Giving birth to a baby together

BirthNow a lot of women think that it’s better to give birth at home, or that a husband should be present during the process of delivery.
Experts and people who passed the tests give their view on this topic here.

Peter Janhans, therapeutist:

- I won’t speak about the fact whether joint childbirth is good or bad, as I’m not an accoucheur, nevertheless. But I can tell about huge danger, connected with childbirth in home conditions. Neither husband, nor even accoucheur often can save a mother or a baby, or both, if suddenly serious complications appear.
I remember one incident: a young frightened husband met our brigade, he was repeating: “If I could know… If I only could know… I wouldn’t yield to persuasion of these well-wishers”. “Joint childbirth” with candle light ended in reanimation. Fortunately, doctors managed to save both mother and new-born.
However, in several cases, I had to deal with rather unplanned ‘joint”, or to be more exact, urgent childbirth. In such cases, a husband was present at childbirth not according to a plan, but because doctors couldn’t bring a woman in childbirth to a maternity ward in time.
Or a husband, after bringing a wife to a maternity hospital, didn’t manage to go away and was present at childbirth. Right in such cases, a husband’s presence didn’t disturb, but helped a lot to a mother-to-be. And a husband had no time to be frightened of his role, as everything happened too quickly. As a result, both husband and wife were happy, and such experience only brought them together.

Maria Peterson, a maternity hospital nurse

- I got pregnant, when my friend was just going about to give birth to her first-born. I knew she’d give birth together with her husband, and her husband was totally “placet”, and I envied her a lot.
My husband didn’t show such zeal.
“This is so wonderful,  - Linda repeated. – Nobody or nothing will part us from each other after this, we’ll be a single whole”. Her husband Keith was beside himself with pride: he offered to be present at childbirth himself, and he even started attending childbirth access course with his wife 4 times a week, in spite of his program of work.
“Here’s a real love”,  - I admired. “Foolish, - my husband resented, - I love you more than all such Keiths. Is it so necessary for me to be there?” Linda’s childbirth came wonderfully. A husband and a wife were shining with happiness, and my wish to have my husband near me while childbirth became even stronger. Well, in 6 months, Keith… took his belongings and left Linda for another woman. Of course, joint childbirth were not the reason for it, but I wasn’t already so sure in my wish to see my husband in a labour ward.
My mother helped me. Understanding that I was just afraid to go to childbirth alone, she offered her presence. Composure reestablished in our family again. And now I can tell surely, that the most wonderful thing is to give birth with mother!

Johan Larsson, legal advice office attorney

- When my wife was 6 months pregnant, she went to childbirth access course. We even couldn’t imagine that such a stream of agitation for joint childbirth at home would attack us. Fortunately, my wife refused from childbirth at home at once, as her health was not so good. However, films about husband’s presence at childbirth she watched and enthusiastic comments of women, who passed through such childbirth already, had done their part. I was listening to hints, requests and rebukes during 5 weeks…
Once, not withstanding a siege, I announced: “Do you want to remain the most beautiful and desired woman for me? If so, give up this plan of my presence at childbirth!” May be, this was too cruelly. However, my wife could understand me and stopped talking on this subject.
Pregnancy proceeded with some problems, and my wife had to go to a hospital prematurely. Of course, I visited her every day. And once I came, and they told me that the childbirth was already in process. What should I do? Go away? But I felt my wife needed me, and, bracing myself, I decided to stay there. Of course, I wasn’t capable of much to offer, so I just stood near, holding her hand, calming her down and saying how I loved her and our future baby.
Believe me, you shouldn’t attend any course for such support, words come to you by themselves. And we both were equally happy when our daughter was born. Indeed, I was afraid to cut an umbilical cord. I won’t be present at our next baby’s birth, and this is my wife’s decision. “Now I’m already confident, so you’ll only disturb me”, - she declared. What about my feelings towards wife? They are still the same. Of course, she didn’t become less loved and desired. But we also didn’t become closer to each other. It cannot be much better.

Fredrik Langdahl, children’s creative center psychologist

- The main rule is: while making decision about husband’s presence at childbirth, a woman should follow his wishes, first of all. She cannot decide for him and oblige him to do this. Forget about your friends’ tales and, moreover, about articles of fanatical admirers of “joint childbirth”. Each family is a particularly individual case. Forgive me for this banal remark, but the things that are good for some people, won’t necessarily do for you. Most often, a woman begins pressing on her husband, being under so-called advisers’ influence. It’s good if they don’t propagandize childbirth at home still – without medical assistance, but with candle lights. Recently, women listen to such advices quite often. To all appearances, childbirth at home or at the hospital, but with obligatory husband’s presence, is considered to be modern and fashionable. Its adherents’ arguments often sound quite convincing, and future mothers, forgetting that as long ago as yesterday they strongly objected husband’s presence at childbirth, begin requiring an indispensable participation of him.
I have no right to make decisions for someone. I would only like to remind, that a woman doesn’t always need her husband’s presence. Yes, you can endure pain easier, if your close person is near: he’ll distract your attention, try to cheer you up and relieve your tortures. Of course, if he won’t start panic even more, than a woman in childbirth herself. 
Is any woman 100% sure that this is her husband who will be the calmest one in this situation? May be, it’s wiser to apply your close friend, mother or personal midwife for help and support? If you’re still afraid your husband will be out of work, then you have no reasons for nervousness. Let him keep his powers and nervous energy: he will need them in the nearest time – for sleepless nights, walks, baby’s bathing.

One of the arguments of “childbirth together” adherents is a supposedly given opportunity to join a single whole – doesn’t seem to be too convincing for me. To my opinion, a man shows more sense of closeness, tenderness and love, when he sees his wife rested and beautiful the next day after childbirth, than after common umbilical cord cutting.
However, I want to accentuate again: all above-mentioned doesn’t concern the couples where both parents want to be together during childbirth and prepare for this. As for our readers’ husbands, I’d like to advise them to think about the following. If a woman requires your presence at childbirth emphatically, think, may be she just feels lack of attention? Create the most comfortable conditions for a future mother: walk in the evenings with her more often, even if you got tired on work, buy her juices and favorite dainties and, in general, realize all her whims and caprices. If you surround your wife with care, try to entertain and spoil her, she’ll be able to forget about her idea.
And don’t show your negative attitude to this “crazy plan” frankly, even if you’re absolutely sure that it’s really crazy, you shouldn’t say all the time that you’re fundamentally against “joint childbirth”. A pregnant woman can treat your words as offence, evidence of your hard-heartedness and even your dislike for her. It’s better to talk gently, nicely and calmly with your wife. Explain her, that the reason of your unwillingness to be present at childbirth – is not in your lack of love for her, but in your diffidence in your own powers and ability to support her in such a difficult moment. Promise her to make up your cowardice with double care of her and a baby, when a baby is born.

And some more. If you decided to be present at childbirth, remember, that it’s not necessary for you to keep abreast of everything happening. What is important – is that you’re with your wife.
Don’t disturb doctors with advices, follow their recommendations silently and exactly. Be ready to leave a labour ward, if a necessity in operation appears. If you feel you overrated your powers, it’ll be better for you to leave a labour ward at once, to avoid faint and disturbing doctors during their main work. Don’t take offence, if your wife behaves unequally, to your opinion, at some moment: for example, she may begin crying on you.

And, at last, the latest thing: childbirth together doesn’t mean childbirth at home. Today the majority of maternity hospitals are ready to give a husband an opportunity to be present at childbirth.


More articles

Communication before birth. How to prepare your baby in a tummy for easy painless delivery
Pregnancy – a pragmatic approach: what will I receive?
Problems of model of “partner relationships” during conception and child-bearing. A woman’s conflict between consciousness and unconsciousness.
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Phytotherapy during pregnancy
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