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Husband Faints During Delivery - What Do I Do?!

I am expecting, and my hubby is not going to make it through delivery! He faints at the slightest sight of blood, and the thought of hospitals makes him sick. What do I do?! I do not have a father in the picture, and my mom is definitely not strong enough to be the rock I need during delivery. Do I hire a doula, pick a friend, WHAT?! Please help, I am really stressing about this!

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

It is my hubby's take on it. He faints when he cuts his finger, when he visits the dentist, and gets queezy just watching a baby story. He knows (at least thinks he knows) he won't be able to make it, and I am in agreement, so I have to have a plan for someone to be there with me. He won't be able to sit up by my face because just knowing what is going on "down there" will make him faint. He has lived with this issue his entire life, so he is pretty sure he knows the end result will be him laying on the floor!

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LOVED my doula. hire one now so you can benefit from all of the pregnancy advantages they afford you too.

2 moms found this helpful

My husband has the exact same issue. I hired a doula, and it was great, not just to distract my husband, but she was an expert who could advocate and help me when I was in a very scary and vulnerable place! If I'd had a girl, I would have named her after my doula!!

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My hubby didn't want to be anywhere near the delivery room but stayed anyway. Now he thinks I'm a viking woman but he also tells everyone he cut the cord with his teeth!!! AAAAGGGHHHRRRAAAA! MEN!

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Tanya A,
I think you are way out of line with your comments.
First of all, not every man, just because he is a man, is wired with the "survivor instinct" to naturally know what to do when there is a crisis, terrorist attack, or birth of a baby.
Second, as some of the other ladies have posted, this could be a serious condition that he has... so who are you to be calling him a wimp and telling him to "grow up?" It sounds like you are the one that needs to grow up and learn about compassion for others.

S.,
I would recommend that he follow up with a specialist to rule out any serious conditions. Nevermind the rude comments toward your husband from others. Do what you need to do to make your day of delivery what you want it to be... if you have a friend or other close relative that you would want by your side, ask them to be a part of the miracle of life! Good luck to you!!!

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As a Doula myself (and completely biased, I admit) I would suggest looking for a Doula in your area. Many Doulas advertise on Craigslist and other maternity websites. You can also do a websearch for the term doula in your area (or the city closest to you if you're not in a big city).

If finances are an issues, i know -many- Doulas that offer a sliding scale fee system or payment plans (usually a deposit and payments spread out to be finalized before delivery).

Any good Doula will be more than capable of helping you through whatever type of delivery you plan on having and are flexible enough to change their procedures based on changing circumstances during the delivery itself. Also, unlike the medical staff of a hospital, we -will- be with you through the entire labor and delivery. Even if it take a very long time. ( I once had a client who labored for 20 hours at home before going to the hospital and then labored another 15 hours to deliver a beautiful baby boy without pain meds... She was amazing and tenacious! I left once, to get more food since my stash of edibles in my roller case was used up, in that time and was back within 15 minutes.)

We keep ourselves up to date on pregnancy issues and labor and delivery conditions that occur, both in the home and in a hospital, and can help explain to a laboring mother what will/is happening both during the pregnancy and labor. We -cannot- provide medical advice (that requires a medical degree, ya' know), but we can explain what doctors and nurses are saying and give other options for you to consider if you don't like the advice of the medical staff. We can't advocate directly to the medical staff on your behalf, but we -can- help keep you informed of your rights and options if the medical staff are pressuring you into something that you don't want.

Please do look for a Doula. We can provide invaluable support both to you -and- to your husband.

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LOVED my doula. hire one now so you can benefit from all of the pregnancy advantages they afford you too.

2 moms found this helpful

Hi,
I second/third/fourth the recommendation to have a doula present during the labor/birth - it's really helpful no matter what. But I also want to share my husband's experience. He has had episodic fainting spells all his life, but didn't think much of them. There was always an extenuating circumstance - he was exhausted from swim class,he'd been on a really dizzying roller coaster, partied a little too hard in college that one time, etc.

We realized it was more than that when we were on a flight back from the east coast. We'd both been dozing in our seats when he said "I feel nauseous" and suddenly stiffened and became unresponsive. It looked like a minor seizure. He was ok after a few minutes (other than hurting his back during the seizure) but boy was it scary. Luckily there were 2 doctors on the plane!

After a bunch of tests, my husband was diagnosed with neurocardiogenic syncope - or fainting caused by the fact that his heart slows down (he'll, it STOPPED during the tilt table test) when it should speed up (in response to stress, etc.) a doctor recommended he have a pacemaker implanted at the age of 31. It's been 5 years and he hasn't fainted ONCE since then. (there are also drugs that can help, it's just that they didn't work for him in this case)

So I would urge you guys to get his fainting checked out. It can be treated. Good luck...

Updated

Hi,
I second/third/fourth the recommendation to have a doula present during the labor/birth - it's really helpful no matter what. But I also want to share my husband's experience. He has had episodic fainting spells all his life, but didn't think much of them. There was always an extenuating circumstance - he was exhausted from swim class,he'd been on a really dizzying roller coaster, partied a little too hard in college that one time, etc.

We realized it was more than that when we were on a flight back from the east coast. We'd both been dozing in our seats when he said "I feel nauseous" and suddenly stiffened and became unresponsive. It looked like a minor seizure. He was ok after a few minutes (other than hurting his back during the seizure) but boy was it scary. Luckily there were 2 doctors on the plane!

After a bunch of tests, my husband was diagnosed with neurocardiogenic syncope - or fainting caused by the fact that his heart slows down (he'll, it STOPPED during the tilt table test) when it should speed up (in response to stress, etc.) a doctor recommended he have a pacemaker implanted at the age of 31. It's been 5 years and he hasn't fainted ONCE since then. (there are also drugs that can help, it's just that they didn't work for him in this case)

So I would urge you guys to get his fainting checked out. It can be treated. Good luck...

2 moms found this helpful

Hire the doula or make sure a friend can be with you. Don't depend on the delivery room nurses to be their for you. The night I gave birth to my son was the busiest night ever in the maternity ward of the hospital, a hospital that my internist (not my OB/GYN) described as baby central. Despite what we were told during childbirth classes, nurses were just not available to provide coaching assistance for my husband. ( He was there, but was not a good coach) I went through 3 shifts of nurses (I was fully effaced, but not dilating for
~ 20 hrs). The first was an overly stressed and unsympathetic head nurse, who apparently popped out her own 4 kids with out a hitch. When another mom on the floor was screeming on pain she made some terse comment, and snapped at me when I winced from the pain. The next just checked on me twice during her shift (by then I had an epidural). The third had a student nurse in tow, and was great.

So if you can have someone in the room you know will be able to support you, do it. I had a friend who hired a doula so her husband could enjoy the experience of their son's birth with out the stress and the responsibility of coaching. She said it was the best decision she made, and I've regretted not doing so ever since.

2 moms found this helpful

Do What? I am sure that any husband would amaze you at this point. Tell him he is coming with you to the classes, to the hospital, and through the delivery. this is the birth of your child and its not about him and his fears. No doula can take the place of the babys father and your husband. If they say they can than they are definattly not what your looking for. In a sucessful marriage you need to beable to rely on each other and this is a time in which you should beable to rely on him. I am well aware that yes some dads to faint but theres always a chair availble and they can always stick thier head between thier legs. Trust me you dont want to allow him to miss this!!!

1 mom found this helpful

Don't set him up for failure, Encourage him to stay up by your face and tell him this is part of being a daddy, remember "in sickness and health" Ask him real nice to at least try to stay by you, but bring a back up person incase. FYI I am sure he will not be the last daddy to faint in the delivery room!

1 mom found this helpful

Hi when are you due? I am a Doula I think It would be good to hire a Doula. To help support you, & your husband. I think with lots of extra care & your own husbands inner strength you both might be surprised at his strength.. Some delivery are more messy then others. But I think if The Doula nursing staff, & doctor know ahead of time, About his reaction to blood it can try to be avoided. I'm sure the Doula and staff can help you with sheliding him of most blood. if he did decide he couldn't handle it. the doula would still be with you. I dont believe anything would cause him problems till the delivery.
he can always leave the room for exams.

Good Luck, & God blessings to your growing family :)

D.

1 mom found this helpful

You might want to hire a doula. My sister just became a doula and she is currently looking for expecting mothers. She is willing to attend her first three births free of charge. If this of interest to you, please message me.

1 mom found this helpful

I loved having a doula at my birth, not only did she take wonderful care of me, but she took excellent care of my mother and husband as well. She made sure they were eating and resting which made them stronger and in a better place to support me. I've never felt so loved and supported and both my mom and hubby agree, we wouldn't try to do baby #2 without a doula. Not to mention how helpful it is to have an advocate who knows the ropes both while laboring at home and the hospital. They know when it's time to go to the hospital so you don't get there too early or too late and in my case, I'm certain she was the main person that prevented me from having unwanted pitocin or a c-section. My labor was long, difficult, and going nowhere fast (baby was 10 days late and labor was 38 hours) so all the hospital staff wanted to induce or operate but thanks to my doula I was able to stick to my birth plan and get the birth I wanted. All this to say, I think a doula is a fantastic choice even if your husband had no fear of blood or hospitals! As he does, you can use all the extra support you can get!

1 mom found this helpful

Hire a doula! Doulas are so helpful--worth every penny!!

I think you and your hubby will be surprised at his strength during labor.

1 mom found this helpful

Everyone here is suggesting a doula, and I second that absolutely--as well as one or two very close friends IF they know about birth themselves and can keep themselves out of the process. You do not need a bunch of "needy" people there, but real, loving support to take care of YOUR needs. Do not be afraid of being "selfish"--it is one time when it would be selfish NOT to ask for what you need, because it is you doing the work of bringing a new life to the planet.

That said, one wonderful aspect of having a trained doula there, is that part of her job will be to support your husband and help him know how best to support you. Her presence alone will often be just what is needed to give him the courage to hold your hands, massage your back, whisper encouraging words--in other words, be so focused on you and confident that he is doing the right thing (because the trained doula told him so) that he forgets about himself and his squeamishness. And if, in the end, he just simply cannot overcome it, the doula will have a graceful and supportive way of allowing him to exit--still ensuring that you have the support you need.

Updated

Everyone here is suggesting a doula, and I second that absolutely--as well as one or two very close friends IF they know about birth themselves and can keep themselves out of the process. You do not need a bunch of "needy" people there, but real, loving support to take care of YOUR needs. Do not be afraid of being "selfish"--it is one time when it would be selfish NOT to ask for what you need, because it is you doing the work of bringing a new life to the planet.

That said, one wonderful aspect of having a trained doula there, is that part of her job will be to support your husband and help him know how best to support you. Her presence alone will often be just what is needed to give him the courage to hold your hands, massage your back, whisper encouraging words--in other words, be so focused on you and confident that he is doing the right thing (because the trained doula told him so) that he forgets about himself and his squeamishness. And if, in the end, he just simply cannot overcome it, the doula will have a graceful and supportive way of allowing him to exit--still ensuring that you have the support you need.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi S.,
My response may be too late - maybe you've already had the baby? If so, congrats!
If not ... my son has the same issue. His condition was quite severe and caused secondary seizures. His cardiologist prescribed a blood pressure medication that raises his blood pressure (his was very low) enough that he wouldn't pass out when the trigger occurred.
I know how important it is for the two of you to be together during the birth of your child. So, it might be worth asking his doctor - who knows they might be able to control it long enough that he could be there with you.
Best to your family!
K.

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Get a doula. She'll help him feel more secure, will help him help you and you will have professional support (professional emotional , informative , physical support) whether if faints or not.

1 mom found this helpful

My husband made it through the first one and we just had our second one which he was not there for. I understood why he was not there (he does not like needles and I had to have an emergency c-section). My mom was in the room with me but if she could not be I would have asked a friend or if you are early enough along I would check out a few doula's and see if you like any of the. I also had a great labor and delivery nurse who stayed with me the whole time.

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My husband also has this problem. it is called the Vagal Response. It mainly bothers him when seeing his OWN blood, but he did have to get a Coke during my first delivery. Our daughter also has it. It is not something they can control, but is worse when worried or hungry. Your husband should at least try to be there, or he will probably forever regret not at least trying. He might do just fine, as mine did. He could sit in a chair and if he does pass out, it will be OK and they may be able to bring him to and he could be just fine after that. Best wishes!

1 mom found this helpful

Congrats! When are you due? If you have a little while you may try to prepare your husband for the delivery. I would think that he could focus on something else but the delivery like you and be able to make it. My brother-in-law just focused on my sister the entire time and he was just fine, but he swore to himself and to my sister that he wouldn't miss the delivery for anything in the world. Good luck sounds like you have your hands full! I'm happy that my husband isn't like that and says he will be there for the whole thing.

1 mom found this helpful

I would seriously get a movie about birth both vaginal and c-section and have him watch it now a few times to get use to the whole process then I would have him stay by your head the entire time of birth and make sure eats! Good Luck!

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You would be surprised at how he will do being his own child. Dad's can overcome a lot when they are in awe of their little one being born. Just don't worry about it and go with what comes along. Maybe the nurse can put a sheet up so all he can see is your face so he doesn't have anything to get squeamish over.. I am sure he isn't the first one to have these sight of blood/pass out issues.

I smell a lab and get light headed but try to focus on something across the room when I have to give blood and it helps a lot even though I feel nausea and feel like if they don't hurry up I will pass out but I haven't passed out yet because it is quick and over with before I get to that point however I have never donated blood because I know that is a slower process and I would not be able to handle sitting there that long. I did not have any problems when having my kids. I just focused on the childbirth process and how exciting it will be to hold that baby and didn't think of anything else.

Good luck and just talk to the dr and nurses about your concerns for your husband and they probably have ways to help him make it through this exciting special time.

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Hi - I see you have a ton of answers, but here's my two cents. If your husband really wants to be there, have him go to the classes and watch the movies like others suggested. He could also talk to his doctor about it - maybe they could give him something to take for his anxiety on the day of the birth or recommend a counselor or psychologist who could set up a plan to desensitize him so he can work up to actually watching a birth on tape (without fainting or freaking out) and then be there for you in the delivery room. It doesn't mean he's crazy - it's a normal reaction to be a little afraid, but if he really wants to be there, I think a counselor could help.

I would have a back-up person just in case no matter how great your husband is with blood. I don't think I could gross-out my husband if I tried, but I still arranged for his sister (who has had three kids and who is strong and nice!) to be at the hospital with us just in case. From what I know about doulas, they can also help coach your husband so that might be a good plan.

1 mom found this helpful

My husband has the exact same issue. I hired a doula, and it was great, not just to distract my husband, but she was an expert who could advocate and help me when I was in a very scary and vulnerable place! If I'd had a girl, I would have named her after my doula!!

1 mom found this helpful

I'm a fainter and my daughter looks to be one too. When she passed out at school, a friend tipped me off that it's the vagus nerve that causes the fainting. Tell you're husband its a biological thing and he's not a wimp! Read up on it, you both may find some comfort understanding it. Here's one excerpt from a quick Google on it:

Most fainting is triggered by the vagus nerve. It connects the digestive system to the brain, and it's job is to manage blood flow to the gut. When food enters the system, the vagus nerve directs blood to the stomach and intestines, pulling it from other body tissues, including the brain. Unfortunately, the vagus nerve can get a little too excited and pull too much blood from the brain. Some things make it work harder, such as bearing down to have a bowel movement, or vomiting. Conditions that drop blood pressure amplify the effects of the vagus nerve.

Folks who are prone to this commonly begin fainting at around 13 years old and continue for the rest of their lives. Fainting usually follows a pattern. The victim will feel flush (warm or hot are also common feelings) followed by sudden weakness and loss of consciousness. They'll go limp and often break out in a sweat. Victims who are standing when they faint, or "pass out," will collapse to the ground. In some folks with a hyper vagus nerve, stimulating it causes the heart to slow drastically. However, once the victim actually passes out, the vagus nerve stops doing its thing, and the victim's heart begins to speed up in order to fix the low blood pressure.

Good luck with your delivery, hope this helps you to understand better what's happening so you can make a sound decision!

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i'm going to look really ignorant here, because i had a c-section, but can't they put up a sheet or something so that he doesn't have to see? or can't he just like shield his eyes somehow? sit facing towards the back of the room or something...? i don't know...wish i was more help!

I get woozy with blood, childbirth, medical talk myself so I totally understand his fears. However he's probably going to be so preoccupied with you and the emotional momentum of the event that he'll weather this better than he expects to. It's OK if he leaves the room before the epidural and chooses not to watch anything going on with your "business end." My hubby hates blood too, but got brave enough to watch from the doctor's side when our son was born and he was fine (he couldn't handle needles, tho, so he walked away during the epidural and the IV insertions.) Going into it I was way more worried that I would pass out but I never got woozy. ... all this said, you should still talk in advance w/ your OB/GYN about your hubby and see what suggestions she has. A doula is a great idea. And just make sure any nurses, etc., who are in delivery room with you know to keep an eye on your husband. If he starts to feel faint he can lie down on the floor, raise his feet, or if there's a couch in the hallway where he can escape to he may feel a greater sense of control and therefore less likely to actually end up faint. Have a cold bottle of water and an ice pack available for him -- if he sips cold water and presses the cold pack to his face and neck occasionally it will help him fight off any slight wooziness (peppermints to suck on might help, too -- they make you feel a bit more alert.) Encourage him to do what he can without forcing things too much. if he completely misses the birth of his child he may regret that forever. Good luck.

Oh my goodness. I'm not alone!! My boyfriend doesn't faint easily but he fainted when our son was born lol

Hi,

I think you need someone who can be strong for you during your labor and delivery. If that can't be your husband then find someone else (a doula or friend). You shouldn't have to be focusing on anything but yourself during that time. And remember, the delivery itself can be a small portion of the whole laboring time so hopefully he'll be strong enough to support you leading up to the delivery. I wouldn't set him up for failure and if this is how he is, please accept it. I know a lot of women who hold onto regrets from their delivery for a long time (didn't want drugs, etc) and I wouldn't want you to hold this against him if this is just how he is.

Good luck and hopefully he'll surprise you and himself and be just fine!

D.

It might be best to find a close friend or relative to be there for you. My husband has a feeling he just may faint himself (at the hospital we are delivering at all the chairs & lights face where the main action will be at..) He is just going to sit up by my head, holding my hand looking at me. He's not even sure he'll be strong enough to cut the cord but we're gonna play it by ear.

We hired a doula for the birth of our first child. She was wonderful and gave us a lot of advise, calming words, back rubs, etc. But most health insurances do not cover doulas, so that would be out of your own pocket. If you can't do that financially, do not fear-- most maternity nurses are WONDERFUL and focus on you while finding ways your husband can help. And like you, I hired a doula because my husband is queasy and didn't think he'd fare well during the delivery. But in this stressful situation, their minds can often overcome their bodies and they do well. My husband was a trooper and insisted on watching the entire thing and never faltered. Have faith and I'm sure your husband will step up!

Good Morning S., Wow you have a dilemma in deed. If your positive your Hubby can't handle it ask a close friend, cousin, sister, sister in law, to be with you. Hopefully hubby will be in the waiting room and won't pass out there. He might want to check with his Dr. to see if there is anything OTC that can help him.
I was blessed to watch our 3 oldest gr kids born, cut the cord on Asher. Our last two DIL only wanted our son with her only, but were able to stand behind a curtain then take both of their pictures when placed in the layette.

Definitely look for a close friend to help you. I would if I were there in a heartbeat. Nothing more amazing or exciting as welcoming a baby into the world.

God Bless you S.
K. Nana of 5
PS Ut Oh, what hubby gonna do with poopy diapers, spit up or skinned knees?

I can understand your situation very well. My husband is/was the same way .. he fainted and even was almost going to vomit because he felt sick during the first one. And for the second one, since I had no help, he came to see me before the C-section and was on the floor as soon as he saw the epidural and the IV and stuff.

I wish I can help you .. I know how hard it is to be just by yourself and the hubby is fainting on you (I was so upset and mad during my first delivery, but I knew better when I went through it the second time)...if you live closer to me, feel free to contact me and I will try what I can to help you.

Take Care ..

It's funny, because not all that long ago, many women chose to forego any type of audience(minus a close female relative) all together. When I had my 1st, my husband was instructed that he should go have lunch, we could be there for hours. Well, my labor progressed quite rapidly, and within 10-15 minutes, the doctor/nurses were suiting up frantically and preparing to deliver my son. My husband and I agreed that he would be there, which posed no issues whatsoever. "Do you know where your husband smokes?!" my doctor asked, "We need to page him", then she asked if I wanted anyone to call my mother. I answered "no" and "for what?!", respectively. My husband did make it in time, but, being in the throes of active labor, I can tell you that I had to muster up as much niceness as I could stand at that moment and tell him to please stop touching me. Maybe I am just old-school, but the doula thing kinda seems weird for me, but trust me, when the time comes, you will be so focused on getting the job done that you're not going to care if a spaceship lands in the delivery room! If it would ease your first time nervousness(as it does for most, if not all) that someone be there, try a family member or friend, as most hospitals will tell you straight out that if hubby's at risk for fainting, then he should sit it out in the waiting room, as they are NOT equipped, staffed, or willing even, to deal with that sort of thing. I am 39 weeks pregnant with my second child to my second husband, and in all honesty, I'm glad he will experience the birth of his daughter, but I really am 'allowing' him to be there because he wants to be, because otherwise, I would just want to be left alone. If all else fails, try to remember this: You don't really NEED anyone, women have been having babies since the beginning of time. Whatever you decide, as a woman, you were born with the innate ability to have a baby, nothing in the world is more natural, do what sets your mind at ease, but you are perfectly able to bring your little one into this world singlehandedly and beautifully-good luck!

This is why women have the babies!! My husband hit the deck at the delivery of our first son!!! I was having an epidural, sitting up on the side of the bed, he was holding my hand...turned white, went clammy and then out he went! I guess he saw the needle!!! All the anethetist could tell me was don't move, he will be fine! Hence, second time...he boldly said to my sister....if anyone has to go in....YOU do it. Needless to say - I had baby by c-section again, they got to the hospital 5 minutes after he was born. It was a breeze for me.

I wasn't worried about my husband fainting, but I was worried that he would be able to be there for the birth of our first child because we had to live in separate states for the last half of that pregnancy. Because he couldn't be there for the childbirth classes I took, I asked a good friend to go through the classes with me and to be there for the delivery, regardless of whether my husband made it. He did make it (with a few days to spare!), but it was great to have someone there who knew more of what to expect. (My husband wasn't the most supportive--he didn't realize how distracting it was for him to ask me if I was sure I didn't want drgs inthe middle of contractions! He has done much, much better with the births of our 2nd and 3rd children!) So my suggestion would be to have a good friend be there with you, and she doesn't even have to be a friend whose had a baby!

Hire a doula! They are awesome & they will try to incorporate your husband as much as he is able. There are so many techniques that your husband will still be able to be a part of and she can show you those. She can also be that rock that you need during labor. Together you can build your birth plan and she helps carry your wishes out. Sometimes nurses aren't familiar with your likes & dislikes w/regards to your labor and your doula will help communicate those and standby your decisions. My mother is a doula and if you would like more information or her contact information, please message me. She is awesome & I know many people couldn't have stuck to their birth plans without her! Good luck!

Hi there! I know what you mean. My husband also had issues with this- I let him squeeze my hand whenever he needs shots or anything. I decided to hire a doula- which overall was a good experience due to the preparation she provided. Just to provide put a point on it- birth is not a process you can plan completely. In my case, due to unfortunate circumstances the doula didn't make it (combo of inexperience and relatively quick birth) & my husband ended up doing quite a bit. I was proud of how well he did (considering)! However, he was sick for days afterward from the stress of it all.

I would really recommend the doula and having your friends on standby. Ask if you can call them day or night. Also, meet the hospital staff- my hospital has really great, supportive nurses in the delivery wing. That's another resource for you! Best of luck.

PS- For the record, I'm due in May and am going with a Midwife this time. I want and experienced professional committed to being there with me.

Ha! My husband passed out not during the delivery but during the epidural! The good thing is that the nurses stepped right in and took over for him. Leading up to our due date I had a feeling that he would pass out at some point and turns out I was right. You may consider having a close family member or friend be there as a back-up but he shouldn't be denied the opportunity to be there. He may just hang in there. If you don't have someone in mind, a Doula would be a good option. They are there to help and know all of the coping mechanisms and certainly know how to keep a level head no matter what happens. Good luck to both of you!

I think both you and he will be surprised how he will come through. Plus I think he will be glad that he pushed himself to be at the birth of his child and to be with his wife that needs him. If he doesn’t participate, what’s the next thing he’ll get another free pass on and have you accountable by yourself. God forbid, your child is sick and needs medical care. Is he going to tell that child, sorry it’s uncomfortable for me and crush has child’s feelings? Birthing is just the beginning of parenthood and the things he needs to do that may be uncomfortable. I strongly believe that he should be there for you! He doesn’t need to look anywhere but by your face. Plus that will desensitize him if you decide to have a second child.

Your story reminded me of my own. He would always faint when giving blood and he also fainted at the alter when we got married. As it turns he was diagnosed with esophageal cancer when I was 8 months pregnant. He had surgery when I was 9 months pregnant. (I was late.) He even fainted when he was getting prepped for his own surgery and he got an epidural. He was still hospitalized when I was induced and they went upstairs to his hospital room and helped him change from his hospital gown to scrubs and so he could be with me during my C-section. I thought for sure he would faint, but he did absolutely fine even being a surgical patient himself. (His surgery was 8 hrs and he was hospitalized for 13 days.) He came through it fine and I think your husband will too.

Hi S., I'd pick a friend to go in with you if you have one you trust and you know will be a good support for you. If not, find a dula. Have hubby go in, he may surprise you since this is his child. And warn the doctor and nurses that hubby may faint. If he does the nurses can move him and go on with your delivery. Good luck and God Bless!

Okay, as a nurse in the OB area, I just want to say, if he wants to be there fine, but knowing his issues, make sure he sits down because we are there for YOU and really don't have much time to mess with someone on the floor. I've never actually seen someone go down, but it's usually because we can tell when they aren't feeling well and we make them sit. I'd recommend picking a trusted friend to be your support person during the delivery- because he wouldn't be much of a support on the floor... Do the doctor and nurses a favor with that one. If you really want him there, just make sure there's a good solid chair for him to sit in. That's my advice.

if money is an issue, you can often find a doula-in-training who needs experience and will do it for free.

My DH is the same exact way. He stayed in the waiting room and came in to check on me from time to time. But when it came down to it, my mom sat with me while I pushed and pushed and nothing happened. My daughter wasn't budging from my warm womb. It was time for a C-section. I went in on my own because obviously, my DH couldn't handle it and I don't think my mom could handle it either. So I went in on my own. The nurses and doctors were great, though! You'd be surprised how supportive they are when you're in there on your own. I was totally fine with it, too! But if you have a girlfriend willing to do it with you, I would totally vote for that. I think a good friend is better than hiring a doula...save your money! My SIL got scammed by a doula. It wasn't a good situation. It'll all work out, don't worry!

My husband was ok with blood, but he just didn't want to see anything "down there" for fear of it affecting our sex life later on. :) He didn't even want to be in the delivery room, but I told him that wasn't an option. He stayed by my head the whole time and even faced the opposite direction (toward my head) during the delivery.

The hospital where I delivered (St. Elizabeth's in Belleville, IL) had free doulas and I loved the experience. Mine was so helpful and was able to totally get rid of my back labor pain which made everything much more bearable. With her help I was able to have a natural labor with no meds, so I would definitely recommend a doula. They are knowledgable about positions and breathing techniques to ease pain and speed the labor process along. Check with your hospital or OB to see if they have ones to recommend.

If you pick a friend, be sure it is someone who has had a labor experience similar to the one you want. Women tend to push their experience on others (like I just did above), and you won't want someone telling you to do it like she did it when you're in the delivery room.

Wish you the best!

Remove the stress from him and get a doula or use a best friend or another family member. Doula's can be helpful even if you have an involved father. they have a large knowledge base that can be used. Your going to be in a lot of pain and not thinking too clearly, you need someone who knows what you want and understands the mumbo jumbo the doc, nurses and even worse, your anesthesiologist will be throwing at you. Birth and Delivery is a very different time. Our heads sort of get into a "get the job done" mode that helps you get past the embarrassment of having your nether regions exposed for anyone to see. And dads do the same thing. His issue may be a problem, and then again, when the moment comes, it may not. Love him either way.

My hubby didn't want to be anywhere near the delivery room but stayed anyway. Now he thinks I'm a viking woman but he also tells everyone he cut the cord with his teeth!!! AAAAGGGHHHRRRAAAA! MEN!

A good friend or doula either one will work, but you might talk to the staff where you will be delving..I worked in OB for yrs and you might be surprised you hubby wouldn't be the first to faint. The gals and guys that work on the floor may have some suggestions for you as well...good luck.

I think finding a Douala is a great idea. When interviewing them, let them know up front why you are searching a Douala. I'm sure there are a few that have dealt with this issue and have experience on how to help not only you but your husband during labor and birth.

Wow, you got tons of responses!! I didn't read all of them so this might be repeated but I would absolutely hire a doula. My first child was an emergency c-section so for my second child I hired a doula. My husband isn't afraid of blood or faints but when I was in labor and was hurting, it was really hard on him and he felt really helpless. With the doula, he still felt helpless, but it alliviated the stress because he wasn't the only person there to support me, and the doula knew what was supossed to happen next, and how to keep me focused, and ways to minimize the pain and make me comfortable. I had the delivery that I wanted, and my husband was able to be there and not stressed.

Good Luck!
S.

Again, I may be too late, but I knew my husband wouldn't make it through to the birth, so I had my best friend and mom with me. Unfortunately, due to the length of my labor and their inexperience, they were so exhausted by the time it came to push, that they couldn't actually help and I was too exhausted to do any more causing me to go into a c-section. Because of this, I would recommend hiring a doula, someone who is experienced in this kind of thing. They will be there with you the whole time and if you want her there in addition to another person close to you, they will make sure the other person takes breaks and not get too exhausted, etc. When I helped my girlfriend through labor, I was there with her husband, mom and two other close friends. While me and the husband were there the whole time, the other relatives/friends helped us by letting us take breaks. Let me tell you, it takes a village! So if you're comfortable with it, hire a doula, or have close friends/family members rotate through helping you in labor.

Hey, when I had my first child, I had 2 of my best friends with me and when I finally have my second, I have to have a c-section, due to problems in my first delivery, and we're scheduling it so my best friend can be with me. She took the birthing classes with me, though my husband wants to do them again because he feels like he missed something, she is my rock. If you don't have a friend you feel comfortable with, they will see EVERYTHING, mine held one leg up and then the doctor let her dissect my placenta (we're both scientists), hire a doula, just make sure you're comfortable with them. Congrats.

My husband doesn't do good with blood either. He was in the room along with my mom for the first one. He stayed all the way until it was time to push and he just couldn't handle it. My Dr looked at him and said "You look a little green and your bigger than me, so I think you should step outside of the room for this." My mom was with me all the way. My Dr went and got him as soon as I was all stitched up. For my second my husband left when the nurse asked him if he wanted to see the baby's head poking out.

My mom was with me with both deliveries. It kind of stinks that he missed the deliveries...but he was wonderful with taking care of me before and after delivery and has been a WONDERFUL father since then. In the end that's all that matters.

I had my son 1950s style and I would not change it for the world. I had a Dr and Nurse in the room with me and that was it. My husband paced the floor outside in the waiting room. The nurse was great support and I cut the cord myself. My husband was invited back in a little after our son was born. Of course, if you want someone with you, invite someone. Just wanted to share that you could really have a great experience without anyone you know in the room watching the whole birth.

Hi S.! Congrats on your upcoming baby. I would vote for pick a friend. I had a great friend that acted as my birth coach when I had my little girl 7 months ago. I needed someone that would do just want I wanted and be strong for me. I knew that my little girl's father is sometimes stubborn and emotional and I needed someone that would be all about doing what I wanted. It all worked out great! It was also a chance for my friend, who is never planning to have kids, to experience the birthing process and it made us so close! Best of luck!!

My husband doesn't handle things like that very well either and he kept saying he could not handle being in the delivery room but he ended up amazing himself and me and did fine. Our hospital allowed people in the room during labor but said that only two could be in the room during delivery but I did end up having my husband, mom and mil to help. So like someone else said have your husband, and a dula or close friends be there to help during delivery. Also, he or whoever you have helping you will be up by you to hlep you push and to help count for you. Hang in there and when it comes down to the end he wouldn't want to miss it for the world. Congrats on your upcoming arrival of your little one.

Well either he can sit up by your head and stay focused on your face or he might be able to sit behind you and be able to massage your neck and back during the pain. so long as he doesn't move down by your legs he won't really be able to see anything. Most hospitals make sure a blanket is up so that there is a minimal amount seen. Also have a friend, relative or a doula just incase he can't handle it. although it may amaze the both of you what a person can overcome when it comes to their child. also the deivery floor is usually a little more friendly than the rest of the hospital so it may help ease some of his anxiety if the two of you take a brief tour of the delivery unit.

I also did not read all the responses (you got a lot of them!). My husband is the same way. He didn't faint at either of the births, but he definitely was not in a position to help me fully in the way that I needed. A little like a deer caught in the headlights. I had a fabulous doula who supported us both, and really helped him to step up to the plate when and how he felt comfortable. A lot of it too was preparation. Of course, if this is your first, you don't know exactly what to expect. But maybe tell him what I told my husband just before baby #2 was born...I told him I will make noises, and that it's totally normal. But that I am OKAY--I may not talk much, because I need to get in my zone. But that he will definitely know if I suddenly am NOT okay--I will definitely let everyone know in no uncertain terms! Good luck. If I were you, I'd get a doula who will work with him just as much as she will work with you to prepare for the big day!

Updated

I also did not read all the responses (you got a lot of them!). My husband is the same way. He didn't faint at either of the births, but he definitely was not in a position to help me fully in the way that I needed. A little like a deer caught in the headlights. I had a fabulous doula who supported us both, and really helped him to step up to the plate when and how he felt comfortable. A lot of it too was preparation. Of course, if this is your first, you don't know exactly what to expect. But maybe tell him what I told my husband just before baby #2 was born...I told him I will make noises, and that it's totally normal. But that I am OKAY--I may not talk much, because I need to get in my zone. But that he will definitely know if I suddenly am NOT okay--I will definitely let everyone know in no uncertain terms! Good luck. If I were you, I'd get a doula who will work with him just as much as she will work with you to prepare for the big day!

Just to clarify, a doula does not replace your husband. She is there as much for the husband and can encourage him to get involved. The husbands are usually the biggest supporter for a doula after their experience, because they see how much it helps the dad too. It is more like a team of three rather than a doula taking over.
A doula has a lot of experience and can give you confidence as a result. I have not met anyone who has had a doula who had a bad experience.

I see the overwhelming majority is voting for a doula. I think that's great. However, a calm and rational friend can do just as well. It sounds like you understand the people around you well enough to make a good choice. Make sure they go through the birth training with you AND Daddy (just find out which night they might be showing videos and leave him home that night). He should know what to do until help arrives. Labor is a long process, so he might be able to be there up to time for delivery. And remember, lots of dads can't be at their childrens' births for various reasons; it does not diminsh their importance one bit. If he's at that much of a risk for fainting during delivery, better safe than sorry. There are some horror stories out there about dads fainting. Not funny stuff. And you don't need to be focused on how he's doing while delivering a baby.

Best wishes!

When we had my daughter 9 years ago, we hired a doula for this very reason. My husband doesn't give blood, gets woosie at the sight of blood and was sure he would faint. Our doula was AWESOME! I think we paid $500 and she got to our townhome and labored with me from 10:00 pm on 7/10 until 3:00am 7/11 when I decided it was time to go to the hospital. We got there, and she was there with us until I had our daughter at 12:57 AM on 7/12 and stayed with us until our daughter was settled into our room with me at 4:00 that morning. When you figure it on a per hour basis, she was with us just for the labor/ delivery for 30 hours, not including the times she met with us prior to going to the hospital and the followup time after the baby was born.
The other HUGE benefit of having a doula was that as I was having front and back labor, my husband was afraid to put pressure on my low back/ pelvic region for fear of hurting me- she wasn't! Also, when they ended up telling me that I would have to have the baby c-section, my husband didn't think he could do it, and the medical team allowed her to come into the OR with me during the entire thing. Meanwhile, the midwife who had been with me for the time prior to the c-section gave my husband a sandwich. He came into the OR and was there when our daughter born. I told him all he had to do was sit at my head and not watch, but he was up and watching the WHOLE thing. He took some awesome pictures of her birth. When they took her up to the nursery to get bathed and cleaned off- he went with her, the doula stayed with me, good thing too since I got sick from the anesthesia!
When our son was born 2 years ago, we were not able to get that same doula, however we had a friend who was in the OR with us and she was WONDERFUL and truly helped me with my comfort during the c-section. My hubby did great with this one too- until the circumcision came in the doctor's office a week later!
I completely support a doula, however, don't discount your husband's involvement- he may surprise you!

is this your take on the situation or your husband's?

Maybe what he needs is to just be allowed the freedom to make his choice...or to step up to the plate! You might both be surprised at what he can actually do....to become a parent. If he does chose to be out of the immediate picture, then you'll need to make the alternative choice together....that's what a relationship is all about!

Doulas are awsome! It is well worth the money, especially since you don't have a family member who can be a coach and support person. do meet and interview several though so you find someone who is a good fit. That way the doula can do the main work and you husband will be able to do as much as he is comfortable with but without the pressure on him.

Honestly, most men feel like this before the birth of their first child. It's completely normal, honestly. The chances are he'll be absolutely fine, even with his squeamish history! Also, the nurses are SO used to the dads being the ones who tend to make the most fuss - they're equipped to handle them well and ensure everyone has as good an experience as possible.

Please don't think of hiring anybody else as your hubby's stand in - reassure him that the hospital are used to this sort of thing and you so want and need him there. Good luck - and enjoy!

Updated

My best friens'd BF had the same issue. She wanted the procedure video taped so her BF and I both went into delivery with her. He was not allowed to move down past her shoulders and kept his eyes on her at all times. I video taped. There was a chair in the room so we moved it up by her head just in case he needed to sit down. It all worked out and everyone remained conscious. The BF and I both took Lamaz classes with my best friend so we were both prepared. Ask one of your friends to come as a back up in case your hubby can't do it. Good luck and congratulations on your new bundle of joy!

DOULA! DOULA! DOULA! I didn't get to do that because we were strapped for cash so I was stuck with my stinky ol' husband! (j/k) but I would have loved a trained and experienced professional with a few tricks up her sleeve to make the whole process go more smoothly. Don't get all hung up on the media hype that having your husband there is so great. I had my mom, a mother of six who would NEVER have IMAGINED having her HUSBAND (of all things) in the delivery room with her, and my husband and a delivery nurse there for the majority of my delivery and none of them knew that the baby was stuck on my pelvic bone and I had a better chance of pushing my eyeballs out of their sockets than I did getting the baby out of the birth canal! A doula might have had some insight.
Good luck with your decision.

Hi S.,
A doula can be a great addition to your birth team and can help to get your husband involved too. It's fine to ask an experienced friend to be your birth coach, but it may be hard for someone else to make that 24/7 commitment, and a doula will be able to.

Also, dont' count hubby out of the picture. Take a good quality birthing class like Bradley, HypnoBirthing or Birthing From Within. He may feel more comfortable as he learns about birth and when he learns that he has a role. Remember that most of childbirth is not bloody, that happens once the baby emerges. You may have 10, 15, 20 hours of labor before the birth, where he can be supporting you. Take a good quality independent class where he will learn what to do for a laboring woman (he will have more to do if you are not using medication, and you will have less medical equipment that may make him nervous when you avoid drugs). If he's busy actively coaching you rather than just sitting and watching, he will likely be less nervous.
Also, he really needs to get past his queasiness about blood, etc - he is going to be a father and can't freak out when his child needs to go to the doctor, gets a boo boo, etc.
Good luck

I stood in for my brother when my niece was born. He didnt do so well when his first was born so we knew there was no way he would the second. She was born c-section and was the coolest thing to be on the other end of delivery for once!My brother was in the room just out of sight of what was going on, and he saw her right away.

I'd say both. Have a doula, someone that you are hiring (so it's their job to be there), that knows the process (not just the birth, but the hospital procedure). And have a friend or 2. You will likely welcome all the support you can get.
To me, it's more about having the best support possible--and usually that's women, especially one's that have birth experience. No matter how great a hubby is, he will not understand labor (many first time mom's don't either, most haven't seen a birth in person and videos just don't do it justice!). I very often see/hear husbands needing the support of a doula during labor, it can be a long process and from the outside it can just look like their wife is in a lot of pain and that they can't do anything about it. For most men, I don't think it's really fair to expect them to be the main support during a birth (at least the first time). I'm sure plenty of men do a great job but it's not something i'd count on, especially one who is already squimish.
Personally, I was totally oblivious to who was around me once my labor got active. I was holding hands but didn't know who's. My husband was useful, for his physical strength. :-) We also had a homebirth, he was just glad to avoid being in a hospital. I also think being on our own turf made it easier on him, and the fact that there were 4 other women around the whole time that were ready to do whatever.
And if he is there, it could negatively affect your labor if you are worried about him. You will need ALL your focus to be on you.
So basically, he shouldn't feel bad if he can't do it and you shouldn't feel like he has to be there. And regardless of where he is, have a doula and a friend anyway.

S.-
First off please let your hubby at least try to be there. If you don't you may always wonder if he could have been. My hubby is a very strong person but with our second one he did pass out when he saw the epidural needle. You know what? The nurses were ready and helped him and the show went on. So what if you husband faints?? Since you are aware of the possibility you can prepare for it. Have another backup with help, but unless he really feels strongly about not being present, don't rob him of the possible chance to make it work. From my experience with all three kids... those first few moments are the most precious for bonding and love. This is his child as well...make a few exceptions for him too!

My friend's husband is the same way. She is a critical care nurse and can't tell him about her day without him almost either fainting or throwing up. LOL He struggled during their two children's births but he managed. He just gagged occasionally I think she said. LOL!!

My husband actually fainted during my contractions!!!! He was trying to help me and probably locked his knees, and a combination of stress and not much to eat for a while, took it's toll on him. Anyways he ended up alright and was very helpful after that. But I would definitely recommend having a doula, and possibly a friend there too. If you are planning to go natural, like I did, the support is really needed. I was so glad I had two people there with me through the whole thing. Good-luck, you can do it!
K.

Hi S.,

Does your hubby want to try and go in with you? He can always stay up by your head and not watch the actual birth. BUT if he won't be any help for you and he makes it more stressful then it needs to be, I think I would take my best friend with me!

Have a discussion with DH and find out exactly what he is thinking, so there are no hurt feelings or misunderstandings, and then go from there.

Things are a lot different now then when I had babies. When my Granddaughter was born my daughters and I were all in their with their sister, as well as her hubby.

Try not to stress too much over all of it, I think once you have a good discussion with hubby it will all work out.

Good luck!

N.

S., I fainted when I thought my younger son was lost in Japan. I had waited hours and was beside myself, and my husband went to the police station to try to speak in his tiny bit of Japanese to the officer about my son. David walked off the elevator, and I took one look at this 12 year old and fainted right onto the floor. It scared me that I did that - I had only fainted two other times before. (That was before peri-menopause hit, and now I feel fainty regularly, I'm sorry to report! LOL!) I went to the doctor to make sure there wasn't something seriously wrong, and the doctor told me I have the same problem that the other ladies have mentioned here - a vasalvagel response to extreme stress. (http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/vasovagal-syncope/ds00806) I had never heard of that before, but I understand it now. Cecilia gives you a very good explanation below. IT IS NOT something your husband can help, no matter how many EMT courses he would take, as has been suggested on this thread. It is wonderful that you are understanding of your husband's nature and realize that not all men can be strong of stomach in the face of blood, guts and gore. It does no good for people to make fun of and say rude things about people who can't handle this part of life, and no one needs to be making fun of your husband on this thread. If he faints, he cannot help it. I can't believe Tanya said he needs to get over himself. Wow.

A doula or best friend - you pick. (You know your best friend best.) Alert everyone on your staff what your husband goes through so that they aren't caught by surprise. (Just don't say it in front of him.) Make sure he eats before he comes in and tell him in advance that at the first sign of feeling bad, to stop whatever he's doing and put his head down. Trying to walk to the bathroom is always a bad idea when one feels nauseous and faint. (People always seem to do that, and end up fainting on the way to the bathroom.) Also have an empty trash can beside him in case he were to vomit.

And, S., if he can't stay in the delivery room, don't hold it against him. There will be so much more as a father that he can excel at other than this. Providing for his baby, loving and holding him or her, teaching them as they grow and being there for them as a daddy, regardless of fainting spells, is what is really important.

All my best to you both!
D.

Mine doesn't faint, but he does get very anxious about the whole process. This is what I did with my second and I loved it! I had my mom and my best friend at the hospital with me until I was getting close to the end, then I called him at home and he came down. He was there for the last hour or so, and he did stay in for both births and ended up doing much better than expected, and glad he didn't miss it. He even cut the cord on our second baby. If you have someone else for your "support system" and your husband knows he can walk out the door anytime he needs to it might make him feel a little better. Just remind him it is a once in a lifetime experience, and missing the birth of his child may make him feel worse in the end than feeling like he will pass out. But everyone is different - I have one friend with 3 kids and I don't think her DH has been at the hospital when any of them were born. Good luck either way - I know YOU will have to be there :-)

I don't know childbirth is such an amazing thing and if this is your first baby I would make him be there because he will miss out on such an amazing experience hire a stanger to get you thru pain it is like super bad cramps that just need to pass. A close friend is a good idea but you'll be fine just breathe breathe breathe. There is blood but the baby has been living in it for a while wait till he sees the placenta looks like liver. LoL I'm just kidding tell hime he will miss out if he's not there. good luck to you and your baby and your hubby

Pick a doula that you and your hubby both like. Hopefully she can talk him into staying in the room - tell him to just stay by your head and hold your hand. The doula can do the tougher parts! :)

Unless you are having a home delivery, you will be quite alright with the nurses and your doctor. I had two children back in the days when husbands weren't allowed in delivery, and my hubby liked that just fine! I was with my daughter during her 11 1/2 hours' labor and delivery. It was tough on me who had been through it myself, so I can understand if a few men can't deal with it. In other civilizations, the men weren't around, either. It's something that has come about in our touchy-feely era.

Maybe if you sign a release they will let you have it videoed and he can still watch it later if he is not able to be there.

I hear great things about doulas, so if it will give you peace of mind, hire one. However, you may be surprised at what your husband can do in the heat of the moment. Both my husband and I are bad with needles and blood, etc. We were worried he would faint, too, and I told him he could stand by my head. But you never know what might happen. I have friends whose husbands had to help hold a leg or something. With us, I ended up having a C-section, and with the curtain, we didn't expect any issues with seeing anything, but at the last second the dr. said he could take pictures if he wanted to, but he had to decide instantly and didn't have time to think about it. He saw A LOT more blood and guts than he wanted to, but was focused on the baby, and didn't realize what he'd seen until later. We were both surprised he didn't faint. I know it's hard not to worry about everything, but I bet things will work out just fine. :)

Have your best friend there. I tried to have my best friend there but she left to do something and missed my 2nd daughter being born with my first daughter i was too sick to have my best friend. Anyway your hubby will not be the first nor the last poppa to faint at the table. the nurses have these little packs they break and put under your nose to help bring you back, have a chair ready for him on one side and let your friend be on the other. But have a friend there and trust that the nurses will help him out too!

We joked that my husband was going to wear a bicycle helmet during the delivery of our first kid(his suggestion). My husband has passed out when giving blood and other times but made it through two deliveries. He actually went through the whole thing and was a champ. I had my sister standing by from the very beginning just in case but she ended up in the waiting room for 18 hours. I had a difficult delivery and somehow that helped him step up. I'm not promising anything but having a doula, a friend, AND your husband for as long as he can hold out (if he wants to) might be an option. I'd let the staff know his history and see if he's up for the bicycle hat.....:)

If your husband remembers the first time he fainted in what he perceived to be a stressful situation there is a very good chance that he could lose his too quick to faint ability with an EFT practitioner and or hypnotherapist in one, maybe two sessions. If he does not know how it started, it can be a little trickier, but still possible.
The suggestions to have another trusted someone present are excellent in any case. I am sure your husband does not enjoy this tendency and there is really no reason to live with it.
Have a safe delivery and thanks for asking for what you need,

L. Crunick

You may be very suprised! My husband is the same way but was a whole different person during the delivery. He was right there in the middle of all of it! I say to give your hubby a chance!

It sounds like your husband would sincerely want to be with you, but is afraid of what he will do. First, I'd ask my OB if there were any things they did if the father-to-be was concerned he would faint. I think the response about having your husband watch movies about childbirth is brilliant.

But, I would definitely ask a friend or hire a doula - whichever I was most comfortable with, so that your husband doesn't really have to coach you. I think he should try to be there to witness the birth of his child; and maybe if the pressure is off to coach you and someone is really helping you, he'll be able to just worry about himself and figure out how to make it through.

Good luck. Personally, looking back, I could have easily had the baby alone. The nurses were great, I remembered the class stuff better than my husband - He tried to be helpful, but I just didn't need much help. The birth of my children were a big deal - but labor and delivery were not that difficult.

I would definitely get a doula. I wish I had one. Long story, but I had first hired midwife who came with a doula, but things got ugly when she tried to take my business when I was almost 7 months pregnant (I sell cloth diapers). Even if I could have afforded to pay a second midwife, it became illegal for me to deliver at home since I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes.

My husband was really good about things, but he had no idea what was going on. I thought I was pretty well versed in things, but my labor was not textbook and the nurses were not very helpful until I was actually read to push. So, that meant I had little idea what was going on. Also, in my case, I had 5 IV bags on a pole, so even getting to the bathroom was a nightmare. I ended up choosing an epidural because I was not dilating at all after many hours of labor and because the contractions were less than a minute apart.

Then, it took longer for me to push my baby out than it shoud have (almost 2 hours). I did it with no tearing since I refused to listen to the nurse who told me to push really hard. I proved to her that doing that made my cough and choke due to my asthma. So, she let me breathe the baby out, but it would have been MUCH faster had someone been there who knew what they were doing for a more natural birth. The nurse kept saying the baby was stuck on a membrane and that is why she was 1 inch short of crowning for an hour. When she finally got unstuck and came out, she had a bruise on the back of her head. A doula would likely have realized she was stuck on bone and insisted they move me to my side or something.

So, even though I was lucky to have a really helpful student nurse in addition to my nurse and my husband, I would have been so much more relaxed if I had a doula. In addition, I think the baby would have come hours earlier because if I could have relaxed sooner I think I would have dilated sooner. I went from 1 CM dilated after 18 hours to fully dilated within 5 hours after the epidural.

If you can't afford a doula, check to see if there are student doulas near you. I was given a list of student doulas who just needed a few more births to be certified, I was just not emotionally up for finding someone at the last minute.

Does your husband want to be in there? If he does, let him. He may surprise both of you. I wasn't sure my husband would be able to do it either. But, we had four kids and he was fine every time. I think there's a difference when it's your child being born. My husband just kind of ignored all the medical stuff going on and focused on the baby being born.

My husband was the same way but was detemined to be there for the delivery. He did a therapy called EMDR (eye movement desensitization reprocessing). It is very short term, just a few sessions, and he not anly made it through my whole 24 hour labor but the c-section. He was with me every step of the way and never really felt faint. He did wear his I-pod for the C-section just to block out the doctor's talking but he was right there next to me and comforting me through the whole c-section. It was amazing. Since he was a child he would faint getting blood drawn or just thinking about certain things. It is worth looking into if he really wants to be part of the birth.

Sorry, I can't read all 94 responses, so please forgive me if I am repeating. My husband doesn't do well with blood either. He can't even watch graphic stuff on tv. I would suggest getting a doula. If you want more information on doulas let me know. (I'm not a doula, just really believe in them). That way, whatever happens, you have a very reliable person in there with you, and she can watch your husband too, to make sure that he steps out if he needs to. I can tell you about my amazing experience with a doula so you can know what to expect.

Even with the doula though, I was really impressed with my husband when it came time to the birth. He was good throughout the whole thing - even all the messy parts of labor, and when I ended up needing an emergency c-section, he was sitting with me the whole way. He even held up the camera and got a blurry shot of the baby coming out. He said that the hardest part was listening to me not push while waiting for the c-section epidural when he wasn't in the room.

Let him know that you want him to be there, as much as he can, but that you understand if he needs to step out. Having the doula may take some of the pressure off of him so that he knows you have someone there for you. But don't be surprised if he is able to handle it during this amazing experience.

Whatever happens, don't let anyone make you feel guilty about your decision. My husband doesn't do well with seeing me in pain (he gets upset if I have a headache and don't take anything for it), so we planned ahead and he was in the hall for both of my deliveries. He was there in case of emergency if I needed him, and I had my mother-in-law (with whom I have an excellent relationship!), my sister-in-law, and my best friend in delivery with me. My friend missed my second because she had her own baby by then. My family made him feel awful about not being in delivery, but as it was he was so tense he was rude to my nurses, and it would have been too awful if he had tried to stay. He is the most loving and devoted father. Some women do well hiring a doula, but since I had uncomplicated pregnancies and am pretty much indifferent to such things, I would not have cared if I didn't have anyone in delivery. I love my OB/GYN and was pretty sure that, no matter who was in the room with me, a baby would be born. Good luck!

I would make sure you have a friend there as well but honestly if it were me I would tell my husband to suck it up and stick it out with me. THe birth of your first baby is such a beautiful experience. it would really be a shame if he missed it. GIve him a xanax for his anxiety! good luck mamma

I suggest getting a doula or a friedn as a labor support person. Also, maybe even try a birthing class that gives more education on birthing and how to support each other. I used HypnoBirthing with my two children. even if you are not really looking to do natural childbirth it is still a great class that you can use life long!!!!

My husband used to faint at the sight of blood, and whenever he gave blood, or his mother was hurt, or anything else, he'd hit the ground. But he was there holding my hand when I had my first c-section, and made it through the next three as well. He found he had a lot more strength than he expected.

Your husband can be in the delivery room with you and not see any blood...really! My husband always stayed by my side to be my support. He never watched the birth, just was by my face. You could ask that the doctor and nursing staff be sensitive to this issue so he can be near you. They will clean the baby up and hand him or her to you and your little family can all be together! A doula is great to have, too, just as a back up and can advocate for both you and your husband's needs!
Don't worry, it will be great!

If I had my delivery to do again, I'd hire a doula. My husband didn't want to--he said he'd be my coach, and he did his best with the knowledge he had (when I quizzed him on my due date, he said I should start pushing when I was 5 to 6 centimeters! He must have been sleeping in class) but I had a VERY long labor and by day three, with very little sleep or food, my nerves were frazzled and the contractions were almost unbearable--I had run through all of my coping mechanisms and breathing techniques. (I didn't want pain meds which would affect the baby and I didn't want to be induced...my contractions were very strong but irregular, so progress was slow. I did get an epidural when I finally got to 5-6 centimeters) The nurses gave us absolutely no assistance with labor. If you hire a doula, then you can stop stressing, which will be good for you and for the baby. Meet with some--that will probably answer the question for you about whether you want to hire one. Good luck!

Some hospitals will let 2 people into the delivery room... pick someone your hubby & you trust to be there. But if your hubby feels he can make it - he should also be able to enter the room. WIth my first 15 yrs ago... my hubby did amost pass out. The nurses did give him a chair & he didn't really watch much of what was going on. He would laid he head on the bed next to me or just held my hand & look at my face. We have since had 3 more kids and he is now a pro at the delivery room stuff. He knows my signs & knows without me saying a word when to go get the nurse or doctor. But he still doesn't like looking down there when it is all happening and personnal I take off my glasses so I don't have to watch it with the mirror on the roof either - lol.

My mom was also in the delivery room with my 1st, but I was 17 and my marriage papers weren't 100% finalized and she was still listed as my gaurdian. Yes, my hubby was my gaurdian for the first 6 mo. of our marriage.

Also, if your hubby is able to handle part of the delivery... even if it's just the part before everything really starts happening - it would be great to have him there for you. I'm sure if he needs help - a nurse will gladly assist him out of the room if it gets to be to much for him. Sometimes it's just nice to have the one you love hold your had when you are in pain, get you ice chips when your mouth is dry (since you can't drink anything) or get you a cool wash cloth to put on your forhead if you need one. And it always seems to work better if it's your caring hubby that does it for you.

So you know, my hubby has yet to cut a cord & I don't think he ever will. He always tells the doc "that's what we pay you for". We are expecting #5 in July... I know he will be there, but I don't think he will look down there or cut the cord. But it is nice just knowing he is there somewhere.

my exhubby was there...but he left once in a while before delivery to go smoke a joint...nice huh?? thats back in the day when labor an delivery were in different rooms-he almost missed the birth of both kids..see why im divorced?? good luck..nurses are a huge help-your never alone....

My husband doesn't faint but I have to say this with your situation consider a doula. As I said my husband doesn't faint but I had a doula during the last delivery of our third child. She's there to take care of you and be your support. It's not a waist of money. I loved the fact that mine was a message therapist and rubbed what I needed when I needed it. Nurse's seem to always have to go not saying they aren't good they have other duties but my doula she was mine for me. Now this is a job for you that's why it's called labor so it will be for your doula interview her as just that for a job. You won't be sorry except I know everyone has to get experience try to hire someone that's had lots of experience, mine well I didn't ask much and later found out I was her first, she got a little "oh, my god" at the end when we ran into trouble with the delivery......but I still loved her for the rest of care she gave me.

A great resource for doulas is www.DoulaMatch.net
I am a doula, and have worked with lots of couples. A good doula will listen to what you have to say, and will support you and dad in the way you chose for them to.
I have dads that say I am the best choice they made.
Feel free to write me if you have questions.
Good luck
B.

Leave your husband at home take a Doula (http://www.dona.org/) with you to the hospital

Have him get some ant-anxiety medication from his doctor and try to be there. He can do it. The doctor will know just what to prescribe.

My husband watched all the details of my C-section with a little medication and he was right there with me. He also gets faint and overwhelmed with medical stuff, so have him try. He will be glad he was there for the baby, its a once in a lifetime event he probably won't want to miss.

I would ask a good friend who has gone through delivery, or hire a doula. I would still make your husband be there, he will probably regret not being there later on. You might even want to get him to talk to some other fathers beforehand. He can always be up by your head and not be able to see everything.

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