WHy is it so hard to get my husband to agree to be supportive in specific ways during delivery?


I am expecting to have a baby soon and have been reading my usual nice books to get my head filled with good thoughts. The book also contains some helpful hints on dealing with certain situations. This is my first time that I am not completely happy with or do not even know many of the doctors on the team. So I have tried to explain to my husband a few manouvers that may come on handy to save me from a c-section (never had one) in case the attending doctor decides they want to do one. If the baby seems stuck in the birth canal with the head out or still in, flipping the woman onto her hands and knees will open her up further and also if the head is out then one can reach in and grab hold under the armpits of the baby and ease him out. This is a common sense thing that doctors may not think of. I explained this to my husband and asked if he could do that even if the doctors insisted on a c-section. He could insist on giving it a shot even if the doctors didn’t want to try because of their policy. He would have time to do it because the anesthesiologist needs to get into the room before a section. But my husband insists that I should be able to explain all this to the doctor and that the doctor should be able to comply…

I don’t get it.

Does he not want to help? Does he really think that a doctor determined to do one thing can be asked to try something else? Why waste time? He can do it. For crying out loud I’d do it for someone else. My problem is all I’ve got is him.

Why is this so hard? Why can’t he talk to me about this. WHy does he keep saying that I should be able to explain this to the doctor at the time? From previous experience I know that when the time is at hand for pushing then I have the least amount of power to explain things and have only never had a problematic thing to deal with. SO nothing ever went wrong.


**So are you saying that you want your husband toreach in and grab the baby if the docs refused?

Sounds like your husband is scared of doing the wrong thing and is too trusting of doctors…



I think YOU need to discuss these concerns with your doctor at your next prenatal visit. If I thought my doctor didn’t know how to deliver a baby I don’t think I’d let him near me while I was in labour.

I suspect your husband doesn’t want to be telling the doctor, who is supposed to know what he’d doing, how to do his job.


It sounds as if you have three problems:

  1. You don’t feel supported by hubby.

  2. You don’t feel confident and trusting of the medical team.

  3. You don’t have a birthing plan.

I urge you to meet with the doctor/hospital/team (whoever is in charge as sometimes the doctor who will deliver can’t make it). Find out what they allow women to do. Some hospitals are very strict and will not allow you to move around, change positions or try things other than lie back in the stirrups.

There are doctors and hospitals who work with you for an individualized experience. Get it in writing that you have a doctor who will accommodate you.

As for hubby not supporting you, on the one hand he might be rightly afraid of “breaking the rules” but see if you can sit down with him on a quiet evening and make it crystal clear to him how important it would be to you if he supported you. It can be scary to feel that you are all alone in this with no one to advocate for your wishes.

Have you considered hiring a midwife to be with you at the time of delivery?




**Or a doula?



That is EXACTLY what I was going to suggest. Find a Doula.


I would be very hesitant to comply with those request also. Many people (husbands included) are not comfortable and may not be able to handle those situations. I’m doing good to just stay by my wife and offer encouragement, hand holding, backrubs. I personally know men who have fainted in the delivary room with their wives. Please sit down with your husband and talk out all the issues including his feelings. You need to understand and respect his feelings also.

I understand your fear of a C-section. My wife and I successfully fought a doctor with the help of a wonderful nurse with our firstborn. So I’m not totally ignorant on the subject.


my husband thanks his stars we had our kids before the daddy in the room thing began, he wouldn’t do it then, and he wouldn’t do it now. that’s how some men are. to expect your DH to be more than your lamaze coach, to actually start second guessing the doctor, sounds a bit much
if you don’t trust your doctors, get new doctors, don’t expect your DH to become one overnight.

also this book you are reading sounds awful, try some new books


I have to agree with the previous posters. I would be scared to try to possibly go against the dr’s orders in the middle of a delivery being done by a dr and reach in and grab the baby and pull/ease him out. I’m not so sure that this is something that dr’s wouldn’t think about as much as I think that if they don’t do it it may be for reasons, good or bad, that you may not be aware of (medical, malpractice issues, etc). I don’t blame your husband for saying you should talk about this with a dr rather than expecting him to do it. I second the advice of talking with your dr in a prenatal visit and presenting the same situations you presented to your husband and telling him what you would like done. He can then tell you what their policy would be, if there is something that can be done to ensure that these measures are taken, or if they medically disagree with the procedures and wouldn’t do it. If nothing else, I also agree with the suggestion of finding an advocate that has experience in this field (midwife, doula, etc) and that shares your views and can help serve as a voice for you in difficult times.


I think you are expecting too much from your husband. One would have to have a pretty aggressive personality to do such a thing. You can’t make people into something that they are not. This is not a reflection on how much your husband cares for you.

I think your best option is find a mid-wife or doula who are trained in such things.


Thanks. I guess I do have an aggressive personality as one poster suggested you would have to have to do that. I have a desire to be trained as a doula later on when the kids are bigger. SO what I was expecting from my husband was something I would want to do for others or ask the doctor who is delivering to consider.

Thanks for responding. I will leave my poor husband alone. I didn’t realize that this could be scary. I also need to pray to be more confident in the doctors. The man who delivered my previous baby said he would trust any of the doctors on this team. I have been scared off a little by some ill-informed remarks by one of the doctors on the team and also by discovering that policies have changed in favour of doing c-sections in even more cases than before. I never was worried before about the staff.

I will start praying for more comfidence and peace when I enter the hospital.


It is okay to want your husband to support you! If that is an underlying issue, then by all means be sure to work with him to get his support.

And if any remarks or actions from the medical personnel concern you, write them down and talk to someone about them. You are the patient here and you have the right to be informed about what is going to happen, what is considered a risk to you and the baby and what criteria they will use to choose a C-section.


The manouver I described has been reported in more than one medical journal and has been found to be very successful in avoiding c-sections. It was popularized in the US by Ina May Gaskin who wrote the book that I am reading. Many of the things Ina May talks about are done in hospitals now, but sometimes certain health regions have policies that prescribe c-sections in cases where they are not needed. For example doctors at the hospital I am going to supposedly do not even think about delivering a breech baby. They automatically do a c-section.


I don’t know that you meant this, but I wouldn’t advise letting your husband “pull” the baby out no matter what position your in. Do you have a medical reason as to why a c-section is probable? If so, discuss your feelings with your doctor before hand. That way no one will have to do any pulling save the professionals.

I know many will disagree with me, but try to be open minded about all situations that may come up during delivery, including c-section. I had three of them. I tried to get my doctor to do a VBAC with the second pregnancy (twins), but he refused. He said if I continued insisting that he would recomend me to a specialist so that the delivery could be done in a sergical situation. I cried and cried, then went home and started reading up on complications of VBAC. I read that if I should rupture, (more likely in my situation due to twin birth) the doctors would have a few minutes to due an emergency C to get the babies out. Serious brain damage and even death could result if they are not out fast enough. Add to that the problem that a woman can rupture during the 1st stages of labor (due to contractions) and not even know it.

I went back to my doctor and told him to do what he thought was best. I am so thankful that I followed his advise. I didn’t rupture, but the twin positioned first was transverse breach and the second was breach with the cord rapped twice around her neck. So I would have ended up with an emergency c-section anyway.

Sometimes doctors really do know best.


Yes I do have to trust that they are not idiots are do want to do what is best. They are human and fallible we just expect so much from them.

That is another good thought for me to have. Thank you.


I thought it was just me. I know I’ve been out of the nursing business for years but I can’t imagine a situation where a doc would opt for a c-section if the head is already delivered. To imply that a doctor could be too stupid to know what to do to deliver the shoulders is a bit over the top IMHO.


I have been in the “baby business” for almost 29 years. I have seen just about everything. Thankfully I haven’t seen a baby “get stuck” They come out one way or another. But to suggest that your husband “reach in and pull the baby out” if the doctor won’t is not a wise thing. There are so many things that could go wrong. To put your child’s life , in a potentially dangerous situation, in jeopardy is dangerous to say the least…and very selfish.
One thing you may want to read up on and ask your OB about is the “McRoberts maneuver”



I agree with the above. I was surprised to hear my husband tell me that he is planning to be in the room with me when I go into labor. I never would have expected that since I was raised in a very old school, traditional home where papa bear would never enter that room. And to be honest, I cannot decide yet if I would actually want him in the room or not…I told him, why don’t we just wait and see what I feel like when the time arrives.


He might want to see the birth of the baby. My husband was always very much in awe at the actual birth of our child.

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