Needless to say, fathers are essential in childbirth. They play a vital part in welcoming their baby into this world, not just giving their pregnant partner emotional support but also taking an active role when caring and parenting their child (read: being a hands-on dad!). Being present during birth also benefits the dads-to-be — it's a life-changing experience for them, too.
How to make your husband your childbirth partner
1. Ask your husband if he wants it.
Even if you want your partner to be there, he may not be totally game about the idea. Some men are squirmish about blood; other even faint at the sight of it. If you really want him to be there, you need to work on convincing your partner early on that being with your all the way 'till you have your baby in your arms is best for everyone. (Here are five great reasons why your partner should be present during your child's birth.)
If having hubby by your side during birth is a non-negotiable for you, run it by your obstetrician-gynecologist during your first prenatal checkup. You can always switch to one who supports your stand. Having a doula might help you convince your doctor how essential dads are during childbirth.
3. Check with your birth hospital.
Your doctor may allow having your husband there with you, but some hospitals do not. A lot of large hospitals do allow partners or companions during labor and delivery but with conditions. (Some lying-in clinics also allow it, but again check its policy.)
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Often, they would require a waiver or a certificate of proof that the dad-to-be, has undergone a birthing seminar, perhaps so he would be aware of what happens and, God forbid, not interfere with protocols or be a nuisance. (Have you read dads' sablay moments during childbirth? You'll LOL!) Hospitals also allow hubby to be with you, but you may have to shell out more to cover a private labor room, a.k.a. Lamaze room or a birthing suite.
A list of hospitals that allow your husband to be present during childbirth
To help you scout for hospitals that allow partners or companions during birth, we asked moms in our Smart Parenting Village Facebook page if they did have their partners and husbands in labor, birthing or operating room to come up with a rough list (in no particular order).
Capitol Medical Center in Quezon City
"I have my hubby with me in the birthing suite/VIP room at Capitol Medical Center. You need to inform your OB if you want to have your hubby when you give birth." — Jasmin De Guzman Aggarao, mom to a 7-month old baby boy
Cardinal Santos Medical Center in San Juan City
"My husband was allowed to go in the Lamaze birthing suite in Cardinal Santos. He was also allowed to go in the OR during my CS." — Joan Lim Sy, mom to a 4-month-old baby
"My husband was with me when I was in labor up to delivery. When you use its Lamaze room your husband, parent, or birthing coach can go in with you. But for you to use it, you need to get a certificate that says you attended and completed Lamaze classes. — Rochelle Anne Daus-Baculo, mom to a 5-month-old, 11-year-old and 9-year-old.
"At Makati Medical Center, they allow one companion to be with you. I had my husband with me from the labor room to the delivery room and recovery room. It was my first time to give birth, kabado ako, kaya ang laking tulong na kasama ko siya nun. — Angeline Solis-Flores, mom to a 3-month- old baby boy
The Medical City in Pasig City
"Since I was induced in the labor room, they allowed my husband to go inside. He, however, has to pay for the scrub suit he was required to wear when inside the labor or delivery/operating room. I had a CS operation, and my husband was also allowed to be in the delivery room as well." — Marycor Molina-Valencia, mom to a 15-month-old and currently pregnant with her second child
St. Luke's Medical Center in Quezon City
"[My husband] was allowed in the labor room. Basta private labor room or high-risk pregnancy unit (HRPU) ang [pillin] mo. [It'll cost you about] Php5,000 per day pero sulit, kasama mo husband even other members of the family." — Kristeen Violeta-Liwanag, mom of three kids, ages 7, 4 and 1
"Sa delivery room (DR) pwedeng kasama talaga husband. He can even cut the cord if the patient wishes." — Aisa Faith Perez Ignacio, mom to a 4-month-old
St. Luke's Medical Center Global in Taguig
"During labor, companions are allowed in HRPU rooms pero sa labor room/ward, they are not allowed kasi curtains lang partition. Pero si hubby pinapasok naman sa labor room; no time to transfer to HRPU na kasi. Pagdating ng delivery room pinapasok din agad siya. I had an unmedicated normal delivery; he was there the whole time. Sa recovery room, companions are also not allowed." — Jane Reyes, mom to a 4-month-0ld boy
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Premiere Medical Centre Hospital in Sucat, Parañaque
"My husband was with me all the way. We had four miscarriages (I have APAS) and my OB, Dr. Soledad Villanueva, knew how special and difficult it has been for us. She arranged everything for us." — Teresa Morales-Lao, mom to one miracle rainbow baby boy, 2 years old
Here are the other hospitals allow hubby or a companion to stay with you throughout labor and delivery, according to our Smart Parenting Village moms:
Asian Hospital Medical Center in Muntinlupa City Alabang Medical Center (Main Branch) in Muntinlupa City Dr. Jesus C. Delgado Memorial Hospital, in Quezon City (Lamaze Room) Metro North Medical Center Hospital in Quezon City (with doctor's consent) Providence Hospital in Quezon City (with waiver) Gentri Medical Center And Hospital Inc. in Cavite Chong Hua Hospital in Mandaue, Cebu University of Cebu Medical Center, in Cebu Divine Word Hospital in Tacloban, Leyte
One option you can explore if you want hubby by your side during birth is to it in a birthing home. Midwives, doulas, and some doctors are open to this option, but not all preggos can give birth outside of hospital facilities. If you want the birthing home, you need to decide and plan for it as soon as you can so your doctor can help and guide you. You may want also to choose a birthing home that's near a hospital or one that is equipped to handle an emergency C-section just in case you need it.