you know, all those are things that would make those fathers squeamish. If they can't handle them at birth, how can they handle of any of that later on? =/.

      As for men having the RIGHT to be in the delivery room? It's sweet to see a guy who cares so much, and I would wonder why a woman wouldn't want her man there. But if for whatever reason she doesn't, that should be respected. I know you probably won't want to hear this, but what I've been trying to get at all along is that birth really is focused on the mother. She has to do all the work. The husband has the easiest part, just doing what she says however she wants it. Let her have her way, it'll only be like that for a few hours (or days) she's in labor and giving birth. I think after carrying your baby around for 40 weeks, giving up her body for that time period, possibly wrecking her nether regions, and all the pain and suffering she deserves it. It's the least considerate time for a guy to be thinking only about himself.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      @anonymous: Responding to your point #2: Seriously, check an attorney or anywhere in the law, a husband does not have the right to be in the delivery room space if his wife has a need for body privacy. Haven't you heard about doctor/ patient confidentiality? You may be her husband, but her rights as a patient superceed your right to be her medically, private space..

    • ChouDoufu profile image
      Author

      ChouDoufu 5 years ago

      @anonymous: Thanks for sharing. I agree that, barring phobias, the father should be there if possible, if the mother wants him present.

    • ChouDoufu profile image
      Author

      ChouDoufu 5 years ago

      @anonymous: I understand your point of view and my knee-jerk reaction is to agree with you. Looking over the other comments on this site, I think you'll find most of the visitors would also agree with you. Upon further reflection, however, I do have to acknowledge that some people may have serious mental issues that make their challenges greater than the straw man we create when attacking them for not being in the room.

      In college, I worked at a museum of natural history, which had a boa constrictor exhibit near the entrance and every now and then someone would come in, see it, completely freak out, leave the museum, and refuse to come back in. They couldn't even avert their eyes to walk past it to get to the snakeless exhibits. This wasn't a one-time occurrence.

      Their "over reaction" annoyed me to no end. But when you don't have a phobia, it is hard to empathize. People who fear something, such as dogs, snakes, blood--whatever--may simply not be able to control their reactions without a lot of therapy. These people can be very annoying to those without the phobia. I know someone that was afraid of dogs (she'd been attacked as pre-schooler and had to run home through her neighborhood mostly naked after it ripped much of her clothes off). She annoyed dog lovers (how do you tactfully tell someone to lock their dog away during a visit or tell someone you won't visit because of their dog?).

      Also, in a past job, I once had a client that was afraid of elevators. I was more mature by this time than I was when a college student and was able to get over my own embarrassment and try to support her as she rolled into a fetal position crying in the corner of the elevator and actually admire her for actually being able to get into the elevator.

      So, yes, I guess I do try to sympathize. There are many ways a father can support the mother of his child during pregnancy and delivery. I try not to judge someone's fitness as a father/husband based solely on decisions to be present/absent during delivery.

      All that said, the more interesting question to me since starting this lens is the situation where a women DOES NOT want the father present during delivery when he DOES want to be there. Until starting this blog, I hadn't realized how many women would rather the father not be there. If you feel that a father has an OBLIGATION to be there, does he have a RIGHT to be there even if the mother doesn't want him to be there?

      In my opinion, it should ultimately be up to the women, but not surprisingly, there are many men who vehemently disagree.

      The only thing that is 100% applicable to ALL mothers and fathers, regardless of their views of each party's rights and responsibilities when it comes to delivery, is that they should TALK about it early and with other parents. Parents have a lot more options these days when it comes to the delivery experience, which is great. But it also can make things more difficult. It removes the comfort of making assumptions. More options mean it is more important to have these discussions.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I'd be pretty upset if my husband didn't want to be in the emergency room with me. I know you're trying to be sympathetic to whether a man who is squeamish or has certain phobias to bloodiness, pain, sweat, etc... but I just can't bring myself to agree with you. When a woman is giving birth she's in an insane amount of pain, she's being prodded and poked (for good reason, mostly), she's being exposed often and put in vulnerable situations, her life may be at stake (or the baby's), and she's probably a tad bit tired, sore and nervous about it all. Would it be right if a wife left her husband to deal with all of those anxieties on his own? Nathan Roeseler is right, to a certain extent. For better or for worse, in sickness or in death (if you're married). You made your vows and your promises, and it wouldn't be right to leave her side when she needs you the most. Besides, fathers have the EASIEST part. I'm sorry, but squeamishness is the weakest excuse. If a man can't deal with seeing the consequences of an act he played a vital part of, then does he deserve to be a father? To hold the baby once it's cleaned and presentable? I'm not so sure. Sounds like cop-out to me, or someone that has serious issues with the human body. Kind of like those guys that think a photoshopped model's body is normal and can't deal with what a real woman looks like. I mean when you think about those squeamish guys, they have a problem with the messy parts of birth and the pain, right? The blood, the poop, the sweat, all the body fluids, the pain and crying, the messy baby when it's just been born. How in the world will they be able to raise that child if they have issues with those things? How will they be able to change diaper if they can't stand the sight of poop? Or comfort/take care of a sick or injured child, bleeding and/or vomitting with snot running down his/her chin? Do you ever wonder why men in the past refused or were banned from seeing their wives give birth. It was the culture of the times. Those men were also for the most part not at all helping with the childraising. They couldn't be bothered. If that's wrong, then so is backing out of the commitment you made with your wife and lover when you chose to have sex. That it takes two to tango and you should both deal with the consequences. Besides, have fun explaining to your kids why you couldn't be bothered to witness their birth. My Dad was kind of loser, non-commitment kind of guy who HATES bloody, body fluids, poop and whatnot. This guy can't even buy his own toilet paper without getting embarrassed by it, hah. But he manned up and dealt with it, 'cause that's what mature people do. They do what's right, even if it's not pleasant. =).

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      @anonymous: Just because you are the father, does not give you any rights with respect to the medical process you wife must endure to bring that child into this world. You won't be the one sweating, bleeding and defecating all over yourself. You won't be enduring the pain that accompanies the contractions, stretching and tearing that result from the passage of the baby through the birth canal. And you won't be the one dealing with the stitches, hemorrhoids, potential post-partum depression or sore breasts & nipples. So if, by chance, your wife doesn't want you in the delivery room, I would hope you would love her enough to put your pride aside and respect her wishes.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I think since the woman is having to endure the all the pain, she should be able to decide who is there to witness her labor and delivery. You are in a very vulnerable state and have parts of you exposed doing some pretty gross things when you are giving birth. The mother should have full control over who gets to witness her in that condition. My ex (we were happily married at the time) was there for the birth of our daughter. After, I could tell he was disturbed by what he saw. He acted differently...seemed grossed out by the whole thing. He was also mad because I allowed the women closest to me to be there, too, despite the fact he was sleeping in his truck for much of my labor. My sisters, my best friend, my mom and one of my grandma's took shifts massaging my hands, feet and temples to ease labor pains. I did not allow his sister in, which he was also upset by. I did not feel comfortable with her there after she tried so hard to convince me to not use any drugs...hilarious coming from someone who had two C-sections. Anyway, it is something that should be discussed up front, before the water breaks, but I think if there is disagreement, the mother should get to decide since she will be the one enduring the pain with her nether-region exposed to the world.

    • ChouDoufu profile image
      Author

      ChouDoufu 5 years ago

      @bluefire1020: Thank you! And congratulations!

    • bluefire1020 profile image

      bluefire1020 5 years ago

      Wow, I enjoyed reading this lens, also the comments! I'm very glad my husband was with me when I gave birth 3 weeks ago, it is indeed comforting to have him by my side. Thanks for sharing this! = ) squidlike

    • ChouDoufu profile image
      Author

      ChouDoufu 5 years ago

      @anonymous: Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I'm not sure that the husband has a legal right to be present at the delivery, but that's being pedantic--I get your point.

      Regarding your comment: "Have we forgotten what this truly means?" While I, and I'm sure most readers, applaud your staunch support of your wife in thick and thin, I don't think you can rightly claim traditional Christian values in support of your stance. It simply hasn't been the case for much of history for husbands to be present during the delivery. Christian leaders certainly were not objecting to the common protocol of keeping men away from delivery--which has been common practice until recently. Of course, I do not claim to be an expert in these areas and I would be happy to be proven wrong and fascinated to read about the father's role in the delivery back in ancient times.

      I'm not comfortable with the stance that a man has an absolute right to be in the delivery room, regardless of the wife's preferences. While it is not by choice giving birth is not something you can go through. I certainly would be against legislating this as a right. I think it comes down to the couple needing to talk through this stuff early, hopefully before they decide to have a baby. And I strongly believe that it is not my place to judge another couple over this decision.

      As for men who claim sexual dysfunction after witnessing the birth, or those who faint at the sight of blood, it is easy to make fun of them, chastise them, and to question their manhood. I try to be more understanding. It is hard to put yourself in the shoes of someone suffering from a mental disorder. I just don't see the benefit of trying to shame a man into being in the room if he is extremely repulsed by witnessing or being near the birth. I can't relate to it, but you know what? I don't have to. It is not my choice to make for another father.

      As for your fourth point, it is a non sequitur. I don't get what you are trying to say beyond lobbing an ad hominem attack against a liberal straw man. I agree that portraying a husband's attempts at involvement in the birth is trying to control women is an extreme view, but generally where I've come across this argument is in the context of "husband coaching" and not so much an argument of keeping men out of the delivery room. While I think "husband coaching" courses can be helpful, especially to a first-time father who might not otherwise know what to do with himself in the delivery room, I can see how that approach may be annoying for some women. Again, not something I have strong opinions on, but outside of my marriage my opinions on this topic don't matter.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I just found out yesterday that I'm a father. My wife is 7 weeks along.

      You read that right. I'm a father already. This is my first child, but I don't become a father once they're born, I am one as soon as they are conceived. A child takes work from 2 people. My sperm, her egg. It can NOT happen without BOTH of us. Thus, this child is JUST as much mine as it is hers. True, she carries them, does the actual birthing, but that is not my choice! I didn't say, I don't want to carry this child, you have to.

      I also look at my vows. Better or worse. Thick or thin. Sickness and in health. Have we forgotten what this truly means?? That means (Elizabeth Gorman) that I don't care what you look like! I MARRIED you for who you are! Not the appearance of your flesh. I don't care if you're covered in sweat, blood, and the likes of hell. If ANY man thinks less of his wife for her appearance during birth he should be ashamed.

      I WILL be in the delivery room.

      Response to arguments AGAINST being in the room:

      1: I am no more a risk to my wife or child than any other being in the room. I understand that I have a RESPONSIBILITY if I am in the room to be cautious and aware of my surroundings so as to know when and where to go should I need to move. I should know that I need to take precautions to defend against any virus/bacteria I may be carrying before I enter the room.

      2. As far as concerning the wife's RIGHT to say no??? refer to my first paragraph.

      3. If this is a problem, again, you should be ashamed to call yourself her husband.

      4: Honestly, to anyone who says that... I'm sure they think I didn't vote for Obama because he was black. Again, revert to my first paragraph.

      To anyone who noticed I used the words husband and wife in all my responses. What if they aren't married??? All I can say is Shame on you then.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      @anonymous: Elizabeth, what a great comment. I enjoyed it.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      @anonymous: 22andsmarterthanyou:

      You may not like the fact that I, woman is speaking up for other women, something that is rare in our society, but please leave off the "chastising". Use tact.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      @anonymous: 22andsmarterthanyou:

      Don't chastise me !!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      @anonymous: Jean did you not read what ChouDoufu said? She said her situation exemplified the need for more honest communication prior to the birth and for women to stand by their intuition. How does that undermine JT's comments on her experience?

    • ChouDoufu profile image
      Author

      ChouDoufu 5 years ago

      @anonymous: Thank you for you detailed comment and providing yet another (and, in parts, very humorous) perspective. I'm not sure whether I agree that men are not natural comforters, but I do agree that this is a decision for a couple to make based on their relationship. I also believe that the woman's preference should be respected, regardless of the reason.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I do not have any children yet, but I would like to some day. I am engaged to a wonderful man whom I love dearly and I believe we have a strong, healthy relationship. I know that people will react negatively to how I feel about this when the time comes, but I can say whole-heartedly that I DO NOT want him in the delivery room with me when I am giving birth. Men, no matter how good their intentions, are not natural comforters. When I've been sick, or in pain, his attempts to take care of me or offer me comfort are....cute...but they don't cut it. I recall having a very bad stomach virus, and about the best he could do is sit next to me and pat my head. I had to get my own gingerale, extra blankets, check my temp, etc etc. It wasn't that he didn't want to help, he just didn't know what to do and taking the time to "teach" him how to nurture was more trouble than it was worth. He isn't going to be any more helpful in the delivery room. Furthermore, it surprises me just how far we women have gone in throwing decorum and the value of being lady-like out the window. I realize that childbirth is no picnic, but all the more reason why you wouldn't want to put yourself out on display to your husband in that condition. Before my grandmother went to the hospital to have my mom (back in 1957) she shaved her legs, painted her nails, and fixed her hair. It's not that she was vain, but she took some pride in being a LADY regardless of the circumstance. I don't want to be covered in blood, sweating, grimacing in pain while a human crawls out of my crotch and have my beloved standing there taking in all the horror. No thank you sir. Please wait outside and let them at least drape something over my nether regions and dab my forehead before you come in. I think this incorporates an old fashioned value of maintaining my dignity and grace as a woman, while also embracing the idea that as a woman I am perfectly capable of tackling one of life's most challenging moments independently of my husband. It doesn't mean I love him any less, or that he isn't an equally important part of our child's existence and entry into the world, but he doesn't have to be RIGHT there at the "crowning" moment (pun intended). I don't know why so many think it must be this way. It will not be for me.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      as a dude, I say yes, be there for your woman when she needs ya.

    • ChouDoufu profile image
      Author

      ChouDoufu 5 years ago

      @anonymous: As discussed in my more detailed response to your earlier reply, male and female comics do joke about these things. It is healthy to joke about sensitive and taboo topics in general, I think. Directing jokes at specific individuals is an entirely different matter and one needs to know person well before joking about anything that could be construed as a sensitive area. In any circumstance, bullying and meanness is not acceptable behavior. I don't think I wrote anything to imply otherwise and I apologize if anything I wrote came across as defending meanness or bullying.

    • ChouDoufu profile image
      Author

      ChouDoufu 5 years ago

      @anonymous: Agreed. I wrote this article to challenge the assumption that men must be in the delivery room. My stance has always been that it is up to the couple to discuss, but ultimately the women's choice whether the man should be in the room or not and that if the couple chooses that the husband not be in the room, there is no reason for others to judge the couple negatively about that choice. I am also in agreement that one should not knowingly humiliate one's spouse, whether that be in regards to delivering a baby, stretch marks, erectile disfunction, a wardrobe malfunction, a whatever compromising circumstances or foibles that make their significant other uncomfortable. But if you don't think male comics (and many men in general, and female comics, and many women in general) don't make fun of baldness, erectile dysfunction, and other things men would be sensitive about, you need to get out more. What it comes down to is making fun of these issues in general versus directed teasing a specific person and as to the later, the taboo topics do vary by individual and part of being a good spouse is understanding your loved ones boundaries when it comes to privacy and there sensibilities in general. I certainly do not defend meanness or bullying and I don't think that anything in my comments indicated otherwise.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Men have got to realize that they are sensitive about certain male situations, such as not wanting women to invade their mancave spaces and tease about their going bald, maintaining erections, premature ejaculations, etc. Those are sensitive times for a man, so they need to respect women and not tease us during some of our most sensitive times.

      If men think it's okay for comedians to tease about women's delivery rooms, then we in turn will find some female comedians to tease about male infallibles in the bedroom.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      @anonymous: Really, if we were honest, some, I'm saying some women, feel more relaxed having have their sister, or mom in the delivery room, and letting husband sit outside the door. Men don't want women to invade their mancave spaces, nag them when football is on, and make no negative comments about their inability to achieve that erection or hold it long enough. They also are sensitive when they start to lose their hair and go bald. Those are just some of the times men don't want jokes.

      Likewwise, men need to accept the fact that women also have times when they don't want jokes. Women deserve the same respect . Why is it so difficult for men to understand this? Is it because they are insensitive to anyone else's plight. Now if you want some Bill Cosby and Robin Williams joking to go on, let's make sure that we tease both genders about things that are sensitive to them. I'll bet men will start to shut up with the treasing then.

      He better darn well not tell his buddies and brothers what went on in the delivery room. If he does, we will tell our friends and sisters about what does not go on in the bedroom. Sounds harsh doesn't it . Now you get the point!!

    • ChouDoufu profile image
      Author

      ChouDoufu 5 years ago

      @pajnhiaj: Kudos on to your husband for toughing it out. I love the image of having your husband in a headlock for one of the deliveries. Thanks for sharing!

    • ChouDoufu profile image
      Author

      ChouDoufu 5 years ago

      @anonymous: I don't think I was undermining what JT wrote. At least that certainly was not my intention. To say that no man should ever joke out childbirth is going a bit far, IMHO--there would be some classic Bill Cosby and Robin Williams material we'd have to burn. Also, I think different people respond and deal with momentous occasions and pain differently. This is why I think it is important to speak with your significant other rather than assume. I guarantee you that most men (and a significant percentage of women) do not hold the view that childbirth is not something to be joked about. Purposefully humiliating someone is wrong--whether that involves teasing about child-birth, weight, an accident, sex, one's parents and other sensitive areas that are both areas to show care about others' feelings, yet also culturally common sources of comedy.

    • pajnhiaj profile image

      pajnhiaj 5 years ago

      I feel that the partner should be in the delivery room if they feel comfortable. It is not a good thing to put the partner in an uncomfortable situation that will make the delivery complicated. I say this because with our first child my husband nearly fainted. All eyes and attention was on him if he need water, sit down, go out, or etc. By the way, this was his choice that he wanted to be in the room to see his first child born. He has a scare of blood. I'm blessed he stayed with me for all of my deliveries even when I had him in a headlock for one of them. LOL!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      @ChouDoufu: ChouDoufu, please don't undermine what JT just wrote. And no man should ever, ever, make a joke of childbirth. Please don't tease about something that is painful to women. We would never tease about using a hammer on you all's (balls).

    • ChouDoufu profile image
      Author

      ChouDoufu 5 years ago

      @anonymous: It is unfortunate that your husband acted in a way that humiliated you. In my experience, guys do joke about this kind of stuff and usually do not intend to hurt anyone's feelings. Women may reasonably ask, "well, how would guys like for women to joke about, say an orchiectomy to remove testicular cancer?" Well, believe it or not, in my experience, plenty of guys who have undergone that operation do joke about it. That's just the way some guys deal with these things. This isn't to excuse your husband's behavior, or to infer that you over reacted, but instead to highlight the need to discuss expectations in advance.

      Many women would probably think it should not need saying that you don't make jokes about their private parts during birth or that there is nothing funny about a c-section. Maybe it *shouldn't* need to be said, but it would behoove couples to discuss it none-the-less. I'm glad that you were able to assert your preferences the second time around and that he honored your preferences, even if he wasn't happy about it.

      I wish you and your family the best!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Thank you for your article. I had my husband at the unplanned c-section for my first after 19 hours of labor. I had reservations with his ability to handle things and really didn't want him there but I went with the flow and told him he had a choice to be there or not. I wish I had trusted my gut to keep him out. (I couldn't find an article like this.) My husband was very distant in the delivery room. After our daughter was born, he was sweet for a few months, especially around my family. He made some comments to others that I didn't like joking about how lucky I should feel that he didn't take pictures of my privates to share with others. Then at his family reunion on Christmas, he chose to let loose and tell the story in the most demeaning way to me, I was unable to fight back. He even publicly iligitimized my participation in the birth, because he viewed me as unconscious. His family thought it was hysterical and I was a wreck. Years later with our second child, I made it clear that I didn't want him in the delivery room. I told him, I am a quiet person and my reputation with his family will never recover from the holiday birth-shaming. It also haunts my memory of my daughter's birth. In addition, I refused to spend Christmas with his family with a new baby. I was firm and he didn't like it, but I have no regrets on my second a year later. In his defense, c-sections are not very well taught in birthing classes. I like this article because it suggests more flexibility is needed. I know most husbands are great, but mine needs to be in the waiting room.

    • ChouDoufu profile image
      Author

      ChouDoufu 5 years ago

      @anonymous: Interesting that the nurses would pressure you either way. Also, where did you give birth? I'm guessing in North America. In many places in the world, the fathers are not allowed in, or are strongly discouraged from entering, the delivery room during a c-section, citing risks to the mother. That was the case for me, here in Taiwan. It is interesting that such pressures have reversed in places like the United States with hospital staff pressuring fathers to enter the operating room during c-sections. I think it is great that fathers would be invited, but pressured...I agree with you, it is your birth experience, not theirs.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      @anonymous: I can understand why you feel a lack of support, but he did try it twice. Not everyone is cut out to do the hospital thing - I know my husband couldn't handle a c-section so I insisted he wait outside and he agreed (why should he get queasy and pass out, how does that help me?). To be totally honest, if I could have waited outside I would have too (I hate hospitals and avoid them at all costs)! My husband's absence from the surgical room has no bearing on his involvement as a dad (very hands on). It's a shame you and your husband couldn't have discussed this issue more and perhaps worked out a compromise beforehand to avoid all the resentment you must be feeling.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      @anonymous: Agered 100% This was our experience. My husband and I agreed that if there was a c-section, which there was, he'd wait outside because he'd be way too queasy and I didn't want to worry about him passing out along with everything else. I resented how the nurses gave him such a hard time, but he and I were in total agreement.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Great post. My husband was by my side every minute for 2 hours of pushing, but when it came time for a c-section, we both agreed this would make him way too queasy. Why would I want to have to worry about him passing out while I'm flat on my back in the middle of surgery? The nurses gave him a hard time initially but we both agreed it would be better for all of us if he waited outside. Many husbands stay outside for religious reasons. Hospital staff may be well meaning but need to respect the wishes of the couple. This is our birth experience, not theirs.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      @anonymous: Hello Lola, I am very much interested in talking to you about your story. My husband felt the same way, and I am now writing a magazine article about this. Hoping you could share your story with me. (deziel@yahoo.ca)

    • profile image

      Sspain 5 years ago

      Interesting topic. My wife and I agreed that I would be in the delivery room and be the primary birthing coach for her. It didn't seem at all taboo and we haven't experienced any of the problems associated with the arguments against having the husband in the room. I do think that every woman is different and she needs to have the power to create the best environment for accomplishing the incredible goal of childbirth.

    • anupma lm profile image

      anupma lm 5 years ago

      The father must be present in the delivery room to see how a mother tolerate great pain.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Awesome! g

    • ChouDoufu profile image
      Author

      ChouDoufu 6 years ago

      @corteeze: That's an interesting point. I would like to see research on this, if it exists. My assumption has been that for most of human history, the birth process involved a mid-wife role and that the husband didn't necessarily play a large role, but I have no idea if that is, in fact, the case. But if it is the case, it still begs the question of when that practice began. What did the earliest humans and pre-homo sapiens homids do? For that matter, what do other primates do? I would assume that the females pretty much give birth on their own, as I assume most animals do, but again, I have nothing to base this on other than assumptions made based on what other animals do.

    • corteeze profile image

      corteeze 6 years ago

      I'm curious about when husbands started opt-ing out (or not being allowed in) of the delivery. I would think for most of mankind history, the husband was the only one around, or at least the closest, to help deliver the baby. Very well-produced lens, but i find it strange that a husband would not be there when it is probably the most natural thing that exists in this world.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      @ChouDoufu: This is an interesting topic. I had my husband in the delivery room for our first daughter born two years ago. I am not sure if it helped or not. It was nice to have someone close to me present but he also irritated me a bit because he would say and do things that I didn't want to hear at the time etc...not meaning to of course. I actually felt the female midwives closer to me somehow, I felt like there was a bond between women and they knew how I was feeling, my husband didn't and never would. It's not just about the pain, its a very emotionally challenging time for a woman. I am now due again in 3 months and I am debated whether to take hi in or not mainly because we need someone to look after our 1st daughter. Yes, I am a little nervous but I think I can do it on my own. Women all over the world do and have done for thousands of years - so can I.

      I don't think my husband will mind, he is of African origin where most mums would give birth alone anyway. I think to his culture the idea of a man being present might be a bit alien anyway. If he desperately wants to be there we will arrange for that to happen.

      Unique, I think that's true but generally us women don't see too much of what is going on down there when we are giving birth up top. We have a different view to the men and midwives who have a direct view.

      I agree about the bond thing. Bonding is way over rated. I don't understand anyone who can put that argument forward when they do not have any evidence to go on.

    • profile image

      ShellB 6 years ago

      My husband was with me and witnesses everything! I doubt he'd have it any other way.

    • profile image

      joe-buck 6 years ago

      I don't know why anybody would want to be there! You have some good points. I think some women get snookered or just caught up in the moment and let tons of people in. Not sure that's right.

    • kguru1979 lm profile image

      kguru1979 lm 6 years ago

      Great lens .. being a father when I was in the hospital I felt more tensed...! But husbands should be there in hospital during delivery...! It is my opinion...!

    • ChouDoufu profile image
      Author

      ChouDoufu 6 years ago

      @anonymous: Lola, thanks for sharing. You make an interesting point about adopted kids. I think that to argue that those fathers who don't attend their child's birth, for whatever reason, will not develop as close of a bond is ridiculous. Best wishes for you and your husbands as you welcome in a new member of the family!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      My husband and I have decided he won't be in the delivery room. It was actually a surprise for me when the discussion come up because we both shared very strong opinions about him not being in there. I didn't want him and he didn't want to be there.

      For us, that is great. No argument, no uncomfortable awkwardness. I will do my thing and work my ass off to bring our baby into the world and he will wait outside and stress and fret and bother everyone else but me until the baby is born.

      We have already encountered a lack of understanding as to why he won't be there. We've been sited the 'it's a life change experience', 'he won't bond with the baby', 'it's his right!' drivel and my answer is this. He's MY husband and I've known him since we were 14. I know his limits and I also know myself pretty bloody well. The mere pressence of our baby will be a life changing experience - he doesn't need to see it hatched to confirm the importance of it's existence. As for not bonding? He was adopted. By claiming that parents won't bond unless they experience the 'miracle' of birth negates the loving relationship he has with his parents. They didn't see him born and they are perfectly bonded to him - so much so that he has grown to share the same mannerisms and quirks as his mother. And his right to be there? well it's also his right NOT to be there. Just because he helped conceive with me, doesn't mean he has to birth with me.

      Not being there for the screaming and blood won't make him less of a father. He has the rest of our childs ENTIRE LIFE to prove his worth as a father. By that argument alone, there is an implication that the mother will be perfect! It's ridiculous to assume a father will sherk his responsibilities simple because he wasn't present for the birth. I've had the unfortunate luck of know a couple of mothers that have done a fine job of not being there. Just because the father doesn't want to see the birth doesn't mean he won't love the child, or be responsible for the child.

    • jdwheeler profile image

      jdwheeler 6 years ago

      You have presented an excellent argument. I don't really think there is a right or wrong answer. Above all, it's about comfort and personal choice. I personally saw both my children born and will never forget the instant I saw them come into this world. Nothing like it.

    • ChouDoufu profile image
      Author

      ChouDoufu 6 years ago

      @anonymous: Chris, not sure if you subscribe to this, but I'd be interested in hearing how it went.

    • ChouDoufu profile image
      Author

      ChouDoufu 6 years ago

      @anonymous: How does your husband feel about this? It gets tough when the husband has a strong desire to be present and the wife has a strong desire for him to not be present. Ultimately, it is the decision of the parents. I don't understand the need for anyone to be judgmental about another couple's birthing decisions.

    • ChouDoufu profile image
      Author

      ChouDoufu 6 years ago

      @anonymous: Short of those with psychological issues, I agree. For those with hemophobia, however, I'm not sure it is safe to have someone that is going to freak out or faint in the delivery room distracting or interfering with the medical staff's work.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      I'm sick of hearing men say "I can't handle the blood" What if the mother can't handle blood either???? ? She doesn't have a choice obviously, so suck it up and be a part of the joyous occasion, the only difference is she incubated the baby for you both. I suppose these men don't change diapers either? Too ickky? or clean up baby barf? no? I'm so glad I have the best husband in the world who DELIVERED our 2nd baby unexpectedly at home. What would you do in that situation men?

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      @anonymous: congratulations adam!!! You're a REAL man!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      @anonymous: are you saying that women are no longer sexy after childbirth???? YOU need to grow up....shame on you.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      @anonymous: Atta boy!! lol - good for you for supporting your wife!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      I am glad to know there are other people out there seeing the same thing as me. People on baby message boards and websites ASSUME my husband will be in the room. From day one I did not want him, or anyone I actually know, there. I guess I'm old-fashioned. But it's crazy how many people look at me weird when I say I don't want him there. He would just make me more nervous, and I also feel like I'd feel uncomfortable because I'd be worried about what he might be seeing. So far, my mom is one of the only people that gets it - she didn't have my dad in the room either. He'll be there throughout the process, but not when it's actually happening.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      A few months before my wife delivered I thought about my roll in the delivery room. She would be surrounded by a team of highly trained doctors and nurses able to deal with ANY situation. As the husband my highest concern is the safety of baby/mom. I also like to remember how things are on my wife and that is important to me So I declined NOT to be in the delivery room. My wife, shockingly, agreed with my decision and did not put up any fight why I choose not to be present for the delivery. Surprisingly nurses, doctors, and my in-laws, even coworkers were confused why I decided to bow out of the delivery room experience. Some say the delivery process changed their lives in some way, but I fail to grasp how that is. Your child is separated the whole 9 months by a few inches of tissue and fluid. How is the act of "passing through a doorway" that big of a deal?

      The waiting room was close enough that I heard my daughters first screams. In fact my wife only saw her for about 3 seconds before they cleaned her up and I was brought back into the incubator room where I spend the next hour with her.

      All in all I was very very happy with my decision NOT to go into the delivery room for the safety and my memories. If you have issues with any of these I highly suggest you DO NOT go into delivery.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      I plan to be there, even though i have a very weak stomac, just how weak? i started feeling lightheaded and sick during the sonogram, i can't watch some house episodes, i'm pretty weak to blood, but i will be in that room until i fall to the floor.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      @anonymous: NOT wanting to see the woman (and the vagina) he loves in the most unflattering situation humanly possible? Do you honestly think or expect him to look at you as his 'hot to trot' sexy babe ever again after witnessing such a thing. Grow up. You have doectors, nurses, mid-wives, doulas and your mother and sisters to support you at that moment in time. If you ever want your man to think of you, uninhibited, as sexy ever again- don't insist he see that.

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      Do I ever wish my husband would have been in the DR for our third child. He had been there for the birth of our first 2, but "didn't like hospitals" so he refused to be there for the 3rd. VERY, very selfish of him. To this day, it still makes me mad.

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      Great article! For all the fathers to be! Trust me you do not want to miss such an occasion. I have been there for 3 out of 4. The last was C-section. I was permitted to witness this as well. As far as the sexual dysfunction is concerned there was none. I guess it also depends on how you are raised as well. Seeing my children born was

      one of the most important points of my life. I now have twins on the way! This I would not miss for anything! Good luck to all that are expecting!

    • ChouDoufu profile image
      Author

      ChouDoufu 8 years ago

      Ritzy, glad this lens was helpful. THanks for the book suggestion. [in reply to Ritzy]

    • profile image

      Ritzy 8 years ago

      I have a friend who is expecting right now, and she would like her husband to be there, they have a very good and open relationship right now, but are worried about what his presence at the birth might do to that.

      I have passed the url of this lens on to them both, I think its insightful and will let them question the issue from all angles.

      Well done, you've really covered all angles, and your comment about their not even being bullet points in pregnancy books about dads attending the birth is absolutely right. I bought them this ebook too, its beautifully written and has helped them so far. http://kingotheweb.com/recommends/guysguide.html

      Thanks for a great lens, gave you a 5 star.

    • profile image

      Tracy-B 8 years ago

      Hi! My husband was there! This is an awesome lense! Please visit my Squidoo a guide for first time mommies!

      http://www.squidoo.com/babypregguides

      (@(_)@)

      --00—00--

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      Absolutely not. It is a loud and agly sight and there is a lot going on there for a woman, let professionals handle it. Father should not be there.

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      My wife and I have four children. For the first delivery it was a given bt the medical establishment that the father would not be present. No witnesses made it easy for the nurse to inflict unnecessary pain by having my wife push with every contraction for four hours in a futie attempt to "break the water." After that sad experience we decided we would be toghether for any later children. For the second delivery, a quick one, we had made all the arrangements but the nurse neglected to call me when she finished prepping the mother and moved her into the delivery room. For the last two children we finally were able to share in the miracle of birth. Those two births were the greatest moments of our marriage. I submit that the decision should be the parent's choicen, not some arrogant provider.

    • profile image

      Dr_Joe 9 years ago

      Very informative.

      Great lens. Rated it 5 stars.

      Feel free to visit 4D Scan | 4D Baby Scans | Professional Clinics for 4D Baby Ultrasound

      because a healthy body is an investment.

    • profile image

      RacingGirl 9 years ago

      Hi,

      I love your lens. Given you 5 stars.

      Don't forget to drop by my "Acne Treatment by Remedies of Nature" Lens.

    • profile image

      anonymous 9 years ago

      My husband was in the delivery room for the birth of our first and only child. I desperately wish(ed) that he had not been there. We had and still have a great relationship; he was supportive, etc.; but I was absolutely mortified. I think I could have handled everything a lot better if he hadn't been there. It was one of the most horrible experiences of my entire life. Never, never again; we'll adopt.

    • profile image

      anonymous 9 years ago

      No husbands in the delivery room - no way.

      Why???? It's a woman thing and no guy needs to see all that. Its obvious why not! Stop ignoring the obvious!

    • profile image

      AlexBil 9 years ago

      I was there - twice! Greatest experience of my life!

      Alex,

      Psoriasis Foam Treatment

    • bethkiley1 profile image

      bethkiley1 10 years ago

      My doula taught my husband how to do acupressure techniques on me which was great because it gave him something to do and really helped to reduce the pain for me. Now I help other women learn href="http://howtoinducelabor.weebly.com">how to induce labor at home naturally using these techniques.

    • Brite-Ideas profile image

      Barbara Tremblay Cipak 10 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      Yes, Dad's should be in the delivery room - "we need someone to scream at" - just kidding - I have 4 sons and my hubby was there for each - I'm grateful for that. Have a great day,

      Barbara Tremblay Cipak

      (my Father's

    • profile image

      Andy_Malcolm 10 years ago

      Interesting topic. You ask should fathers (husbands) be in the delivery room. A better question, I think, is should the mother be in a delivery room. When did this start? Here's the link to our birth story: http://themalcolmfamily.blogspot.com/2006/05/and-s...

    • TheresaMarkham profile image

      TheresaMarkham 10 years ago

      Of course, I am very grateful my husband was there for the whole apx 12 hours. My daughter's face (age 6) still lights up when he tells her the story about how he cut the cord and when she was crying, he comforted her. Kudos for making a lens on this topic - both pro and con.