Benefits Of Male Participation In Antenatal & Child Birth

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By Dr Juliet Offiah http://www.drjulz.com/
Women initiate antenatal care, in most cases, but the decision to continue the care is most times dependent on their spouses in our environment. The decision power of men is often grounded on cultural, religious and traditional factors, as well as the conventional view of husbands as the providers and custodians of monies. Mothers, mothers-in-law and female relatives also play an active role in the decision and choice of place for antenatal care.

Factors that influence a man’s decision to participate in antenatal clinic include:
1. Level and type of education

2. Knowledge of the reproductive process
3. Effective reproductive communication among the couple
4. Cultural beliefs
5. Individual disposition
6. Numerical order of the index pregnancy

Men may provide:
1. Moral support
2. Financial support
3. Questions that the woman has forgotten to ask the physician
4. Details of symptoms being experienced by the woman
5. Past medical and OBGYN history

Some reasons men do not attend antenatal clinic:
1. Fear of being gossiped by other men, or even women at the clinic
2. Their job responsibilities
3. Long waiting times
4. Cultural restrictions
5. Repeat & monotonous visits
6. Fear of hospitals
7. Husband-wife large age difference
8. Polygamy

Reasons why men should attend antenatal clinic with their partners:
1. They should see what they pay for
2. They should see and talk to the one(s) caring for their partners
3. Most men have valid questions about the pregnancy that they should get answers to
4. They are usually the 1st on call in times of emergency, and so should be appraised of such danger/emergency signs and symptoms
5. It is a show of support and unity

Some reasons men do not go to the labour suite with their partners:
1. Fear of the pain and suffering the women undergo
2. Revulsion at the sight of blood and gore
3. Cultural restrictions
4. Inadequately sited and equipped labour cubicles.
5. Attitude of hospital staff to them
6. Concerns about their jobs, and time away from same

Reasons why men should go into the labour suite with their partners:
1. They did it together
2. They provide an unquantifiable psychological boost for their partners
3. They often are able to clearly articulate the commands of the labour room staff and transmit them to his partner
4. They often serve as a check for any excesses by the labour ward staff
5. Decision making, at crucial times, is accelerated when the man is present in the labour suite
6. They may witness the birth of their babies and experience the joy and delight associated with it
7. It may increase bonding with their partners
8. It may make them respect and value their partners more

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