The Essential Role of the Father (and a Doula) in Childbirth — “Let my people go!”

Marriage and Family Health, Men's Health, Mental Health, Parenting, Woman's Health
In the 1990s, I published a number of papers in the medical and birthing literature to help birthing families design and experience safer and more satisfying birthing experiences. On of the articles I published was for a midwifery journal on the issue of whether the father of the baby should be in the delivery room or not  (Larimore WL. The Role of the Father in Childbirth. Midwifery Today. Issue No. 51, Autumn, 1999, 15-7). Here's the text of that original article: During the late 1960s and the early 1970s, the earliest days of fathers' involvement in childbirth in America, men were expected to be intimately involved as advisors, coaches and decision-makers for the woman (Simpkin, P., 1992). However, experienced birth observers commented that few men seemed to be comfortably, confidently, and…
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Should dads be in labor and delivery?

Parenting, Woman's Health
Ten years ago I published an article for a midwifery journal on the issue of whether the father of the baby should be in the delivery room or not  (Larimore WL. The Role of the Father in Childbirth. Midwifery Today. Issue No. 51, Autumn, 1999, 15-7). I've reprinted the original article here in the post, "The Essential Role of the Father (and a Doula) in Childbirth — 'Let my people go!'" In that article, I concluded: Recognizing the potential strengths and weakness of the father’s role along with the role the father desires during the birth process (coach, teammate or witness) will facilitate the effectiveness of the entire support team and the outcomes the birth family will experience. Giving the father the freedom to be comfortable and the permission to…
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How to Keep Normal Labor Normal – Part 13 – Summary

Woman's Health
This blog series is designed to help women who are developing a birth plan join together with like-minded birthing professionals so as to have a shorter and safer labor and birth. In past blogs we’ve looked at my 10 “P’s” of keeping labor shorter and birth safer. In this blog I’ll present some summary comments. Although written primarily for professional birth attendants, I hope information will be helpful to lay women planning their birth. Summary One critical review summed it up by stating, “Doing everything for everyone is neither tenable nor desirable. What is done should be inspired by compassion and guided by science ... As(care givers), we are ethically bound to be sure that the tests, procedures, and treatments we provide are worth the money, pain, and inconvenience that…
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