Thanks to DaddyTypes for pointing out this obscene example of how birthing families are disenfranchised from having any real say in their birth experience these days. In Esquire’s post 11 Real Delivery-Room Disasters a New Dad Should Avoid, delivery room dads are told to shut their mouths, sit still, and butt out.
I will say that 3 of the 11 points are valid out of a need for sensitivity to the mama, and basically to maintain a general level of respectful behavior. #1: No, don’t complain that her belly is all jello-y after the baby comes out. #4: No, don’t ask the doc to sew her vagina up tighter as a gift to you. And #11: No, you don’t need to watch the Nascar race while your child is being born.
But those 3 aside, the other 8 points are insulting to birthing families who rightfully expect to have some freedom of choice over their birth experience, and be treated with respect by their care provider.
Check out the original list here
#2 – Why in the world shouldn’t a partner climb into bed with his laboring lady? That sweaty guy and his boxer shorts might make you uncomfortable, doctor, but he is the one paying you $10k+ for an hour or two of work.
#3 – Getting tangled in an IV wouldn’t be nearly as big of a problem if we didn’t use IV’s and medication so frivolously! Instead of doing away with dads in bed, lets do away with place-an-IV-just-in-case policies! And wanting to get into bed with his laboring lady does NOT make the partner “a dumbass.”
#5 – Actually, I think it’s fine to “mention the tear.” The more informed a partner is about the birth process, the better prepared they are to support mom in the postpartum period.
#6 – I’m going to give the birthing couple the benefit of the doubt here, and assume that the partner who “won’t let the mom get an epidural even though she’s sobbing in pain” is actually just reminding her of her birth plan, in a proactive and supportive way. In which case, it’s the doctor who needs to remember his place, not the dad.
#7 – Am I really having to remind the OBs of the world that this is the father’s birth experience, too? Fainting in the delivery room is every father’s right, and shouldn’t earn dad the reputation of being “some dingbat who smacked his gourd on the way down.”
#8 – Recent studies have shown dramatic benefits that far outweigh the risks of eating & drinking in labor. Mom’s body should be trusted to tell her what she needs.
#9 – This one borders on being as offensive as when doctors try to rush labor because they have plans that evening. Cutting the cord is one of the only ways dads can physically participate in the delivery of the baby. So how about the doctor stops “dicking around” and supports the new family and their wishes, however inconvenient.
#10 – Are.you.kidding. Skin to skin contact is the best for baby, and why shouldn’t dad be allowed to provide it, too? Take it all off, dad!