I’m a member of an online group of dad bloggers. […]
I’m a member of an online group of dad bloggers. Last week, one of the dads in the group shared an article to get some feedback from the group. The article gave one woman’s account about why she believes that men should not attend the birth of their children so that the couple’s sex life can remain intact afterward.
The response in our group was unanimous. Dad after dad said that they were present at the births of their children, and their sex lives suffered no negative repercussions for it. In fact, many (including myself) testified that seeing our wives give birth actually increased attraction.
The main thing that troubles me about the article is that the author makes sweeping statements that make it seem as though all couples should follow in her steps: “Not only do I believe men should not be there during the actual birth, I don’t think they should even enter the birthing suite.” I’ll be the first to admit that the author is entitled to her opinion, but my concern is that this would discourage couples who are pregnant for the first time from working as a team. The article instills fear that I might permanently damage my relationship with my wife if I witness the birth of my children.
Let me offer a counter-balancing perspective to that point. Witnessing the births of my children has been the most awe-inspiring miracle I’ve ever been a part of. I wish for all fathers to witness the births of their children. I am sad for the man in the article who insisted that he could not watch the birth of his child. I believe he missed out on the greatest miracle of his life. He missed a chance to see his wife in one of her most heroic moments.
What I see in that article is one woman on the internet feeling like she saved her sex life from certain doom by keeping her husband out of the birth. What I see in real life all around me is a bunch of fathers who are deeply invested in their families, even to the point that they attend the births of their children. They are changed forever by that experience, and the change is good. They love their wives and have even more profound respect for them after participating in birth with them. I know of no one whose sex life is suffering on account of male presence during birth.
So, my encouragement to those who are preparing for birth is to plan to work together as a team. Don’t shy away from the most intense and amazing experience of your life. I can’t promise you that your sex life will be as good after birth as it was before. But I can tell you that everyone I know has it as good or better after birth precisely because they were together for the birth.