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Thread: "Why men should NEVER be at the birth of their child"

  1. #37

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    Well said Helly and Snacks!


  2. #38

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    Just saw him on TV.
    I have to say he's pretty convincing when it comes to the idea of creating a safe space to birth in and his ideas are not so one dimensional as the article suggests.

  3. #39

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    Geez, this is a timely thread - I was awake for about two hours last night thinking about whether I would want DP at my next birth if I'm lucky enough to have another child.

    I would be ropable if HE said he didn't want to be there BUT that doesn't mean that I think it would be helpful to me to have him there.

    I fully agree with the question that I think Odent is posing - would you want someone there as your support person who is likely to be distressed to see you in pain and has never actually experienced that pain themselves so can't truly empathise?

    TBH, I completely understand the stuff he's saying about finding your husband distracting. I had a very long labour over 3 days with a total of 7 hours sleep. For the vast majority of that I used pain management techniques that I'd read in a book. I'd asked DP to read the book and we'd talked about it a bit but although the book talked about what support he could provide to me in labour, I found that I just wanted to do it on my own. I didn't want to make conversation, I didn't want someone trying to tell me jokes and GODDAMIT I didn't want to hear about where he'd parked the car and how long it could stay there before he needed to move it.

    I'm not trying to have a go at my DP - I found the midwife equally annoying. She sat in a chair and watched me because I didn't want to have anything to do with her either. I didn't know her from a bar of soap and she obviously didn't know the theory behind my pain management stuff and looked at me like I was a freak when I was banging my stress balls together.

    The techniques worked but I did feel a bit of a dill doing them. And that's the point - I wanted privacy.

    So I think there's a few different things to being a good support person - empathy, encouragement and advocacy if need be when it comes to birth choices and arguing with the medical people.

    Some people (men or women) may have some of those things but it would be rare to find someone who is good at all three. My DP would have been BRILLIANT at the advocacy if it had come to it but he wasn't good at the empathy. That's OK, I know him well enough to have predicted this.

    It's not a male or female thing. My friend Tracy who wants to be at the next birth is equally shocking at empathy but would also be terrific about telling doctors and midwives to go shove it.

    Odent recommends doulas - I think that's fantastic. I think it's really helpful to have someone (especially in a long labour) who gets to know you a bit beforehand so they're not a stranger, knows your preferences, can empathise and encourage you AND advocate for you.

  4. #40

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    There is no way my DH wouldn't have been at the birth, but he did find it really difficult to see me in so much pain. I for one, really feel like I couldn't have done it without him so I guess it depends more on the type of person rather than the gender.
    I remember at one point DH went to get something to eat and I decided to go on gas because there was a lot of pain in my spine. Gas really affected my perception and gave everything a nighmarish quality. The two midwives (one who was my MIL) both had a giggle when the gas obviously helped my pain and I felt really awful like they were laughing at me. At that point my DH walked in and I knew that I could trust him no matter what. It would have been awful to go through it alone or just with the midwives.

  5. #41

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    I had my mother as my support person for my first two births (for various reasons I won't go into here) and my DP (of just over a year at the time) at my third.
    My first two births were horrendous - I yelled at screamed at my mother every time she tried to encourage me or soothe me and I just wanted her to go away. My third birth was calm, quiet and quick ... during labour, DP and I watched TV, joked, laughed. It was a totally different experience. I know subsequent births tend to be quicker (but my labours have been prolonged each time), but my mum had told my DP what to expect from me (and of course none of it happened) and it was all over so quickly, I kinda felt like he had missed out on something.

    But having him there was a truly special occasion and I wouldn't have it any other way (thankfully neither would he - I couldn't stand to have my mum or his mum there!)

  6. #42

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    I can see what he's saying, and having read about him and his work before, I see where he's coming from and the kinds of men he's referring to. I know these types of men who are definitely a hindrance because of their reactions and their own anxieties. Some of these men would want to be there anyway, even if they do add anxiety and adrenaline where only endorphins belong, and some men are there because they are expected to be and would rather not.
    My DP was awesome because as I laboured entirely at home, he was in another room, listening out for when my surges peaked so that he could offer a timely back massage and a drink. Then he'd disappear again and leave me in my headspace and bodyspace. This was due, in large part, to good education in the prenatal period with the HypnoBirthing classes and the book. Not all men, in fact not many, have this advantage, and I can see them being a liability.
    Michel Odent has done wonderful things for birthing women and is a wonderful campaigner for active birth, and also supports waterbirths. His interest is primarily that of the birthing mother and the child, there is no other agenda. You know that when you are dealing with Odent.

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