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Should men be allowed to witness delivery of their child?

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Kunle Emmanuel
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Should men be allowed to witness delivery of their child?

Unread post by Kunle Emmanuel » Wed Jan 14, 2015 5:14 pm

For many men, attending the birth of a child is a momentous and emotional occasion.
A childbirth specialist, believes the mother-to-be's labour can be longer, more painful and more complicated because she senses his anxiety and becomes nervous. Babies' arrival in the world would be more straightforward if women were left alone with only a midwife to help them, as they used to be.

The best environment I know for an easy birth is when there is nobody around the woman in labour apart from a silent, low-profile and experienced midwife – and no doctor and no husband, nobody else," Odent a childbirth specialist told the Observer. "In this situation, more often than not, the birth is easier and faster than what happens when there are other people around, especially male figures – husbands and doctors."

The presence of men during their partner's labour produce adrenaline, which makes the woman tense and slows her production of the hormone oxytocin, which is vital for birth, says Odent. "If she can't release oxytocin she can't have effective contractions, and everything becomes more difficult. Labour becomes longer, more painful and more difficult because the hormonal balance in the woman is disturbed by the environment that's not appropriate because of the presence of the man." What he calls "the masculinisation of the birth environment" helps to explain the fact that 24% of women in the UK now have a caesarean section, he said.
Mary Newburn, of the National Childbirth Trust, the country's biggest parenting organisation,said that, although men being present was now considered normal, some felt under pressure to attend their child's birth because of cultural expectations. "There's such a feeling among women that 'you got me into this, I have carried the baby for nine months and now I have to go through labour and birth, so the least you can do is be with me, and if you feel a bit squeamish, then tough'. I wouldn't go as far as in saying that men are always unhelpful in labour. But it's not men's right to be there. The most important thing is that the woman feels safe, secure and supported, so if she wants to have a woman around instead, that's fine."

What do you think? Will want husband to be with you during delivery?


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