Dads often accompany their female partners into the delivery room, but many men do not know what to do when a woman is giving birth. It can be an awkward, bewildering experience for some fathers unfamiliar with the birthing process.
A labor and delivery nurse named Holly, 30, recently took to social media to share some of the weirdest things men do and say in the delivery room while their partners are giving birth.
“Sometimes the moms think it’s funny—and if they think it’s funny, then I’ll laugh with them,” Holly told TODAY Parents. “But if they get upset, I’ll try to be the buffer. I’ll change the subject.”
Thousands of commentators shared their own experiences of being in the delivery room with a man. So, she stitched together various comments into a hilarious video set to “A Thousand Miles” by Vanessa Carlton on TikTok.
“Some partners are hard to live up to!” the caption reads.
So, what are men saying in the delivery room?
“I think you should just get a C-section. This is taking too long,” said one man.
“How long is this gonna take? I have plans this weekend.”
“Are you sure you want an epidural? My mom didn’t have one. Before you make a decision, we should talk about it.”
“Sew an extra stitch down there for me, doc. We want everything just the way it was before all of this.”
The comments are unbelievably selfish considering how traumatic it can be to give birth. It also speaks to a lack of patience. Some people commented that if a man is asking how long it will take to give birth, he probably isn’t ready to raise a child.
“LOL immediate divorce, I’m not joking,” wrote one commenter.
“I would sign the divorce papers while in labor and pushing,” another commenter wrote.
The video has taken TikTok by storm with over 10 million views and counting. So, Holly made another video with even more embarrassing comments from men in the delivery room.
“Wake me up when the baby gets here. I’m tired,” said one man. Holly adds that the man then rolled over, put his coat over his head, and slept through the birth of his baby.
“Can you move to the birthing ball so I can sleep in the bed?”
“Do you guys do DNA tests here? My mom wants me to get one before we leave,” said one man while his wife was going into labor.
“Call me when you’re about to have the baby. I’m gonna go with [name redacted] to the bar and watch the game.”
Historians note that men rarely went into the delivery room throughout most of the 20th Century. Doctors typically didn’t want them around while performing an appendectomy. But women eventually advocated to have their male partners in the room while going through labor.
“Traditional childbirth was really a female event,” explains medical historian Judy Leavitt, a professor emeritus at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. “The woman would call her friends and relatives together to help her, and they’d be all around the birthing bed. And there’d be the midwife.” A male physician might come and go, Leavitt adds, and fathers might be asked to boil water, but mostly it was a room full of women.
Even if a lot of men don’t know how to behave in the delivery room, parents say being in the room together when their baby is being born ultimately brings both partners closer together.
“We kind of have different memories of the experience, but ultimately the two memories kind of make it a whole,” said Cole Cooney, who is preparing for the arrival of his second child. “It’s just such a bonding experience, and it’s such a special moment — bringing this human into the world.”