Michael Odent and men at births

19 October 2009 at 5:50 am 1 comment

Recent news is all about Michael Odent’s–not at all new–view that natural birth happens faster and easier when the mother is truly relaxed, ideally (he believes) alone except for a midwife. Of course, the media takes this, dumbs it down, and runs with it as “Bar Men from Birth?” etc.

Apparently now there’s actually going to be a debate between Odent and a dad-blogger named Duncan Fisher, moderated by a midwife. I’m not sure what to think of such a debate–will Fisher bring science on his side? Will anyone be able to understand Odent’s English without subtitles (I sure can’t)? Will the “results” of the debate really influence midwifery?

And then there’s the issue underlying it–should women have no men at their births? Would it have helped (or did it help) you to be in an all female-environment?

Personally, while I was of course glad for his sake that my husband was at the birth of our son (right next to me in fact), I really didn’t want him or anyone else near me during most of my labor. I labored quietly in a tub in a dim room, with a midwife who was very hands-off, and perhaps that’s more in the spirit of what Odent means.

What are your thoughts, either on the debate or the issue of men itself?



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Great pro-home-birth article by Yale professors, OBs Mama mammals of the world, unite!

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Liz  |  19 October 2009 at 8:53 am

    I think that this is probably not that big of an issue in the grand scheme of things. I am very glad that my husband was present at the birth of our son – I can’t imagine not including him at future births. At the same time, there is no way that I would invite any other man nor would I invite any woman who I didn’t feel was 100% supportive.

    Maybe there are women that would labor better without their husband present, but maybe they should examine their motivations for such – is it because they are afraid that he will see too much, he will see them in a different state, etc.


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