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Thread: Involving your partner

  1. #1

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    Default Involving your partner

    We went to a breastfeeding class at our hospital last week and I've been pondering this since...

    There were 4 women there from the birth centre and 4 from the hospital. All the birth centre women had their partners with them but only one of the women from the hospital did.



    I'm wondering what this is a reflection of? Do the birth centre women have more feelings that their support people should be with them and knowledgeable about everything than hospital women? Are the hospital women more inclined to think that the process is about them and they prefer to go it alone on the info?

    I'm not making any judgments, it's just as there was obviously a distinct difference I'm just wondering why... any thoughts?

  2. #2

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    hey ren
    How wierd i was thinking the same thing. DH and I were at our OB appointment and three women came in without partners. Perhaps it's about work commitments and how much they feel comforable sharing with their partner.

    who knows

  3. #3

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    I went to bf class alone, DP did have to work but even if he didn't I wouldn't have made him come. There were some women with partners there & some without, I'll be honest & say the partners that were there looked a tad bored though! But atleast they were there & being supportive which is the main thing.

  4. #4
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    My DH came to all my scans as well as my 12wk Dr appointment and our booking in appt at the hospital. He didn't come to any of the midwife appts at the hospital as he was working but he knew everything I discussed with them anyway. I also brought home pamphlets etc that they gave me which he read.

    I think it really depends on your sitution. If my DH wasn't working when I had my appts he would have come.

  5. #5

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    I know what you mean ren. I think many women who use birth centres (and not saying those who use main wards of hospitals don't) are generally more focused towards a natural or drug free birth, and they know that it's sooooo important that their support team is with them every step of the way, not just labour but education too, because their support, or lack of, can affect the birth and outcome. They know it's a team effort.

    So I think those using birth centres may be more in tune or insistent on having their partners there - perhaps if some women know they are going to have an epi or whatever don't feel that their partner needs to know as much, just be there? But it is interesting when I see couples, how they interact and what they want.
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  6. #6

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    DH turned up to different things when I went through the FBC at the RWH. Due to work (if he wanted to come, he had to take the whole day off at no pay) he did not come the midwives, ob appointments or scans except for the booking appointment. He did come to the lessons (3 sessions) and the active birth class, as they were on the weekends. Must admit he was a grumpy bum about going, he was tired with the long hours he was working though. He did admit though he got a lot out of the active birth class about what was needed of him as a support person.

    This time around it is a bit different, he has been to one scan and home for one midwife visit, not bothering with classes this time around. Don't feel that I need him there for appointments really, maybe I will have him at the 40 week one, but that will also depend on his work.

  7. #7

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    I should have added that this was an evening class. My H hasn't come to any of my midwife check up appointments during the week either- we didn't think it was worth him having the time off work. He's only taken time off work for the first midwife appointment which was long and the scans.

    I'm thinking it could be a reflection of the 'knowledge is power' attitude that seems to be maybe more prevalent in the birth centre.

  8. #8

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    Ren, oh, I thought you were talking soley about the bf class... I went to a hospital run one of those. I birthed in a birth centre & found every group session we had there everyone's partner's were there, except for one lady once.

    I felt that DP should be there because a) I didn't want to go on my own & b) We were going to be doing it together so he needed to know everything, especially if I was going to be in a bit of a state! He was definately more comfy on the day having been there before & met our MW.

  9. #9

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    All the partners have come to our birth classes too. I felt it was important for my H to come to the BFing class for the reasons you just mentioned about the birth classes

  10. #10

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    My DP wants to be there for all of my appointments (I'm booked into the FBC at RWH) however we both work at the same place which is a small business.

    I try to make most of the appointments for around 5.30pm so he can come but for things like my GD tests etc I tell him to just go to work. He wants to come but I don't see it as necessary. He does think he is going to miss something.

    We are both going to the Birth Classes and I have deliberately made my BF info session during the day - a) because I am losing it with my boss and any time off is fantastic!!! and b) I am more scared of Bfing then the labour. It was the same when I learnt to drive a car - it was something that I wanted to do alone. I had a few lessons, got my license and spent 3 months driving only myself till I got my confidence up. I feel exactly the same about BFing. I'm not sure why really but I can't help the way I feel. c) My DP sees himself as a bit of a joker - I don't think he is funny at all. I can just imagine the never ending taunts I will get about holding a doll to my boob. He is only playing I know but sometimes it doesnt work well for that confidence or lack of that I was talking about.

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    My DP came to the scans and whatever ob appointments he could which wasn't that many.

    He came to all the antenatal classes apart from the one on breastfeeding - the hospital split us so that the women went off to the BF class and the blokes went off to the 'what you can do to support your partner' class. My DP said that was quite hysterical/sad with some of the blokes' idea of helping being "don't ask her to iron my clothes when she gets out of hospital." They were serious.

  12. #12
    paradise lost Guest

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    My XP came to my scan and initial (only) ob appointment, about 3 midwife appointments (when he happened to be off work) and one of my daycare sessions (had to have BP monitoring, actually having him there hyped me up more and made my BP worse).

    There were no men at my BFing class and i'm not sure they'd have been welcomed by some of the women there.

    My XP was relatively uninvolved and disinterested in the whole thing TBH, but when i needed him, when i was in labour, he was brilliant.

  13. #13

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    They might have thought they werent welcome there.. men at a breastfeeding class. I personally dont see a problem with it. When I was hospital we had classes for breastfeeding, physio/exercise and also one about what support is available (Tresillian, ABA etc). DH came to the support one and he was the only guy there. The other mums were just staring at him as if to say "what is he doing here" but I liked that he came there with me. I was not in good shape afterwards and needed him there.

    When we had our antenatal classes (the ones about labour/birth) all the dads were there. There were about 10 couples. There was also another antenatal class which was about "the early days of being a parent" and we did get a bit of info on breastfeeding. All the dads-to-be, except for ONE were there. However, that mum-to-be was single. DH was keen to go to the classes and get all the information. ITs always good to have two sets of ears there, especially since my pregnant brain couldnt retain much info. He also came to both our scans and some of our later appoitnments. It was important to me that he came to the classes.

    My hospitsl also ran breastfeeding classes that you go to at the end of your pregnancy. It was a 2 hours session. I didnt go as Claire was born before I got the chance to go. I think the pamphlet about them said "women only" so men werent even invited!

  14. #14

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    I am going to the breastfeeding class offered by my hospital, and Shel is coming too. Though to be honest I really didn't expect her to, as I didn't think she'd want to for a start, as it wasn't really involving her, and I thought she'd be pretty bored. And I think at first she thought this as well, but I have had her reading a lot (lol, that was a really hard task!!!!!!!!!) and now she wants to come so she knows as well, and so she has the knowledge as well and is able to support me when I am breastfeeding.

    I think it has a lot to do with the way you and your partner see the parenting experience... A friend of mine went to all the appointments and scans and everything by herself, and her DH ended up being at the birth, and back at work a few days later... (not that I am judging!!!!). And I kind of see his parenting attitude as "I am the provider, and my DW is the nurturer..." I think he would have been someone to say "What do I need to know about breastfeeding for, I'm not doing it..." whereas maybe people who have really involved partners see the parenting experience as a joint experience, and to know what the other is going to go through and be able to support that to the best of your ability is important to a lot of people.

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by leasha0986 View Post
    I think it has a lot to do with the way you and your partner see the parenting experience... A friend of mine went to all the appointments and scans and everything by herself, and her DH ended up being at the birth, and back at work a few days later... (not that I am judging!!!!). And I kind of see his parenting attitude as "I am the provider, and my DW is the nurturer..." I think he would have been someone to say "What do I need to know about breastfeeding for, I'm not doing it..." whereas maybe people who have really involved partners see the parenting experience as a joint experience, and to know what the other is going to go through and be able to support that to the best of your ability is important to a lot of people.
    Bit harsh I think. It really depends on everyone's situation. In mine, if DH did not go back to work quickly or took a day off for every appointment, then we would have gone broke. Really hard to have joint parenting experience when you no longer have a roof over your head. Sometime roles need to be defined just for the survival of the family.

  16. #16

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    I said I wasn't judging. Everyone has different circumstances and I just used that one as my experience with a not so supportive partner. I didn't mean that because he went back to work early that he wasn't being supportive either, it was just one small part in the bigger story. You can definately have a supportive partner and a joint parenting experience when the other person goes back to work (Shel will obviously be going back to work too, so like I said I wasn't judging, it was just a part of the story).

    Suppose I went a bit OT though didn't I. I meant to add that these friends also had a very medical way of viewing birth, which follows on from ren's intial question. She also didn't end up bfing, I just think that all these things, maybe the lack of her partners support/understanding of a lot of things could have contributed... perhaps if he had gone to some appts., known a bit more about bfing, he would have been able to support her a bit more...? That's all I meant.

    I really didn't mean it the way it came out,

  17. #17

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    Have already posted but just thought I would add that I think it's really important that partners educate themselves/go to classes/whatever about breastfeeding. I was lucky in that my partner had already had a child whereas this one was my first so he was more cluey than I was and, to be honest, if I'd listened to him more instead of the midwives who got me in a blind panic about DD losing weight (very normal) when my milk wasn't even in yet, I may still be breastfeeding. Long story.

    I think it's useful for everyone to know just how much time/how often you can be breastfeeding in those early days AND that it can sometimes be a struggle.

  18. #18

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    I am a public hospital maternity ward patient, my DH comes to all my midwife appts and ultrasounds, he works at the hospital though, LOL, so sneaks away to be with me even if he is working. I plan on having a drug-free birth (as my last 3 births have been) but we don't do birth classes or BF classes as I dont feel we need them, seeing as this is our 4th bub.

    It is a very personal decision for the mum and the dad as to how much dad will be involved in all the appt's etc. Some men feel uncomfortable taking part and some women actually don't want the men around. I also think it would be very hard for some dads to get out of work too attend appt's, my DH saved a couple weeks of his holiday leave from last year to take when the baby is born as we wouldn't be able to afford for him to have time off without holiday pay.

    Different strokes for different folks.

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