Expectant Fathers: With Birth Or Not?

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Expectant Fathers: With Birth Or Not?
Expectant Fathers: With Birth Or Not?
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Video: Pregnancy Tips for Dads – Advice for Expecting Fathers | Dad University 2023, February

Expectant fathers: to be there or not at the birth?

Many men nowadays accompany their partner to the birth of their child. You want to be a loving support to her and experience this unforgettable event together. Some are there because they believe that "man" just has to do it these days. Other men prefer to wait in front of the delivery room for their offspring to arrive, just as it used to be. No matter which decision is made - in any case, it is important that couples take enough time together.


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  • Different perceptions
  • Reasons for and against
  • Questioning social pressures
  • Good preparation

Different perceptions

Many fathers often report the birth of their child as the most moving event of their lives. To have been there from the beginning to the happy end, brought her wife and child close in a special way. Often they are proud of the strength of their partner and deeply touched in their memories.

For some fathers, however, the birth is a lastingly disturbing experience. Perhaps because he had to witness a difficult, complicated birth, the unforeseen course of which has literally overwhelmed him. Perhaps he had an unrealistic idea of ​​how a birth would go. It is possible that he saw things that he did not want to see, that the pain of his partner overwhelmed him because he could not do anything about it and therefore felt helpless and downright guilty. Sensation and perception in such a special situation are very individual.

Reasons for and against

There are many good reasons for fathers-to-be to be there when their child is born. For example, one-to-one care of the woman giving birth by a midwife is often not possible in the hospital; at times only the man is present. He is the one who can make the woman feel like she is not alone in this exceptional situation. Even with a home birth in a familiar environment, the presence of the future father conveys a feeling of security. Many women say that their partner's support was extremely important, even if they usually couldn't do more than just "just" be there.

Couples often want the shared experience as a symbolic "birth" of their new family. It should be an expression of their togetherness. And indeed: the birth often connects a couple in a very intimate way.

On the other hand, good reasons can be given for the fact that a couple or an expectant father decides against a joint birth experience and that the man prefers to wait in front of the delivery room until the midwife puts the newborn in his arms. Perhaps he and his partner find that childbirth is an exclusive woman's business. Perhaps the woman feels more uninhibited and more secure with a midwife of choice, the mother or a friend with experience in childbirth. Or both know from experience that they are not always a good team in stressful situations.

Questioning social pressures

Some fathers later report that they were not entirely free in their decision. The fact that the father-to-be has to accompany the birth has become a social standard, the non-fulfillment of which must often be justified: Is something wrong in the relationship? Isn't he “man enough” to stand by the woman in these difficult hours? How can he become a good father if he is already shirking?

Under such conditions, it will not be easy for an undecided man to think calmly about whether one would be a good birth companion. Even a pregnant woman who is wondering whether she would rather take someone else with her is hardly free in her decision.

Societal pressures sometimes prevent insecure couples from preparing adequately for the birth inwardly on this issue. In order not to provoke a conflict or to activate any secret fears, fears and concerns are hidden and discussions about them are avoided. So there is only one hope that it may somehow work out. Fortunately, this is almost always the case, because the obstetric teams in the hospitals and birthing centers do an excellent job.

No matter which decision is made - in any case, it is important that couples take enough time together.

Good preparation

If the parents-to-be succeed in not making the quality of their relationship dependent on the question of childbirth accompaniment, the view of possible alternatives can become free: Assuming a good relationship between the woman giving birth and the supervising (elective) midwife, it can be agreed, for example, that the man leaves the birthing room whenever he wants - be it shortly before the expulsion phase or when it becomes "too much" for him. Or the man shares the birth accompaniment with another confidant of the woman.

Expectant fathers should realize that when they are born they are not just spectators, motivators and handholders. You will be an essential part of the birth process and experience it in your very own way. To be there means to get involved in an event, the course of which can only be controlled to a limited extent. It is also important that the accompanying father looks after himself during the often long birth phase and does not forget, for example, to eat and drink enough.

However, if you are well prepared, there is nothing to prevent difficult births from ending happily and being handled well by both mother and father. Not least for this reason, expectant fathers should attend a birth preparation course, in which their questions and needs are discussed before, during and after the birth.

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