Ok, maybe I’m irritated by having spent a sunny Bank holiday marking, but the views discussed in this article gets my back right up. Apparently, ‘male involvement in pregnancy can weaken the paternal bond’:
The disappointment and feeling of failure experienced by men expecting to have an intimate and proactive role as their baby gestates, only to find their function is largely one of passive support for their partner, can cause emotional shutdown, according to Dr Jonathan Ives, head of the Centre for Biomedical Ethics at the University of Birmingham.
Men should instead be told that it is not their duty to attend antenatal classes and be encouraged to wait outside the delivery room as their child is born, said Ives.
Or, how about trying to do more to make sure men – or women with pregnant partners (who don’t get a mention in the report (though admittedly, I’ve not read the research referred to)) – support their partners without unrealistic expectations?
Or perhaps there’s less reason to worry about the feelings of failure after all:
Adrienne Burgess, head of research at the Fatherhood Institute, said: “That experience of helplessness that Ives is saying is so dangerous, is, in fact, the perfect preparation for fatherhood: there are times as a parent when you can’t do anything to help your baby, when it’s crying all night and can’t be soothed.”