Many of today’s mothers were born at a time when fathers could only dream of being in the delivery room. But times have changed, and today the situation is completely different. If you are currently considering whether your partner should be at the birth, the following tips are right up your street.
Nowadays, maternity hospitals usually allow expectant mothers to be accompanied by at least one person. A small number of women do not use this option and prefer to give birth without a close companion. The vast majority of mothers, however, are kept company by the future father (according to statistics, up to 90%).
“When we talked about childbirth, it was completely natural that my partner, Jirka, would be there with me, I didn't have to persuade him in any way, we both agreed on that,” says Klára, mother to six-month-old Agátka. It is similar for many other couples. Expectant mothers want to have their partner there during childbirth, mainly as psychological support, and expectant fathers want to be there.
If you are not sure whether you want your partner at the birth or not, take the time to think and, most importantly, do not force yourself into anything that does not suit you, just because everyone else does it. The arrival of a baby into the world is a very emotional and particularly intimate moment in your life. Apart from the baby, you play the starring role, so don’t let anyone tell you what to do and arrange it so that you feel good.
“Throughout my pregnancy, I wasn't sure if I wanted Tomáš to be at the birth or not. I see childbirth more as a purely female affair, but then again I didn’t want to deprive my husband of seeing what it was like when our little one took and looked around,” says Susan, 28, mother of three-month-old William. She goes on: “In the end, we agreed on a compromise, so Thomas brought me to the maternity hospital, escorted me to the hall and then waited in the hallway until Will was born.”
If you arrange something similar to Susan and Tom, be prepared for the fact that not everything goes according to plan. “My boyfriend and I agreed that he would be with me in the delivery room from the beginning, but as soon as I started to “push” and it gets going, he would leave the hall. However, in reality, it was completely different. It went so fast that Paul didn’t have time to leave and was there until the end,” recalls Wendy, the mother of one-year-old Cristine, and adds: “In the end, I was happy because the birth didn't go exactly as it should, so I was very grateful that Paul held me and supported me, it was a great help.”
If you want your partner to be there with you, but he refuses, try not to put pressure on him, instead talk it through with him. It will also help to attend a prenatal course together, where your partner will get more information and get a more accurate picture of what you can expect in the maternity hospital. We highly recommend fathers who will be at the birth attend the course so that they know exactly how they can help their partner.
If your partner still does not agree with being present at the birth, do not try to persuade him. Some can’t stand the sight of blood, while others may feel helpless and incompetent if they can’t help their partner in pain (at least from his point of view). If you do not want to be alone in the hall, arrange to be accompanied by a friend, mother or a certified doula, who, thanks to her experience and empathy, can be far more useful in the end that a fainting partner. After the birth, he will still have plenty to do and plenty of other opportunities to actively express himself not just as a partner, but also as a fresh father.
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