Be a Man: One Father’s View on Birth

Welcome to the June 2012 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Embracing Your Birth Experience

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama. This month our participants have written about at least one part of their birth experience that they can hold up and cherish.

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Our children, all four of them, have been born at home – planned unassisted births. While this isn’t something that everyone knows about us, many people do realize this fact. Over the years, we’ve had several friends come to us to discuss unassisted birth, our reasons for having UCs, and usually, for a father’s perspective on unassisted childbirth. In most of these situations, it was a case of the mother wanting to have an unassisted birth while the father wanted nothing to do with it. Every one of those couples, after having the other father listen to my own husband, walked away more assured and more willing to listen to the wants (dare I say needs?) of his wife. Each couple went on to have their own succesful unassisted birth.

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Photo by Lindsey Turner

What wonderful advice did my wise husband give? He told them to “Be a man!” It sounds condescending. It sounds aggressive (something my mild mannered husband is not). It sounds completely chauvinistic. But it isn’t.

Each time he then went on to say that birth is an intimate experience. As much as a man may want to consider his part in bringing forth this child into the world, when it comes to the actual birth, he has a supporting role only. His wife is the one birthing the baby. She is the one who needs to listen to her body and their baby in order to do what she needs to for a successful birth. Certainly, both people can and should research, learn about the signs of impending problems, talk about what they need to do in various situations, learn about what is normal and what are merely variations of normal birth, etc., just as you would with any other aspect of life (says the couple of research fanatics).  However, when it comes time for the baby to be born, it’s down to mom and baby.

A husband’s role is to support a woman during labor and birth – however she decides she needs, whether that means fetching drinks with bendy straws, cooking a fantastic meal, holding her hand, or massaging her back. His main priority is to give her whatever it is she needs in order to listen to her body and their baby for a successful outcome. He keeps unwanted people away and doesn’t allow others to negatively interfere. He protects while serving. He supports her in any way he can. He trusts her to listen to her body just as she trusts her body to tell her what she needs to do and when/if she may need help just as our children trust us to have their best interests at heart.

I’m very thankful of the support my husband has given me during each of our births and for the support and partnership he shows me in our journey as both parents and people. He couldn’t be a better man.

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Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!

Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:

(This list will be live and updated by afternoon June 12 with all the carnival links.)

7 thoughts on “Be a Man: One Father’s View on Birth

  1. This is such a beautiful example of a partnership. And I’m glad that Tom is now on board with a UC if we ever do have a third baby :)
    ~Dionna @ Code Name: Mama

  2. That is awesome. I considered UC but my husband wouldn’t get behind it. I know some would say it’s not his decision — and it isn’t — but I know how much I’ve relied on him for my past births, and there’s no way I’d attempt a UC if he weren’t behind me 100%. It takes two to make a baby, and I honestly believe it takes two to push it out! I don’t know how I’d be able to give birth without someone as supportive as he is.

  3. As a doula I come across many husbands/partners who aren’t as supportive as their wife/partner needs them to be…it breaks my heart…and more so when the woman is the one made to feel she needs to amend her desires or needs. I loved reading your perspective on how supportive and involved your husband has been for the birth of your children. Even during hospital or midwife-attended births, the support of a partner can be instrumental and part of what makes the birth experience empowering. Thanks for sharing.

  4. This is gorgeous! Thanks so much for your husband’s perspective. I bet mine would be on board with a UC, since we unintentionally had a great one last time. :) I think I’d still like a midwife, honestly, but I know he’d support me no matter what. I wish all partners had that attitude.

  5. Wow! Four unassisted home births! That sounds amazing :) What a wonderful supportive husband you got there :) I will be giving birth for the first time next month but so far what we are considering is a hospital with a natural approach to birthing.

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