Birth without a partner during corona crisis?

Because of the current corona crisis, partners are prohibited in Potsdam's delivery rooms. Is that appropriate? Two comments.

Mothers currently have to give birth to their children in Potsdam's clinics without a partner
Mothers currently have to give birth to their children in Potsdam's clinics without a partner. (PHOTO: MASCHA BRICHTA / DPA)

Potsdam remains tough: Relatives are not allowed to enter the delivery rooms until further notice. Women who want to give birth in the “Ernst von Bergmann” hospital or in the St. Joseph Hospital in the coming weeks must, therefore, go through birth without a partner. This causes outrage among the Potsdamers who have started a petition against it. The Eastern Herald author Akihito Muranaka urges inspection, TEH editor in chief Muzaffar Ahmad Noori Bajwa finds the decision incomprehensible. Two comments:

Pro – by Peter Konnicke
Peter Konnicke (PHOTO: PRIVATE)

It is now almost 23 years since I was there when my son was born. An experience that I will never forget. Therefore, I cannot really make an absolute advocate for the ban on the fact that fathers-to-be are currently not allowed in the delivery room. But if I were now in front of the maternity ward, I would ask myself whether I can rule out 100 percent that I will not infect doctors, midwives and or my partner. The answer would be no.

A lot of size and insight are required to refrain from attending the birth of the child. But it is precisely this great and insightful contribution that men can make at a time when cohesion is so important and goes beyond the bond of a couple.

The father still has his job

There are important reasons why men have been able to be present at the birth of their child for over 40 years. When births were purely a matter for women, men still had their tasks. So they gave their wife a symbolic object that signaled participation, strength and the sign of his fatherhood. The current situation allows us to be creative – also for the difficult decision not to be there when our own child is born.

Perhaps the new fathers will later be asked by their child if they were born. You can answer that they couldn’t because they wanted to be sure that other mothers gave birth to their children without any problems.

All this, dear fathers, may not comfort you. But even if you can’t be there, it doesn’t make you a worse father. You can and will prove throughout your life that you are doing well in this role.

Cons – by Henri Kramer

Of course, in a crisis like this, it’s impossible for decision-makers to make mistakes. This includes the current ban that Potsdam’s hospitals have given birth to fathers – they must no longer be present in this incisive experience. This is incomprehensible, and it is not for nothing that experts such as the German Society for Gynecology or the Midwifery Association have used clever arguments against such regulations this week – births include trusting support, which is no mere encore.

The decision also affects hospitals in the surrounding area

Many other clinics also see it that way, which does not enact such regulations – also in Brandenburg and Berlin. Such houses will now have to be used by parents who cannot imagine giving birth alone. And with this, the Potsdam clinics burden the surrounding houses. And what negative image of man actually speaks from this decision: Responsible fathers could certainly procure protective equipment themselves, have themselves tested before birth and go into self-isolation with their partner beforehand – so as not to be able to transmit the coronavirus to the midwives in the hospital.

And there is no absolute protection anyway: a pregnant woman who lives with her partner in these difficult times will cuddle with him, prepare for it together – and if he had the virus, he would almost certainly be infected. With the arguments of the Potsdam hospitals in mind, they should no longer accept pregnant women. This also shows that the ban on fathers goes beyond the target; other cities such as Rostock have also withdrawn it.


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