A blog dedicated to the birth

What man for what father in maternity?

Le père
17 Feb 2016

What man for what father in maternity?

Posted by Maïtie Trélaün in Writing

Men have entered maternity through the medical door. The placement of the father in the front row of maternity is only so recent. It is a great step in the history of Mankind, and it can be an impulse for a wonderful turning point in the world of birth. What are the key elements of this role, which is now central?

What couples have taught me

It is thanks to the support given to couples that women were able to design the place for the Man alongside them. As I was bringing women to express the specifics of their special needs, I could see their partners affirm and straighten themselves, gain in density and assert themselves. It is as if they were finally perceiving what we were expecting from them. At the same time, they were not content in simply filling these needs, as they would make them their own and use them to assert themselves. This is when I realized that, when women dared to clarify their needs and express them simply, men were able to position themselves with accuracy.

What does a woman need to carry and give birth to her child?

To carry and give birth to her child, the woman has to open up like never before, in her body as well as her heart. She is harbouring, deep inside herself, a “stranger”, someone else besides her, and she lets herself be jostled by it.

She has therefore let go of her points of reference, and has to put the woman she is (or thinks she is) on hold in order to become a mother.

It is as if she was in an unknown land… at risk of getting lost. This last point will be even further amplified during labour.

A beacon in the storm

The man can be a beacon, a reminder where Earth is, where the entrance to the port is. He is a point of reference for his partner, especially during labour as it causes a storm inside her, but also for his child, who just got here from another world. To achieve that, it is necessary for him to glow and fully occupy his place.

An interpreter between two worlds

As the pregnancy progresses, the woman changes her state of conscience. She lets go of her rational brain to make room for her intuitive brain. This is how she connects with her child and adapts to his needs. This is how she knows what is good for her and her baby at any given time. This is how she knows if everything is alright or if something is wrong.

This place is in her intuitive brain, beyond her own fears and beliefs.

To access that state, she has to let go of her rational brain, which normally is her link to the exterior world and allows to protect herself when needed.

In order to be able to reach that state, it is essential that her partner brings this protection. He has to be able to place himself between what he perceives from her intuitive brain and how his own rational brain perceives the medical world.

What does a man need to fill this role?


He needs to understand what is happening in the body of a woman during these times of great changes (in her physical body, in her emotions and even in her brain function). This is how he can have reference points that will allow him to be prepared to support, maybe even encourage, her plunge into a new state.

Be aware

He needs to be aware of his knowledge. Indeed, he is the only one who knows his partner so well, who knows how she reacts when in a difficult spot and perceives what she might need.

I remember a father who expressed distress because he perceived what his partner called tiredness as a profound depression… And he was right. He allowed me to initiate appropriate support. I also remember this other father who told me, during a very long labour: “Don’t worry, she is very resistant. She will let go only when she is too exhausted… and then everything will go very fast”. I had to accept to be patient, and what he predicted became true.

Who else besides you, Gentlemen, has this fine knowledge of this woman we are both supporting in this delicate passage? By bringing this knowledge to the medical world, you fill your role as interpreter and guardian.

Allow himself

Masculine power has been assimilated to violence because we had to endure a coercive authority for centuries.

Yet this power is the basis of the noble authority on which man can position himself to fully fill that role. Without a word, he instructs the respect of his guarded space. It is because he makes sure that his partner and child are respected that they will both be able to focus on their inner metamorphosis without worrying about what is happening in the exterior world.

Dare to be fully yourself!

Gentlemen, you have a place to occupy, so trust your feeling, your perceptions, even if they do not seem to correspond to what is expected of you. You are now on the front line of maternity, and you open a road where everything has to be built from scratch. Affirm yourselves! Your child expects this from you… It is on this noble authority, on this masculine power that he will be able to lean in order to grow up.

It’s up to you!

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