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French Doctor Says Male Presence in the Delivery Room Complicates Birth

Should Dads Stay Out of the Delivery Room?

My, how times have changed. Ages ago, men were expected to sit in the waiting room at the hospital. Cigar in hand, pacing the floors, they were retrieved when their wives finally gave birth to their little bundles of joy. Fast forward a few decades and the fathers are the biggest cheerleader in the room yelling, "Push honey! You can do it. You're doing great!" Just when it seems entering parenthood as a team is the norm, a French doctor claims it should be done by the woman in a solo environment. Obstetrician Michel Odent believes a male presence can complicate the labor. He said:

Having been involved for more than 50 years in childbirths in homes and hospitals in France, England and Africa, the best environment I know for an easy birth is when there is nobody around the woman in labor apart from a silent, low-profile and experienced midwife... Oxytocin is the love drug which helps the woman give birth and bond with her baby. But it is also a shy hormone and it does not come out when she is surrounded by people and technology. This is what we need to start understanding.

So what do you say — bring papa in or take him out?

Join The Conversation
dleighl dleighl 7 years
My husband was in the room and only him. He was wonderful when I was scared. I think I would have been more stressed out if he hadn't been there. Especially if my mother had been!
jenni5 jenni5 7 years
I enjoyed having my hubby there both times. I wouldn't want some strange midwife, I either never met or met only a handful of times, with me.
GMarie GMarie 7 years
Should have said "me" instead of "laboring woman". :)
Florida-Snow Florida-Snow 7 years
Of course he should! It takes 2 to make a baby and to leave him out of welcoming the child to the world is cruel. Unless the dad is genuinely making things uncomfortable, he deserves to be there.
GMarie GMarie 7 years
I had a very long labor that ended in c-section (long story short, it was due to too much medical intervention). My husband was there for all of it, and it made him more attracted to me, because (he says) he saw my strength, which deepened his admiration for me. I think that's sweet ;) He's also not grossed out by body stuff (like seeing my uterus during the c-section!) - laboring with our baby didn't effect how he sees me sexually, because it is two wildly different things. That said, a lot of hubbub during labor only adds to the tension of the laboring woman, which isn't conducive to progress. I don't think having the father in the room has to add to the chaos though. For me, having him there was calming. He's an advocate for me, which takes a burden off, and he knows to remain calm and keep the volume low. :)
KrisB KrisB 7 years
It's up to the parents, whatever they want and is comfortable for them.
cheekyredhead cheekyredhead 7 years
I do think it is ironic that a "male" physician came up with this idea that men should not be present for the births of their children. Why? Because I have worked with physicians for over 20 years...many have tremendous egos...and I could easily see that perhaps this particular physician probably wants to be the alpha male in the room, the shining star, and the sole decision-maker. It is ironic because his own assertion also undermines his own presence in L&D. Maybe he'd be happier in proctology.
cheekyredhead cheekyredhead 7 years
My ex was such a drama queen...first kid...he was in full "migraine" mode and demanding more meds than I was asking for. Second kid...he again had some sort of "issue" which demanded pain relief. My parents teased him saying it was sympathy pain for me---but I think if he was truthful he would have escaped the whole thing if given that option. Now in retrospect, it explains why he never bonded with our kids---because he neglected to tell me he never had wanted any but "went along" with the idea because it seemed so important to me....(I mentioned he IS and EX now) My mother was present for both births and I was so grateful. She had been "put to sleep" when she delivered all of us---so she cherishes the memory of being there for her grandchildren. She was my advocate demanding a ridiculous nurse let me hold my child for a few minutes before she took her off to the NICU...a trip which our pediatrician said had been a stupid reaction by an inexperienced OB nurse. Without that few minutes, I would not have held my daughter until 6 hours later....6 hours I cried and prayed. That OB nurse was written transferred out of L&D. Now remarried, my husband was there when his son was born, felt it was a life-changing experience, and gave him a new appreciation for the struggle life makes in the beginning. He is a fabulous father and I think it was something he shouldn't be denied. He is grateful to have been part of his son's birth.
kia kia 7 years
I say let him stay in the room as long as he is prepped on what is going to happen and is able to communicate with the mother and tend to her wishes during the delivery.
cutiecake cutiecake 7 years
I regret having my baby's daddy in the delivery room. Blood, guts, vomit and other things. Not so pretty. I also regret having it at a big hospital. It's so impersonal. Everyone in the dam hospital saw my cooch wide open. I'll probably try those natural delivery places like that doctor suggests, if I ever decide to have another one.
Advah Advah 7 years
Hah. When my older sister was born in the 70s, dads weren't allowed in the delivery room. My mom always said she wished she'd been able to have my dad by her side rather than her own mom crying over her 20yo daughter having a child out of wedlock..
Kimpossible Kimpossible 7 years
I disagree entirely with the obstetricians statement, however, it's up to the couple as to how they want to handle the delivery of their child. So it's one of those case by case situations, I think.
NurseKimberly NurseKimberly 7 years
The daddy should be present if at all possible at the birth of his child.
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