Wednesday, April 2, 2008
Men becoming fathers
Image: Jude's birth. Kindly donated by Clare.
I have blogged about men at birth before. When I posted this a friend of mine sent me this photo of her son, seconds after the birth of his first born son. It is a very poignant photo and says more than words ever could about the transition from manhood to fatherhood. When a baby is born it is much more that just the birth of a baby it is also the birth of a mother and father and the creation of a new family.
As the family is the building block of society it seems to me that how this transition occurs is of major importance to society. We can either support and empower new parents or we can take away control and leave them feeling battered and bruised and disempowered.
David Vernon has written a book for fathers. Men have shared their stories of their experiences around birth. As with all things to do with birth and parenting there is no right way for men to be around birth. In a home setting when everyone is in their own environment it is possibly easier for the man to be physically present or not as suits the situation and the needs of the woman. In a hospital situation, in my experience, men can often feel closeted in the room and unable to get away. David has some good advice for how men can be prepared and ready for what is necessary during the birth of their children.