Skip to content

Basing Your Expectations on Reality

March 30, 2012

Women: Teach your men well

Childbirth brings major expectations to a couple’s relationship.  The man and woman  frequently enter the course of pregnancy with many murky and unclear expectations, some of which can lead to serious disappointments.  The bigger the expectation the harder the fall when things go awry.  Couples have little societal measures for determining what are realistic expectations for the childbirth experience.  Men especially don’t know how dangerous false expectations are for their mates.  Since men are often inadequate in knowing how to deal with emotional topics, they really are at a loss for knowing how significant their emotional support is during pregnancy and childbirth.  (Actually women usually fill the heads of men, since they know almost nothing about pregnancy and birth.)

Measuring something emotional is difficult and complicated, and childbirth and pregnancy can be one of the biggest events emotionally for people.  I keep telling guys to be aware of their mate’s expectations, that it is here that they can make grandiose mistakes regarding their relationship, which will magnify their incompetence of handling people, especially of the opposite sex  That’s why I have written “Men at Birth” to give men a sense of what to do so as to help their mate have the experience they want.

The attitudes and desires to control the handling of childbirth is something that creates these expectations. Some women have no expectations; others fill their minds with other people ideas by read books, watching films, internet research, etc.  Men for the most part rarely concern themselves with knowing anything about these topics.  They base their ideas on what other guys tell them, or possibly what their mates says.  Where is a realistic viewpoint about childbirth, and who is projecting that in society?

Hospital BirthThe reality is that where a couple has a baby tells you a lot about how to measure the distance between their preconceived ideas and the facts.  As 99% of births take place in hospitals, then couples need to know how realistic their ideas are in relation to what that environment holds in store.

Now when a couple gives up their expectations for a natural childbirth experience in the hospital, they can at least minimize the potential disappointment. Some attitudes that couples carry that are in conflict with hospitals include the following:  no use of drugs, no strangers in the birth room, peace and quiet, natural childbirth without interventions, and adequate time with the baby after the birth.  Hospitals run on protocols and rules, and families do not really have much say in how the birth is managed.  They can bring in their written birth plans and their ideas only to have those thrown out in an environment where they have signed away their rights of autonomy.

Statistically 33% of women in the hospital are going to have a surgical birth.  I don’t know the percentage of those using medications, but it’s obviously much higher.  So those preconceived ideas of birthing in a hospital without the use of surgeries or medications don’t match the reality.  Those folks who happen to birth within a 24 hour time period might be able to get away from invasive procedures, but they are the minority.  The odds do not improve with better insurance; actually the odds improve when a couple doesn’t have insurance since why use a procedure you can’t bill for.

Couples who are psychologically prepared for the hospital know they are giving control of the birth to modern medicine.  Some couple psych themselves up to fight the hospital staff; they hire doulas or at times bring in a lay midwife, but honestly, is the fight going to improve the environment?  No.  Couples would be better off birthing at the commune out in the country.

So couples take heed and develop realistic expectations of the environment and emotional climate of where they want to birth, and seriously consider.  If you plan on going to the hospital, you ought to expect an average birth there.  That means high chances of meds, induction, and a 1 in 3 chance of a c-section.  Plus don’t think that you are at home for the hospital will take your baby away.  You’ll get a few minutes with the newborn, but they have to run all those tests, and administer those shots.   If you envision another type of birth, you’re having delusions.

And men, if you want be a man, don’t be ignorant on the emotional magnitude of this childbirth.  Make sure you and your mate are on the same page.  Measure the distance between those expectations and the reality of where you are having you child.  What is realism?

No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: