So, this is a question that my mom and I chatted about A LOT during my first pregnancy, when she was acting as my labor support in NCB classes because my husband was out of the country. She was also at my DD's birth, both because I wanted her there, and because of her having been there for all the classes.
So, correct me if I'm wrong, but, before the current medical model of birth came in- say a 100 years ago and more- women supported women during labor. Am I wrong? It's not something I've heard about much when they talk about the history of childbirth- everyone knows it used to be normal for midwives to deliver babies in a woman's home, but did her husband help with the birth? Or did her mother and sisters and daughters have those roles, while the father did other things?
In my experience, my DH just wanted to FIX THE SITUATION (which is a very man thing to do, right?). Which is why he thought drugs were such a great idea. I know he has more confidence in me and the birth process now, after seeing me quite ably deliver our daughter without any interventions- but before that all happened- we argued for WEEKS before her birth. He thought I was being selfish and self-centered, because he honestly thought, the birth wasn't just about me- and I needed to have some respect for how it was going to affect other people (him). Basically, it was his way of saying that he didn't want to have to watch me suffer. In the end, he was really fine for the whole thing, and all those arguments were silly. My mom on the other hand had no problem knowing that she would just have to SUPPORT me through whatever I was going to go through, without trying to fix it for me. Now maybe that is the difference between a man and a woman, or the difference between an about to be grandma vs first time dad.
So anyway... my question, which I would love to hear your thoughts on- not a debate per se, but just a friendly exchange of ideas (which is why I'm posting here and not on the debate board)- do you think that a man's place during labor is as his wife's/partner's #1 support?
I've seen a lot of women (having both medical and natural births- ok maybe not, I guess mostly I've seen women having babies in hospitals say this) say that they only want DH and the OB/nurse/midwife in the room. Many women express that a birth is something sacred for a couple to experience alone together.
I know I'm not saying I don't want DH there... I want him there, to witness the whole thing more than anything- but I want women there too. With this next birth we're planning a home birth, and I'm sure we'll have DH, my mom, a good friend of mine, the midwife, probably a doula...
So what do you think on all this?
(and I honestly don't mean this as a debate or a slam against men... it's just thoughts, but I would love to hear what others have to say about it!)