The Father’s Role in the Birthing Process
and Kennell (1976) found that it was very important for the father to be
present for the birth and be an active participant in it. In follow-up studies,
they found fathers who were present at the birth were less likely to abuse that
child. Once the child has nursed initially, then the baby should be passed to
the father and put on his chest.
Klaus and Kennell also believe that the optimal
human-bonding period is the first 12 to 36 hours after birth. During this
period, it is best if mother and father spend time in bed together holding the
baby. During this time, they should pass the baby back and forth so there is
extensive skin-to-skin contact between the mother and the child and the father
and the child.
adults experienced this kind of bonding during their birth. If you were born in
a hospital, you were probably whisked away to the nursery after only minimal
contact with your mother and had little or no contact with your father. If
there were any birth complications, you may have been separated from your
mother for hours, days, or even weeks.
If this is true, you likely carry
imprints of this loss of emotional synchrony with your mother during your birth
experience that impacts your adult relationships. Pre- and perinatal research
is just discovering the immense power of these very early experiences in
creating internal working models of reality and how they unconsciously direct
an individual’s life.
The Role of Siblings in the Birthing Process
recently, young siblings were not allowed to visit the hospital at a birth, and
most are still prohibited or discouraged from being physically present at the
birth of a brother or sister. In home births, members of the nuclear and
extended family form a support system for the parents.
Research indicates that
people who attend a childbirth are automatically bonded with the child,
reducing both sibling rivalry and child abuse. Hospitals may have to change
their policies again as a result of the home-birthing movement and new research