December 14, 2022


Parenting together

In the movies, we often see scenes where the father of the child is also involved in the whole process of childbirth. In our reality, this is still not very widespread. But, to be fair, there are more men in the hallways of prenatal care.

Men can actually make amazing birthing supporters.

Mostly, their primary function is to create a safe and comfortable environment, if Dad manages to remain calm, overcome fear and stress.

To calm the woman by saying encouraging words in her ear,

  • To take care,

  • Try to reduce pain by massage,

  • Holding hands, lying, hugging,

  • Do not get hurt if a woman pushes her back, yells at her and so on,

  • Help the baby pillow to restore the woman’s sensitivity in tense moments,

  • If necessary, call the doctor quickly,

  • To answer the questions of the medical staff, so that the woman does not get stressed unnecessarily,

  • To ensure that the birth plan points are kept for the ancestors

  • To inform the medical staff about the woman’s needs and demands, to make sure that they are fulfilled as much as possible.

However, we know that there are women who don’t want to see their husband while in labor and men who are terrified of the birthing process.

Women may:

  • Not want to “lose privacy”

  • Feel ashamed to appear vulnerable in the presence of their husband

  • Not want her husband to see her in pain

  • Not want to think about the husband’s psychological state during pains

  • Not want to be chained in terms of ways of expressing emotions

  • Fear that they will be perceived by the father as only as a mother of a child, losing sexuality

  • Prefer to be alone because they want to fully enjoy the moment, a little selfishly, without sharing it with their father

Men may

  • Be scared

  • Fear woman will become asexual for them

  • Fear they will lose themselves

  • Feel uncomfortable or ashamed

  • Not be mentally ready, or they think they will lose their self-control

All the points listed are good reasons men are less likely to participate in childbirth. With all this negative stock of emotions, they may think it’s not worth it. Compromise option is the presence of the father in the foreground.

The presence of a doula during childbirth can also increase the father’s comfort since they can be a supportive person of the father. During pregnancy, the doula prepares the father as well. From the comments of many mothers, we can say that giving birth in the presence of the father and doula is a fabulous experience.

And what are the dangers for a couple’s sexual life?

Sometimes a man feels a decrease in desire after witnessing the birth of his child. But a decrease in libido can also occur in fathers who were not present at the birth. The reason may be that the woman has changed her status to become a mother. There are also cases when a man suffers guilt because the woman “got pregnant because of him.” This can also negatively affect sexual desire through a secondary mechanism. There is no rule in this matter, but in the presence of both of these factors at the same time can result in a lowered libido.

How to make a decision?

If the decision between the couples is made jointly, it is necessary to respect each other’s choice. The father should not feel obliged, and the mother should not feel disappointed. There are not few cases when the father has a great desire, but the mother does not agree that he is present. Very often happens that during the heat of childbirth one of the parents changes their mind. In any case, it is very important that the companion of the child, the supportive person, be as prepared as possible.

Whether a father has a desire to participate in childbirth or not, it is worth it for him to be a part of prenatal care visits, ultrasound research, speak, sing for his future child, try to understand birth physiology through books, generally involved in various preparatory work. Involvement, awareness of responsibility, and father role identification can help the dad decide whether or not to be a part of the birthing process and the postpartum period. A newly born baby needs the care and tenderness of the father too.

And which option do you prefer, with or without dad?