Dads have played various roles in the labor process over the years.
While talking with my dad recently, he said he liked the idea of being in the waiting room and having the nurse come out and tell him if baby was a girl or boy. He seemed glad that this “was expected of me.”
This was the expected normal for many years.
In today’s culture, it now seems the expectation is that the man needs to be in the labor and delivery area, and he should be the “coach.”
I’m not saying this is bad, but I am wondering if we should give men more of a choice. An article in the Huffington Post a few years ago talked about this topic and asked if society is asking too much of men.
Prior to the 1970s, when men started being in the delivery room, mom was accompanied by other women, like the doula role now. This new movement was attributed in part to Dr. Robert Bradley and his book, “Husband-Couched Childbirth.”
An opposite view was voiced by French obstetrician Dr. Michel Odent, who argues in his research paper that men in the delivery room can slow labor down and decrease mom’s oxytocin release.
I recently listened to an intriguing webinar on this topic by Amy Gilliland, PhD, BDT. Her thought was that we should allow the man the choice of being the coach, the teammate, or the observer.
Some dads have reported wanting to be there with mom, but not seeing all the “blood and stuff.” There is a role for them without having to see it all, so to speak.
- The coach is the one right there with the mom, rubbing her back if she desires, talking to her and encouraging her, doing whatever is needed to provide help and support.
- The teammate is present and there, but not taking the lead support role. He is there to encourage mom and play a part, but a bit more distantly.
- The observer is there to observe—he doesn’t want to be a part of the physical process. I read an OB’s comment about a dad who encouraged mom verbally from the other side of a partially closed door, because he didn’t want to “see.”
The webinar speaker pointed out that we should ask dad what role he would like to fill. We shouldn’t expect him to be in a role he doesn’t feel he can do. Let dad decide what he’d like to do, and go from there.
A doula is always a great choice, no matter what dad chooses.
The speaker’s final thought: Whatever role dad chooses in the birth process, it shouldn’t inhibit his ability to be a great father to the baby.
What role do you see your man filling?
I think it’s great to ask the dad about what his role is. The only problem is when the partners have different ideas about what his role should be.
There is that… 🙂
Fairth, I think talking about dads role helps mom and her expectations of him. Also this may help them both decide a doula, such as yourself, would be a wonderful option for them!
I loved having Dad in the delivery room for both births! He was amazing!
Found your post today on Social Butterfly.
Hope you have a great day~
I think it’s good to have the man make the choice he is most comfortable with. My husband was there by my side through it all, even the emergency C-section I had. I don’t think I could have done it without him there. Thanks for sharing with #SocialButterflySunday! Hope to see you link up again this week 🙂
I didn’t give my husband a choice, I had to give birth, he has to watch. Sorry, you are part of this too so you will do as needed lol. I had my mom the first time and a doula second which were amazing. Women are more supporting than men, but I still think they should be involved!
Thanks for sharing at #bloggerspotlight