Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Who Passes Out the Cigars?

I had a charming father-to-be ask at a recent session, " Why can't I just sit in the Father's waiting room and pass out the cigars? Why can't I go home when the baby goes to the nursery and take a shower and bring in the mail? Why can't it be like it used to be? "

I hope it will never be like it used to be. My generation of mothers back in the day fought long and hard for it never to be like it was then. We were building families and so are you. Being the loving presence ( besides the doula and L&D nurse ) who assures your partner that she will never be left alone to labor by herself is the start of building a family. I hope that you have been at every appointment and read all those books in preparation too. That's getting ready to build a family.

Pregnant women are very vulnerable by way of evolution. Some one had to be vigilant enough to keep the bears out of the cave and some one still needs to fulfill that evolutionary role for that pregnant woman's safety and security. So it's not the bears anymore. It's the hospital protocols and the strange caregivers and the what's going to happen to me and my baby that makes the need of a "protector" and advocate so important. Partners need to stay. Through labor and delivery, whether they cut the cord or not, for the whole postpartum and at home too, until mom feels well enough physically and mentally to go it alone.

Partners don't go home to shower and bring in the mail. They don't go home to walk the dog. They bring extra clothing and a toothbrush to the hospital and and sleep and shower there also, one small happy family. Because you are building a family. Babies don't go to the nursery anymore. They stay in the room, with their family. Both parents are available for care and love and the bonding reassurance new babies need.

If there is a child or two left at home with a neighbor or grandma, they come to the hospital as soon as their parents and new sibling are admitted to their postpartum home away from home. They are a huge part of tha family that you are building and they get to climb into bed with mommy and help her take care of that baby, right away. Touch his fingers and toes and depending on age, maybe change a diaper or two.

Things are not the way they used to be. I hope they never are again. In the building of your family, you will at least want to get it started off right. There will be many opportunities to make lots of mistakes. Don't start too early, stay with your family in the hospital.