Not so long ago a dad-to-be would pace up and down outside the labor
room and would be admitted only after the birth. Modern practice is to
assume the dad-to-be should be at the birth to offer support. But an increasing
number of dads, moms and midwives would prefer he stayed outside.
Some of the reasons given are:
• Some moms feel the loss of dignity and 'not feeling attractive' is
sufficient reason to banish their partners to the corridor.
• Some dads think the sight of baby being born will put them off sex
with their partner in the future. Others can't bear to see their partner
Researchers at the University of Toronto suggest that women have a happier
childbirth if they are supported by a trained woman rather than a stressed
father-to-be. This woman could be your mother, a friend who's had a baby
of her own or a doula (a professional female birth partner); her presence
can have a calming effect on the mom-to-be.
Most men, however, do want to be present and, after all, the baby is
half theirs. Get it right and the man's help can prove to be invaluable
and many couples find it is an incredibly bonding experience.
Advice For Dads:
Go to the pre-natal classes and learn all you can about the birth,
what the mom goes through, and how you can help.
Your only concern is your partner and the baby. You are there solely
for them, and to help them in any way you can. It is difficult finding
words of encouragement and it will feel as though your presence is not
helping or appreciated - but it is.
You may see a side of your partner you've never seen before. She may
shout at you, even swear at you. Take it, go with the flow, bite your tongue.
If you were going through what she's going through you would probably be
as bad if not worse! No, delete the 'probably'!
About The Author
Tony Luck runs a website with many articles and advice about having
a baby, including conception, pregnancy, the birth and care of your baby.
Visit the site at http://www.baby-talk.co.uk.