Men should make themselves scarce when women are giving birth, says a French obstetrician who will argue his case at a midwives summit this week. Michel Odent says men make women so stressed they stop producing the oxytocin hormone, which eases deliveries, reports the BBC. This results in more C-sections.
The presence of anyone but a “low-profile and experienced midwife” stunts production of oxytocin, Odent says. It’s a “shy hormone” that “does not come out when she is surrounded by people and technology.” Another expert thinks the quality of the man is more important. “If they are shocked by bodily fluids,” she says, men could prevent women from entering the “birthing ‘zone.’” A compromise, maybe? "Most of his role can be carried out at the head-end," says one OB-GYN who likes fathers to be present.
(Read more childbirth stories.)