Society » Family
Author`s name Ольга Савка

Men's presence in maternity wards during childbirth considered shameful in Russia

Men can be just passive observers, and they can faint when watching the painful procedure of childbirth

Parents in Europe and America as a rule stay together during childbirth, this tradition is also gaining popularity in Russia. But doctors in Russia still doubt that fathers should be present during childbirth.

At that, many couples would not like to stay together during childbirth. Women who need assistance and support of a close person, and a husband is the closest one as a rule, want to have partner childbirth. Often husbands know better than anyone else what type of caresses and words may help their wives relax and endure pain. For many women, having a close man by their sides matters much more than kind and caring medical staff. Man with a baby

Often fathers want to be present at childbirth not to miss such a stunning event in their lives. Indeed, majority of couples today have not more than two children, that is why the wonder of childbirth is an infrequent occasion. The process of childbirth is strong emotional experience giving basically positive emotions to fathers and mothers. Fathers as a rule take pictures or video of childbirth right in the maternity ward.

There is also an important reason why many couples in Russia prefer to stay together during childbirth: they want to have control over actions of medical staff. Many couples today prefer to have childbirth run its natural way with no medicine and anaesthetization. Women in childbirth cannot control what injections doctors do and for what purpose. That is why husbands are recommended to stay together with their wives during childbirth to stop doctors if they want to give injections which are contraindicative or unwanted. It often happens that doctors treat a woman in childbirth more politely and carefully in case her partner stays close during childbirth.

Majority of women still would not like their husbands see them unattractive and suffering from pain in childbirth. They hope to keep their husbands' love by being always attractive for them. In this case, such women decline partner childbirth and let husbands see them and the baby when they are both nicely dressed and happy.

Other women would not like husbands be present during childbirth because they do not see a role that a man may perform during the whole of the event. They believe that men can be just passive observers during childbirth, and what is more they may faint when watching the painful procedure of childbirth. There are also women who may be too cautious over their behavior and looks during childbirth in case their partners also stay in the maternity ward. This seriously distracts them from delivery and may even cause serious problems. Such women are anxious about what partners feel and experience when observing childbirth and how they treat the woman herself in this situation.

It is typical of men to devote time to other important issues when their wives are in maternity hospitals, they do repairing of children's room and buy all important things for the baby. But men also confess that they would not like to be present at childbirth because of fear; they fear that the critical situation of childbirth will expose them as absolutely helpless. Men often fear to experience emotions which they have never done before. But usually men experience such fears because they are absolutely ignorant of the very process of childbirth.

Families need to know a lot about childbirth and psychological assistance to decide whether they should have partner childbirth or not. Couples now have a wide range of sources to learn more about childbirth and their roles during the process: books about pregnancy and childbirth, Internet publications and courses for psychological training of pregnant women and their partners. Men wishing to be present during childbirth must be aware of the childbirth process not to be a trouble when women deliver babies and be patient in case childbirth lasts too long. It is also important that partners staying in the maternity ward during childbirth must be actual aid and not mere observers. A man can hold his wife's hands, say comforting words, give her anesthetic massage. It makes no sense for men being just inactive spectators. But men must be ready to leave the maternity ward in case of emergency when doctors decide that no unauthorized personnel could stay there. Men are not recommended to observe the Cesarean operation.

As soon as a baby comes to the world, doctors lay him down on the mother's breast for the first skin-to-skin contact. This is the first moment when both parents have a chance to see their baby. Then a pediatrician takes the baby to examine his reflexes, to measure and weigh him; usually fathers are allowed to watch the whole of the procedure. Sometimes doctors even let fathers cut the umbilical cord of their babies.

Many of Russian maternity hospitals now have family wards where fathers can live together with their wives and babies. This helps women better recover after childbirth, have enough sleep and it gives men a chance to feel fathers. In a word, men may be really helpful not only during childbirth but also afterwards when they control vaccination of the baby, get ready for discharge from the hospital and help receive visitors.

So, before deciding if a couple wants partner childbirth or not they should first of all consider all advantages and disadvantages of partner childbirth in general. Complete information on the issue may actually help them make a choice. 

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