It is undeniable that childbirth is one of the most monumental and transformative events in a person’s life, which marks the start of a new, different, advanced, and apparently more difficult and burdened life. The process of childbirth is known to be ultimately tough, with the expectant mother undergoing a cocktail of struggles that often last for beyond a single day.
Many women on the awaited day prefer being accompanied by their partners to the delivering room in the need of support from the person they consider the best in their lives. Men’s replies vary, depending on their mentalities; some of them attend without any concerns, some leave the room once the baby is about to appear, some love to be there even though their wives asked them not to, some do refuse, and some others wait elsewhere, in agreement with their partners.
The maternal postpartum trauma is well known and recorded, which can be scientifically and psychologically attributed to numerous factors. The thing that so many people are unfamiliar with, is that men frequently undergo a lot of trauma after witnessing the whole birth scenario!
Many people mistakenly believe that post-traumatic stress disorder only happens to those who have been in combat. However, any kind of traumatic event can cause it, such as a car accident, seeing someone die, and yes, even watching childbirth. Paternal postpartum PTSD can cause the husband to demonstrate a sexual withdrawal from his wife, extending for months and maybe over a year. The sexual arousal is partially or completely diminished, and his view towards his wife’s body is not the same. The following can be considered as “some” manifestations of the problems that arise after watching childbirth.
15 He Recalls The Agony She Underwent
The trauma from witnessing the childbirth leaves unpleasant memories of the moments in which his wife was letting out moans, groans and screams, not of pleasure, yet of the extreme stimulation of all her pain receptors. A number of men report their astonishment at realizing the level of strength their wives turned out to possess after witnessing what they went through to bring their baby into the world. They admit they feel incapable of enduring that much pain.
The main conflict here lies in the fact that the continuous recalling of the events of his wife going through the birthing process, makes him feel a lot of sadness, having wished he could stop the pain, wishing he could take her place, or that he could at least split the pain, so that she wouldn’t be going through it alone. This leaves him with the concern that resuming intimacy may cause repetition of the pain again.
14 He Starts To Fault And Blame Himself
The aforementioned explanation can be a cause of this manifestation, in which the male partner often puts himself to blame and experiences guilt for being a major cause of every single scream of pain being let out by her. Moreover, he faults himself for giving permission to his sexual desire, expressing the want to become a father, or these facts combined. His conscience intensifies this feeling in case his wife was reluctant or hesitating in the first place, yet unable to resist his request, or perhaps was thinking of satisfying him, demonstrating her love and affection.
He may get the firm belief that he is, at least partially, the reason behind how his wife looked in the delivery theatre, with him unable to do a thing to ease her suffering. Feelings of regret and selfishness may be involved, which he fears to assert, again, if an intimate approach by one of them is initiated.
13 Negative Emotions Towards The Baby
Indeed, this may be expected from a new father with PTSD. Having witnessed the amount of pain his partner went through during labor, instead of inappropriately placing blame on himself, he places it on the baby.
The reason may also be observing the emotional moments between his wife and the newborn, with her being immersed in immense pleasure and relief, which replaced the preceding intolerable ones. Such a situation is one of the best in view of most fathers, but some, it is not the same.
He is expected to develop some negativity – at least initially – towards his baby, being overwhelmed by the impressions – even if false – that he’s been placed second rank in his wife’s life, granting the original place of his, to his baby. When he begins to believe such a thing, the impetus of making love to his partner starts to fade, often completely.
12 Being Sensitive To What She Said To Him During Labor
She is not really to blame, no matter what she says and does inside the delivery theater. The mixture of pain, stress and worry invading her all at once, makes it highly expected to find her uttering and/or doing most anything, literally. One of those who happened to be a witness reports that his wife started to yell in extreme fury, saying that she doesn’t want to talk to him anymore. Another woman started to strangle her husband with the tie he was wearing.
Although such behaviors are clearly unintentional and a result of the pain she is in, they always can’t be welcomed with open arms and understanding by the entire male gender. The involved men will have an elevated sensitivity towards them, thinking they are not loved as much as before, otherwise they wouldn’t have received such words. They can’t help believing that what she said is her true feelings and their feelings are irretrievably hurt, making him less interested in intimacy.
11 He Believes Her Body Is Not “His” Anymore
One confesses that he sexually withdrew from his wife because of seeing her breastfeeding their baby, explaining his feelings by alleging that her body had become the baby’s, and no longer “his.”
This can be really ironic to hear. In fact, this testimony has been met by a female frenzy of negative feedback that he would consider the woman’s body as belonging to him. However, ownership of one’s partner is not necessarily objectification of the person. Most of us, at one point or another, have spoken of our significant other as ‘ours.’ Some are more possessive than others, and there are varying levels.
Speaking neutrally about this matter, the new dad sees that someone else has started to share the body of his partner with him, observing how the life of this someone is based on specific parts of her body, which are known to be intimate for him, and private, too. It is true it feels weird and wrong to a high extent, realizing how he thinks of her as property, not a human who has actually done something extremely noble. It may also cause confusion if the woman is breastfeeding, because to him, breasts have always been a sexual thing.
10 Astonishment At Seeing What Happens To Her V
Sometimes, instead of standing at his wife’s head, the partner prefers and even insists on standing at the opposite end in order to actually watch the baby come out. Afterwards he adopts negativity towards her because of what he has seen, although the responsibility lies upon him since he requested it.
It is astounding to such men to see the vagina in a condition totally different from what they are used to. Despite their awareness that one of its main functions is to discharge menstrual substances, and a baby when the woman becomes pregnant. The picture they have held in their mind for so long becomes dramatically distorted after seeing it wide open, much more magnified than usual, with bodily fluids pouring and a head bulging out of it. They simply may have been grossed out and have a lot of trouble bringing their mind back to thinking of the vagina as something that offers sexual pleasure.
9 Shock At His Wife Having A C-section
One man who witnessed his wife having a c-section expresses his panic when his eye accidentally fell onto his wife’s place midsection to find her abdominal region incised. Although this time her genitalia was not approached, men will not be comfortable seeing their wives with a hole inside their bodies. Women themselves who undergo this incision are expected to panic (at least most of them) if they happen to spot themselves in such a state. It’s one of the main reason a surgical drape is placed that keeps the mom and her partner from seeing the actual surgery.
The shocked husband is predicted to take a while to finally acclimate himself to what happened. Even hugging his wife might be met by his hesitation and his sense of awkwardness for placing any pressure where a hole was existing! They usually get over their hesitation once the surgery has completely healed and the mother is no longer sore.
8 Having The Memory Of Seeing Various Secretions From Her
Despite his clear awareness of all her biological functions, including excretions, he is still fairly grossed out by the view of the bloody and fluid remains of pregnancy, emerging from her body. The situation is even crueler if the woman happens to poop as a result of pushing, which may be embarrassing, but is expected in vaginal births.
According to him, this is a reason to avoid her nether regions. Knowing all the biological functions and their excretions is one thing, but actually seeing them happen is another thing altogether. Numerous pregnant women express their views on this matter that having their husbands attending their birth and seeing the discharge of the baby with all its companions can be hurtful to their dignity. They elaborate by saying that every individual has their own private side about which no one knows, and bodily secretions from down below are some of those things most people want to keep private. It is embarrassing enough to have them witnessed by medical professionals, but it is worse to have your partner witness them as well. A change in attitude toward intimacy is bound to follow.
7 The Fear Of Hurting Her “Down There”
Attending the entire episode of her sufferings and screams of pain, in addition to the moments of the baby’s emergence from her vagina, is sufficient for him to realize the physical damage that takes place and her need for recovery after getting back home. This can create a fear of causing more pain to the damage by touching her down there, even if unintentionally.
An inquiry sent by someone in a public forum was addressed to the public about sexual withdrawal for being afraid of causing pain while touching the private places. The author requested assistance to be able to retrieve their relationship. Another testimony expressed the husband’s shock to see the body of his wife “tearing apart” while the baby was coming out. Understandably, this can cause a lot of distress for a caring partner who wants to avoid anything that may add to the pain and discomfort of the new mom. Even reassurance from the woman cannot do away with the fear sometimes.
6 Finding Her Body No Longer “Appropriate”
There is no doubt about the massive changes the woman’s body undergoes throughout the entire phase of conception, birth, and the postpartum period.
The stretch marks, saggy breasts, saggy abdomen and fatty remains, are normally expected after pregnancy and birth and are a sacrifice for the sake of a new life. Although a big percentage of women eventually retrieve their pre-pregnancy body and maybe even a better figure, appearing as if they have never got pregnant, so many husbands still find them less appealing than before, and less stimulating to their desires.
It is also noteworthy not to forget about the impact of seeing the condition of her places of intimacy during birth, and to refer back to the breastfeeding trouble mentioned previously, which altogether contribute to his disinclination. some men get it into their mind that once a woman has given birth, her body is meant only for being a mom and looking at is in any other way is inappropriate. Perhaps seeing the new mom with the newborn reminds him of his own loving mother and he is unable to separate the two.
5 Believing She Is No Longer A Lover Nor A Sexy Woman
The contemptuous orientation can be discerned here, yet it unfortunately characterizes a number of masculine minds. Being a mother does not mean never being attractive and passionate ever again. These are female instincts. Perhaps so many abandon some of them, but those who want to retain those three three can successfully do it.
Usually, a man who provides such an analysis, thinks that a lover and a sexy lady are not eligible to become mothers. It is like sexiness and acting as a lover damage the dignity of motherhood somehow. Besides, the criteria of body changings and emotional attention towards the baby also contribute to create this impression.The woman is now a mom, like his mother.
Some involved men withdraw only sexually without emotional alterations towards their wives; they still hold the same passion towards them, but with maintenance of physical distance for some reason of theirs. The aversion in both aspects, nevertheless, can threaten the marital life, with chances of betrayal, and maybe divorce.
4 Insomnia And Nightmares
This condition can manifest itself, causing sleep deprivation or stimulation of nightmares. When men are traumatized by childbirth, they can experience frequent flashbacks that also manifest while trying to go to sleep or as nightmares while sleeping. The events of childbirth are replayed and magnify the man’s fears, just the same as other ideas that are located in the human subconsciousness.
The consequences of insomnia manifest themselves in the overall exhaustion and loss of concentration throughout the day, negatively influencing the individual’s lifestyle and progressing in work or studies. Nightmares induce psychological and mental disturbances which also contribute in spoiling the general mood and proper spending of the day, they do not only affect the dreamer, but also the surrounding people, which means that the family of the affected man is likely to be involved.
3 Bad Temper, Mood Swings, Mental Health Decline
These things can appear depending on the level of trauma and the frequency of flashbacks of the childbirth. They also depend on the reaction towards the problems mentioned previously and the tolerance or resistance developed towards them. Insomnia and improper sleeping are well known to stimulate these reactions by depriving the brain of energy sufficient to perform its tasks on a healthy and proper basis, causing the increase of uncoordinated functions, inhibiting some centers in the brain, and over-stimulating some others.
These manifestations certainly create an atmosphere of tension that affects both the marital house and bond, probably extending to other social and friendship bonds too. They may also stimulate some negativity towards the newborn and its siblings. Consulting a specialist in this case is strictly recommended if the causal factors are persisting or progressing.
2 Negative Influence On His Work And Overall Lifestyle
This can be also considered a continuation of the preceding problem and of insomnia. In general, recalling the scenes of delivery every now and then leads to impairment of concentration, and consequently decreasing positive progression of work productivity and activity.
Again, the overall lifestyle is vulnerable, yet apparently paradoxically; he would either stay at home and isolate himself from meeting or socializing with friends and acquaintances, or he would, on the contrary, avoid staying at home even when free of work engagements, spending the majority of his time outdoors, on his own or with people, in attempt to distract himself and evade the status quo until the time of relief comes. Suffering from such symptoms clearly proves that the scene of delivery has imposed a shocking impact which is too strong to be overcome on his own and avoidance of intimacy is only another manifestation.
1 Severe Postpartum Depression, Self-Medication
Some consider it as the terminal consequence of PTSD, expected at the most severe traumatic levels. Reaching this condition implies the critical psychological impact on the father. Self-medication is considered unsafe, and cannot be underestimated, since it may contribute to deterioration of the problem instead of relieving it, especially when the guidance of a specialist is not sought. Once again, the marital and family life lies under a serious threat.
In previous problems, the main issue was more or less limited to marital intimacy, but here, the entire establishment of marriage is implicated. After all, such circumstances do not apply for all marital lives. The total opposite cases certainly exist, when the bonds between the couple tighten even more with the husband attending the delivery room and sharing the moments. It is important to talk about what occurred and how it affected him so that he can voice his fears. Talking about it often helps to minimize the negative feelings and reassurances from the mother can help him return to normal.