For decades, we’ve taken it for granted that husbands be present in labor and delivery, or in C-section surgery suites, when their wives give birth. Many of us believe that it’s important for dads to support delivering moms during childbirth, and that their efforts to do so, and to witness the birth of their babies, offers affirmation of the centrality of fatherhood to their lives and families.
I was telling a friend who has three kids—and works with pregnant women during delivery & postpartum—that I’ve heard a few new dads share the following: It was hard for me to deal with my wife’s total focus on our newborn. It seemed like our relationship no longer existed for her, and I felt useless with our baby. How did my friend respond?