By R. Mander
Because the improvement of recent drugs, males became more and more fascinated about childbearing as obstetricians and, extra lately, as fathers. This ebook argues that the priceless contribution of guys has been taken with no consideration. yes adjustments to childbearing perform have resulted, which, including men's involvement, were inspired with none connection with proof and with out enough chance for reflection.Considering the findings of contemporary examine and wider literature, and utilizing qualitative learn with moms the textual content examines:· how males grew to become more and more taken with childbearing · the medicalisation of childbirth · the problems males event with childbirth as fathers · tough events, reminiscent of fathers' grief· the taken-for-granted assumptions that men’s elevated contribution to childbearing is beneficialThis textual content may be of serious curiosity to teachers and postgraduate scholars of midwifery, obstetrics, medication and health and wellbeing reports, in addition to training midwives and obstetricians, future health viewers, childbirth educators and hard work and supply room nurses.
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I have, however, a vivid recollection of the interest aroused among the labour ward staff at a maternity unit in 1968 that a father should choose to stay for the duration of his partner’s prolonged and highly medicalised labour. The father further impressed the staff by sketching a cartoon showing his partner in labour; in it she was represented as an octopus with the tentacles replaced by tubes, catheters, wires, drains and other impedimenta. The opposition to the father’s presence in labour was argued in terms of preventing infection, avoiding nuisances, such as fathers fainting, or as the father 32 CULTURES AND TIMES being perverted (Cronenwett and Newmark, 1974; Richman, 1982: 93).
Thus, men were generally kept away and the only males who were permitted to visit would be close relatives. The midwife was quite well able to manage any of the common problems which may arise in childbearing. If, however, the woman’s labour became seriously prolonged to the point of obstruction and the fetus died, a barber-surgeon would be called by the midwife to remove the fetus piecemeal. The barber-surgeons were almost invariably men. In such a dire situation they would resort to the use of instruments such as hooks, levers, crotchets, fillets and perforators.
Thus the woman occupied a privileged status in relation to her baby. She was responsible for knowing her baby and, thus, for the child’s welfare. Routine ultrasound has effectively downgraded her and her unique knowledge. Her role as her baby’s guardian has been bypassed, demoting her to little more than an observer of these developments. She is no longer uniquely responsible for being aware of her pregnancy, as her knowledge has been superseded by technical equipment. In the same way as the fetus is no longer in a unique position as ‘the lord at the end of the cord’, the mother is no longer privileged to share that singular relationship.
Men and Maternity by R. Mander