Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Odent: Is father's participation at birth dangerous?

Well, this one really surprised me. Michel Odent asksIs the Participation of the Father at Birth Dangerous?

Dr. Odent asks as series of questions:
Does the participation of the father aid or hinder the birth?

Can the participation of the father at birth influence the sexual life of the couple afterward?

Can all men cope with the strong emotional reactions they may have while participating in the birth?
According to this article, Birth Is For Women Only:
The founder of London's Primal Health Research Center says fathers-to-be should stay out of the delivery room. Being there is disruptive for the mother. Odent says women in labor need to shout and scream - and having their husband around can make them self-conscious. "When a woman gives birth," Odent says, "she needs to lose herself in the primitive or limbic part of her brain. Having a baby is a primeval act. The presence of an anxious father-to-be interferes with her mental state. By constantly asking 'rational' questions, and asking his partner if she is all right, the man stimulates the intellectual part of her brain and interferes with the natural birthing process."

Odent, a longtime advocate of water births and delivery at home, also says the presence of fathers may be to blame for the upsurge in Cesarean sections in the West. In Britain, they have increased by 33% in the past three years. "In aiming to be protective of his wife," the doctor says, "a man might suggest that she has an epidural or even a Cesarean so that she won't have too much pain."
As usual, Dr. Odent present zero evidence for his views. Furthermore, they appear to represent the oldest stereotypes about men and women:

Men can't and shouldn't participate in "women's work".

Men's sexual needs and desires are most important. A woman should hide during some of the most important moments of her life, because the possibility that her husband will find her distasteful is more important than the emotional support she might get.

Men are so stupid and immature that they cannot possibly be sexually attracted to a woman who yelled, screamed, bled and leaked fluid during labor.

Evidently, some stereotypes are very durable. Here's a radical thought: How about doing some RESEARCH before propounding outrageous, insulting theories?


0 Old Comments: