Dads in the delivery room

I would like to learn more about husbands actively participating in the birth process.

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ABOUT THE EXPERT

Peg Plumbo CNM

Peg Plumbo has been a certified nurse-midwife (CNM) since 1976. She has assisted at over 1,000 births and currently teaches in the... Read more

In the many births I have attended, I have never heard a father say that he wished he had not been present for the birth of their child. Only once, did I regret the presence of a father. This wonderful man could simply not bear to see his wife in pain and because of this brought to the birth a sense that the discomfort his wife was experiencing was not normal and was somehow his fault.

No one likes to stand by helplessly while someone they love is in pain. This is why preparation classes are so important. The partner plays a definite role in assisting the birthing woman and enables her to cope more effectively.

In 1974, Robert Bradley wrote the book, "Husband Coached Childbirth" which shook a few branches because he empowered men, asking them to take hold of the birthing process in a way that seemed to parallel that of his partner. Some heralded this as a coming of age for men and some criticized his agenda as controlling not only the birthing process but also controlling the woman. This book gave birth to the "Bradley method" and classes can be found in almost every city in the country.

"Bradley couples" are very well informed and are advocates for themselves in the birthing system of the medical establishment. They come to visits prepared with extensive birth plans. Providers who only wish to spend five minutes with clients find Bradley mothers to be time consuming and demanding.

The best way to evaluate this method is to read the book or find a series to see how your beliefs fit into this philosophy.

A book called "Childbirth Without Fear" by Grantly Dick-Reid started the whole natural childbirth movement in the U.S. Although old and outdated, you may find his comments very thoughtful.

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