Article from: My Family UK
A father present at the birth side of his partner is a relatively new development, but is very popular among new fathers. The choice is entirely up to you, but to help you think about your decision, here are some suggestions.
Being at the birth
There are conflicting ideas around how men 'should' feel about being present at their child's delivery. Traditionally, it has been thought that the male presence was unneccessary and even a hindrance to the birth. More recently, new concepts of fatherhood have changed this view.
Being present at the birth is now seen to aid the father's integration into their child's life, strengthening the bond between them. It is also seen to strengthen the bond between mother and father, if the father can offer help through labour.Ultimately, the decision rests with your partner, and you.
Making the decision
It will be useful to consider some of the following ideas when making your decision.
1) Discuss it first
Picture yourself at the birth. Imagine how you feel. Ask the mother to picture herself there, and whether she can visualise you by her side, or not. If your opinions differ, try to explain the reasons behind those feelings: this may be the only way to reach a final answer. If nothing, this process will help you prepare yourself in advance for whatever challenges you might have to face.
For the mother-to-be, having her partner there can be very reassuring, and it is important that you understand this, even if she feels differently. Try to roll with the waves of emotions that she will experience, while retaining your own opinions. You'll need to be ready to feel a great deal yourself if you are present when the time comes.
3) Feeling faint?
Un-masculine though it may seem, some men will experience strong reactions to the sight of the birth. It's not just feeling queasy, it's when emotions run high and you're low on sleep.Try to factor this into your decision: ask yourself when the last time you felt queasy was, and whether you found it easy to overcome.
4) Keep Quiet
Consider that during labour women are in a state of concentration. Primal instincts kick in and she will not be able to pay attention to anything else including answering your questions on how she feels, what’s going on and so forth. Some people find it easier to deal with stress by talking, but you should remember that this will not be the case. If you suspect that you may find this hard to overcome, or that you may try to take too large a role at the birth, it may be preferable for you to be absent.
5) Be Prepared
Feeling unsure of how best to support their partner during labour often stops many men from being present at the birth. To combat this, you can read your partner’s birthing books and attend ante-natal classes. Do some research about what to expect and how best you can be of use. Find out more about other people’s experiences (there’s plenty online), and what they did right and wrong. Aside from mental preparation, being prepared for the physical challenges of labour may help to eliminate any post-birth shock or depression you may experience, due to the high intense situation you will be involved in.
6) Altered opinion
After seeing a partner go through labour, men have often found it hard to view them in a sexual light again. This is not always the case, of course: many men are completely secure in the knowledge of what happens 'down there', and have no problem. Other men may have this fact driven home to them for the first time. There are ways of overcoming this, like standing by the mother's head, or briefly leaving the room if neccessary (she's unlikely to notice, but she may still care). Both of these have their drawbacks, however, so if you think you might be prone to this reaction, stay well away. Having a sex life after the birth is central to maintaining your relationship.
7) Feeling helpless
There has been a lot written (less so these days) about women feeling helpless during the birth, and left totally at mercy of their midwife, doctor or nurse. Your child may be your doctor’s thousandth delivery, and it is quite easy to feel treated as another number on a list. If you feel this way, so will your partner. With little food, sleep or strength, she will be in need of emotional care, and if this particular feeling arises, it can be hard to quash. Think about how you could do this, with little help yourself, while still encouraging her.
For further information, and for more great ways to have fun with your family, log on to www.myfamilyuk.com. With a huge collection of articles covering everything from child safety to rainy day activities, you'll find all the help, guidance and entertainment you need to be a great parent. Go to My Family UK now!
Source by MyFamilyUK