The man during delivery – a boon or a bane?

Delivery (childbirth) is not merely a physiological but also a psychological process. A very important role, for both the parents and the baby, is played by the atmosphere and mood. The most comfortable conditions are when there is a feeling of safety and mutual trust between the parents and the baby.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) promotes family delivery and indicates the advantages of the partner’s presence during childbirth. In Poland, the turning point in terms of father support during labour was marked by the international congress held in Warsaw in 1993, entitled “Quality of Birth – Quality of Life”. But is it really a good idea for your partner to be present during delivery?

Specialists say: YES.

According to Professor Fijałkowski, paternity and maternity should go hand in hand from the beginning stages of the baby’s life. It often happens, however, that both the mum and the dad must get well prepared for their new roles, because each of the stages from pregnancy through to labour and childbirth is a new experience for them. Comprehensive assistance in this regard is provided by antenatal (parent craft) classes. During classes with specialists in the field of obstetric and perinatal care, we develop awareness of childbirth as a unique physiological and psychological process.

Women and their partners say: YES

The ongoing research suggests that the motivation for a woman to give birth in her partner’s presence is the psychological support she receives, the willingness to be with a person that is close to her and the greater feeling of safety. The motivation for the men who have been surveyed, besides the psychological support, is the willingness to experience an unforgettable adventure. But it is not the “motivator” that plays the crucial role here, yet the assistance obtained from the partner during labour.

Women see a lot of benefits in this joint act. Obviously, the fundamental and basic one is the motivation and support in difficult moments, but the partner is also helpful for changing the woman’s position during labour or remind her about proper breathing. Sometimes, mere holding by the hand becomes exceptional.

It therefore seems that the presence of a man during labour is highly advantageous, according to experts, healthcare professionals, women and their partners. However, it should be borne in mind that the decision about family delivery must result from a joint resolution made between the mother and the father.