Though it is very much the done thing and even expected of dads to be to remain present for the birth of his child, not everyone agrees that this is a good idea.
In fact according to this definitive article of Dr Michael Odent, who has delivered 15,000 babies over 50 years, the father has no business being near the woman in labor for many reasons:
- According to Dr Odent, the shared experience of birthing, far from drawing couples together may actually repel them and result in sexual dysfunction that comes from witnessing the birth from the “business end”. In his experience, sexual attraction between couples is negatively impacted due to watching a woman undergo this experience. There should be some modesty, privacy and some mystery allowed to be retained by the women in his view.
- The much needed calm and peace that a woman needs for the birth is interrupted by the presence of the father to be which can result in too much stimulation. Also the stressful situation causes the man to produce adrenalin, which prevents the woman from relaxing.
- Because of this, the oxytocin levels required for the birthing process may not be able to be produced by women during the process in the presence of their partners.
- The man’s reaction to the appearance of the baby may interfere with the delivery of the placenta.
- Many men would rather not be present, but feel pressured to remain present by societal and other expectations.
- Some men experience symptoms similar to post natal depression when they have been present at the birth of their baby, according to the doctor.