Caesarean birth, role of the father

My wife is having a caesarian and the hospital have a policy of no fathers in the theatre for surgical procedures. My wife is very disappointed. Am I a bad partner if I am relieved because I was afraid of being in theatre for the operation?

You are definitely not a bad person or a bad partner. Just a human being with perfectly understandable feelings. It is possible that your wife does not realise that you don’t mind the fact that you can’t be present for the procedure. If you found a way to tell her in a gentle way then you may find that she is fine with the situation if you are. She may be disappointed on your behalf!

In fact the vast majority of hospitals do allow fathers into theatre, as long as the procedure is not an emergency. Many men have mixed feelings about his, being squeamish, afraid of the sight of blood or afraid of making fools of themselves, or unable to face the discomfort of their beloved partner. However, in most cases when the father does attend the operation, they cope better than they had expected and almost always say they are pleased that they participated. It is just something to bear in mind should the situation change.

Reassure your wife that even though you can’t be in theatre that you will be there for every other possible moment. Ask the hospital staff before hand what they expect of the partner, and how you can participate. Discuss your options with them so that you are well prepared. Make sure that they realise that you wish to be as involved as possible. Ask how soon you can have access to the baby. Even though you are not able to go to theatre, some hospitals will allow you into the nursery to see and hold the baby after birth. Read up so that you understand what the procedure entails, so that you are prepared and not taken by surprise by any event when the time comes. +27 (0)81 885 4683

*Important : The information provided is for information purposes only. No medical diagnosis or prescription can be inferred or is implied. Please consult your doctor for medical advice.

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