Fathers: Do you have to be present at birth?

Being with you: The decision is yours

For many couples it is quite natural today that the partner is present at birth.

""I can not imagine that I would have been anywhere else when Poppy was born,"" says Stephan, a father of two. ""It was a fantastic event that I will never forget. I do not want to miss this feeling for anything in the world. ""

But not everyone thinks that way. Stella, 38 and pregnant with her third child, knows that her partner Andreas (41) is not keen to be part of another birth. Stella then decided to ask her sister if she would assist her. This took the pressure of Andreas. Now he can decide spontaneously whether he is going or not. ""I was present at the births of my first children, but to be honest, I felt superfluous during birth,"" says Andreas. ""I do not think it helped Stella to accompany her, but exactly the opposite. This was especially the case after birth when she was sewn. She felt so helpless and she was not at all happy that I knew that.

Today, if you're not present at the birth of your child, you're not a decent type. That is not fair. It is a very personal topic that every couple should decide for themselves. ""

The birth: what do I expect from the partner?

It is very important for a couple to become aware and entertain in advance about their own expectations of the partner during birth. Do you feel overwhelmed as a man by the expectations of your partner? Why not get a second escort to help - for example, a good friend, sister, or a professional midwife. An extra person at this event is a great relief to most men.

""I was worried that I would not be able to help enough during the birth and that Lucy would not get the support,"" reports Sean, the father of the four Weeks old Ella. ""Having Lucy's sister next to me took the pressure on me and thus the sole responsibility. I felt emotionally moved and could retire for a while without feeling bad, as Emma took care of Lucy during that time. ""

What are the reasons to be part of a birth?

""It was such a wonderful moment when Sammy was born,"" Markus says.""We had been wishing for a baby for a long time, and when the time came, I experienced something wonderful, something like nothing else in my life: the moment my son was born. ""

Some men are disappointed if birth does not go as planned. Philip, 37, father of seven-month-old Ben, was shocked when suddenly a group of hospital staff came into the delivery room and he was ordered to put on a surgical gown, as he was supposed to assist with immediate effect - possibly even with a caesarian section. ""In the end, Ben's birth was a spontaneous delivery. However, with the help of the forceps. This birth was very important to Karen, ""he tells us. ""It was really not easy for me - I wanted to share with her the pain Karen suffered. Of course that did not work. But despite this trauma it was an incredible experience. Karen was not able to hold him in the arms right after Ben was delivered. That's when I came into play and was the first of us to take him in our arms and cuddle him - I'm really happy and grateful for that moment. "", who was present at Poppy's birth, took the cognition ""Unbelievable how resilient people can be - I heard screams, saw blood and a pained face, but it was not a terrible emergency,"" he says. ""There is nothing compared to It made me realize how strong women must be to be able to squeeze a baby out of her stomach, and how brave a baby must be to push its way through the narrow birth canal - just incredible. ""

What are the difficult aspects?

Nina Schmidt, director of birth preparation courses, studied the role of the man in the delivery room and says: The hardest experience for the men is, the partner with schm to see a distorted face and not be able to help. ""Sure, you can try a lot, and it's often the little things that make the difference,"" explains Nina. ""But trust and confidence are needed and that is anything but easy - especially for the men who become fathers for the first time. ""

Many fathers find it most difficult to know exactly how they can help in the early stages of childbirth. ""In the end, I felt pretty superfluous,"" says Andreas. ""Stella was obviously in pain and could use good help, but I did not know how to help. The midwife had many ideas, but it seemed that nothing helped. I really felt like a goodie. ""

One of the most common difficulties men struggle to overcome is when the situation suddenly becomes different than originally planned: sometimes everything seems to change very quickly.For example, doctors and medical staff come to the delivery room and discuss scary facts. ""We were at a birth preparation course. I was cool and asked all the questions about the birth, what is done, how and why, ""says Eddie, the father of eight-month-old Cameron.

""But when the light came on and the doctor came in and ordered the immediate transfer to the operating room, my legs became soft as pudding and I began to pray that nothing should happen to Caroline and the baby. ""

Many dads can tell hair-raising stories in which they fear for the life of the mother and unborn baby. Andreas, father of the four-week-old Oliver, tells of Oliver's dramatic birth, in which Tanja tortured herself for a long time in a birth house because her cervix did not open completely. ""Everything was fine for a few hours, the contractions increased and Tanja got along well, so I thought, man, that will be fine,"" he says. ""But when there was nothing left, the midwife said we needed to be moved to the hospital 15 kilometers away. I was really scared. I was not allowed to ride in the ambulance, but had to drive behind with our car. When we came to a busy street, the ambulance switched on its blue light and drove away at high speed, leaving me in traffic jam. I thought the worst. I hoped that both would be alive when I finally arrived at the hospital ... ""

How can I prepare myself as a man for childbirth? Preparation is the alpha and omega. It can not stop the unexpected. It also does not mean that the partner can breathe easily, no matter what. But it makes one realize that there may always be some eventualities during birth. A good preparation gives you the necessary confidence, which helps to support the partner during labor.

""To be honest, I felt a bit silly when I rubbed Katie's back during the birth preparation course,"" admitted Paul, father of 14-month-old Freddie. Still, this course gave me some ideas to help relieve Katie during labor. You have to be creative and just try something. In case you are afraid to do something wrong, just leave it and wait for what the midwife suggests. However, the birth preparation course helped me to develop ideas myself and thus gave me an important role in the birth process.

If it's possible, accompany your partner to a birth preparation course in the hospital where she wants to give birth, or take a course with a freelance midwife. ""

Some courses are for couples and others for expectant mothers only. It is important that you educate yourself and read as much about the birth as possible.It makes a huge difference if you understand what happens to your partner and the baby during each stage of the birth - the contractions. The way to the delivery room can be long.

That Man Should Know - Tips from Young Fathers

""Tanja was very tense in the birthplace. While I do not say that I consider the birthplace to be a bad idea in retrospect, I wish I had previously thought more about the risks in a birthing center. You have to consider any complication. ""

Andreas

"" Emily already had a caesarean section and the gynecologist from the hospital advised her against a home birth. But that was what Emily wanted. We researched and informed ourselves about the possible risks, these were low. In the end the midwife helped us and we could choose the kind of birth we wanted for our child. I give the tip, inform you correctly and surround yourself with like-minded people. After that, engage a freelance midwife just as we did. It was as if we had brought an angel! "" - Stephan

"" The hospital team was excellent, but it was a ruthless, sober atmosphere that shocked me because I was emotionally different. It's simple: expect the unexpected. "" - Philip

"" The key message is: Be flexible! Try something, but be ready to accept if it is not accepted. Do not be disappointed if your partner wishes you the hell. ""

- Nina

Written by Joanna Moorhea, journalist and author specializing in births and parenting. She has four daughters, the youngest was born in 2002. She is an official member of Guardian Newspaper and regularly writes for a variety of parenting magazines.

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