To think its unfair to force the dad to be at the birth?

(287 Posts)
ASorcererIsAWizardSquared Tue 28-Jul-15 11:01:29

Just hear me out smile

We've all heard the view that if they were there for the conception and should be for the birth, but if they (for whatever reason) really, really didn't want to be in the room during the birth, is it fair to force them to be?

DH was at both of mine, but i gave him that choice as i had my mum as my primary birth partner, if he hadn't wanted to be, i'd have been a little disappointed, but i'd have never FORCED him to be there.

I think birth should be as positive and calming and stress free as possible, and having someone in the room who really doesn't want to be there doesn't sit right with me.

I've spoken to a couple of people who've said if their Dh's/BFs had refused they'd have ended the relationship, but i think that's borderline abusive.

If you DIDN'T want them there, and they wanted to be, there would be uproar at them trying to force, bully and blackmail their will on the situation, so why is it ok in some womens' eyes for them to do the same to them?

TheOriginalSteamingNit Tue 28-Jul-15 11:05:34

I think it's just, for me, that any man who's halfway decent would want to be there when his child got born, so if they insist they don't want to be, then yes, you probably would be thinking about the relationship more broadly.

You can't really 'force' them, but I'd be asking some serious questions about a man who 'really doesn't want to be there'.

SaucyJack Tue 28-Jul-15 11:06:49

I don't much care about "fairness" either way.

If there's ever a situation in life in which I don't give a shit about men's feelings, it's childbirth.

I do appreciate tho that if you have an immature and/or EA partner, then you're better off with him out of the relationship room.

FineDamBeaver Tue 28-Jul-15 11:07:38

You can't force someone to be calm, and if you know your DP won't be, then fine - say you don't want him there.

And if for whatever reason he'd be horribly distressed (I don't know, having PTSD flashbacks or something), then yes I suppose it's possibly better not to force the issue (although a woman in a similar situation doesn't have that luxury).

But giving him the option if he just doesn't fancy it much (because he might get a bit stressed or squeamish), even though you'd like him there...? Difficult one. If my DP expressed this as a preference, I'd be pretty disappointed, and I'm not sure I'd want to have kids with him.

TheAwfulDaughter Tue 28-Jul-15 11:08:07

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123Jump Tue 28-Jul-15 11:08:30

YANBU.
I always say that I didn't really want to be there at the birth, so I understand someone else not wanting to be there.
Wit our first DH was there from 8cm on. I laboured alone overnight, as I was induced and didn't want to wake him in middle of night.
He was extremely supportive. Rubbed my back, held my hand, gave me water, told me how amazing I was doing...but I knew he was traumatised and didn't want to be there.
So for our other children I have had a friend there instead. They have been quick labours, friends have been fab and supportive, and DH whizzes over to the hospital (very near) once baby is born to find out what it is etc. It works well for us.
I absolutely agree that forcing a partner to be there is unfair, if they don't want to go they will be useless. I think an awful lot of partners dont want to be there but are forced. They haven't done the research and are in no way a spokesperson for their partner, and she loses out on having vital support.
I think women don't like to let on that their partners don't want to be there, it is a bit taboo.

BoeBarlow Tue 28-Jul-15 11:09:00

What possible reason could they have for not wanting to be present at the birth of their own child? I'm genuinely curious! It didn't even occur to me to ask my DH if he wanted to be there or not. Not because I was forcing him but because there was no way he wouldn't have wanted to be there.

Sallyhasleftthebuilding Tue 28-Jul-15 11:09:43

DH wasnt keen as he has a reaction to the sight of blood. I had a back up friend if he decided he didnt want to be there. He did over come his fears, but it wouldnt be a deal breaker.

Idontseeanydragons Tue 28-Jul-15 11:10:56

I agree, and I think that there have been many half way decent men and great fathers in the last few generations who would have rather stick pins in their balls than be at the actual birth.
I gave DH the choice and we talked it over.

WixingMords Tue 28-Jul-15 11:11:37

So a woman terrified of birth and desperately unable to give birth alone (that is without her partner/father of the baby) can expect just accept because his wants should count and she has utterly no choice?

MabelSideswipe Tue 28-Jul-15 11:12:22

I think it's wrong to force a dad to be at the Birth but mainly because if he was forced he would be an unhelpful presence. Equally it is wrong to pressure women to have the dad there when they would rather they were not e.g when they have split or not in a relationship.

Idontseeanydragons Tue 28-Jul-15 11:12:46

How would knowing that her partner is there under duress give any type of support to a labouring woman?

TriJo Tue 28-Jul-15 11:13:11

My husband faints in hospitals all the time - I wouldn't force him to be there if he didn't want to, for fear that it would put him in A&E from whacking his head off something! I would consider hiring a doula or paying for my mum to fly over from Ireland.

5madthings Tue 28-Jul-15 11:13:36

My dh always says he doesn't like being there for the birth, he found it stressful and didn't like seeing me in pain, it scared him basically BUT he wouldn't not have been thete because I needed his support (and he was amazing each time) so he put his feelings to one side to support me to have OUR babies!

lilacblossomtime Tue 28-Jul-15 11:16:14

There can't be that many men who don't want to be there, but if they feel like they can't for whatever reason, I think it would be better to have a more helpful birth partner.

Lelania Tue 28-Jul-15 11:16:40

Surely it's up to the couple, with most of the decision resting with the person actually giving birth.

ASorcererIsAWizardSquared Tue 28-Jul-15 11:16:51

if its a genuine reason for not wanting to be.. and i dont mean just because they don't really fancy it, then yes.

My nephew hasn't been at any births since the first (they have 7 kids) because he suffers with narcolepsy and also stress catoplexy, the first birth he collapsed so many times that he was more of a hindrance than a help, so the second time he said he didn't want to be there, and his wife was ok with that and took a friend as her birthing partner instead!

EdgarAllenPoe Tue 28-Jul-15 11:17:00

It's a difficult one, because I do feel it's necessary for me to have a support person there who knows me through and through and can speak for me when I'm a bit out of it, and the only person I am that comfortable with would be my DH.

On the other hand, I can totally imagine several good reasons why he wouldn't want to be there, and I wouldn't hold it against him.

I guess if he really didn't want to be there, and I somehow 'made' him be there, then neither of us would be comfortable with that so that would be counter-productive in helping me through labour. In that case I'd have to think very hard about finding a friend of relative to be my support person. I'd probably be quite upset about DH's absence, but I don't think it's my right to force him to be there.

Thankfully the chap is all for being there. Our first is due in 5 months. I wonder how he'll feel about it after the event!

aprilanne Tue 28-Jul-15 11:17:01

my hubby was not there for any my 3 sons births and that was fine .He faints at the first sign of blood and i did not need that to be honest child birth is so bloody undignified i would not have wanted him there anyway .I bet a big proportion of men are they because its now expected and not because they want to be .being absent at birth did not make him any less a good father he saw each child minutes after we were all sorted so both me and baby looked half way decent .

KindergartenKop Tue 28-Jul-15 11:18:24

I didn't really want to be there for the birth of my children but given they were coming out of my vagina, I sort of had to. I don't think they should be forced to look at the gory end but they should be there.

KindergartenKop Tue 28-Jul-15 11:19:28

April, do you always have to look decent for your dh?

ASorcererIsAWizardSquared Tue 28-Jul-15 11:22:41

Edgar, DH wanted to be at mine the first time, he's a bit older than me and when he had his first daughter 20 odd years ago, dads still weren't really encouraged to be present at the place his ex-wife gave birth.

But if the 2nd time he'd said no, i wouldn't have minded.. he nearly missed it any way as i gave birth 10 mins after arriving and he was still getting my stuff out of the car and handing DS off to my dad! He got in the room just as dd put in her appearance!

BestZebbie Tue 28-Jul-15 11:24:13

I agree with 123Jump - I don't know why anyone would want to be at a birth, really! What is the attraction of spending hours seeing someone you love in loads of pain, out of control, possibly sustaining serious injuries etc, when there is nothing you can do to help and they are already getting appropriate medical attention?
If the woman really wants their partner there for support then I think her wishes have to override the above as she is the one undergoing the ordeal (and she doesn't get a choice about being there if she wants a baby!), but it isn't a spectator sport or a relaxing day out, it's pretty gory and shitty and harrowing...

Spartans Tue 28-Jul-15 11:24:41

It's a difficult one. In situations where the partners health will cause issues then no, they shouldn't be forced.

It's not boarderline abusive to reconsider the relationship, if your do isn't going to be t the birth because he doesn't fancy it. Which is where your friends are coming from.

123Jump Tue 28-Jul-15 11:26:05

I presume april is referring more to not having her torn,bleeding,shit smeared fanjo out, as opposed to doing a full on Kate Middleton,grin.

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