Being present in the delivery room can be a traumatic experience for some men, which can impact their sexual relationship with their partners.
Give birth alone? No way!
Today's wives expect their husbands to be there right next to them at every step of the way, from pregnancy to childbirth. "Why should I go through the physical agony alone?" some of them might say.
And of course, the dads should be there when the baby is born. After all, they were there right at the beginning, right?
Dr Alex Ooi, obstetrician & gynaecologist had a clear stand when he spoke to theAsianparent.com. He said: “Husbands are encouraged to participate in the pregnancy (attending some of the antenatal classes with wife) and labour -- as their moral support is indeed helpful to the mother, who is undergoing a worrisome time. After all, they were involved in making the baby!”
But while being in the delivery room can be a beautiful and empowering experience for some dads, there are others who get "scarred" by the experience. Some husbands are left with distressing recollections that continues to stick with them even in the bedroom.
Does your husband belong to the former or the latter? Read on to find out.
Dr Ooi added: “During labour and delivery, I allow them to stay by the wife's head, help in the pushing process and provide support -- and no photography is allowed other than of the baby after birth in the cot and by the mother's side.”
Husbands need to be there for their wives in the labour room.
Should husbands see “everything”?
Dr Ooi, who has a practice at Mount Elizabeth Medical Centre, ventures: “A few husbands are curious and want to see everything -- definitely not a healthy scenario, especially not seeing their wives in the loving state they know -- as such images can remain in the mind even long after. With due respect, I will send such husbands out of the delivery room if they are not there to be "with the wife" in her difficult moments and to share the joy of birth (of their child).”
Real dads speak up!
We spoke with dads to find out how they really feel: Do men feel disturbed after watching their baby emerge out of the birth canal amidst screams of pain and gushing blood? Will they be able to wipe their memory slates clean and still see their wives in a sexual way after? What is sex after childbirth like for these dads?
However, in order to protect the identity of the fathers, some names have been changed.
Some husbands find it hard to get intimate with their wives after watching them give birth.
The strength of a mother
Dominic, 29, father of one shares: “It may look gross to see a birth on TV with all the blood and stuff, but if it is your own flesh and blood—that is the last thing on your mind, you almost don't see it. All you can focus on is your baby and the strength of a mother. After the birth (the stitching and cuts) and a few weeks—it’s all back to normal.”
Leonard, 43, father of three girls says: “I was not traumatised from what I remember. No problem with seeing my wife as a sexual being -- even after watching her give birth three times. In fact, I felt even closer and more connected to her after that. The blood and gore never came to mind later -- still horny, what to do?”
Wounds heal—“sex is sex is sex”
Anton, 58, father of two boys shares: “As for the way I saw my wife, well to me, it was a wound and wounds heal. I was truly more concerned about it being a normal delivery and when the doctor said it was all good, I was relieved! The sex between us remained unchanged. We resumed our bedroom delights a week after delivery—without either of us feeling weird about anything. I guess being a man, sex is sex is sex and after you’re married, you take it whichever way it comes!”
I still see my wife as a hot mamma!
Harold, 43, father of two says: “I still see my wife as a hot mamma! My wife almost died...blood all over the delivery room floor. What went through my mind when I saw that was ‘Is she going to die?’ and why would someone think of childbirth during a moment of passion? What goes through my mind when have sex with my wife after childbirth is… ‘damn, can’t suck t*ts.’”
Kevin Woo, father of three says: “I was not at the least traumatised after the birth of our first child. The birth was awesome and one of best memories of my life. Did I see her as a sexual being? Yes and no. Yes because we were married but no because we were so busy tending to the baby, redefining our roles, adjusting to life as mum and dad, trying to develop a new routine etc. It was hard.”
Here is something for you dads: A birth film for fathers
Dads, tell us what sex after childbirth was like for you. We hope that these fathers have given you a better perspective on sex after childbirth from a man's point of view.