Allow Her Husband to Witness Her Giving Birth

By Tania Kurd Mirza:

She is in childbirth, she is in so much pain, she feels like she is going to die…but the pain is joyful pain, she is giving birth to her child…yet why is her husband not allowed to be with her?

In Kurdistan, hospital employees do not allow husbands to stay with their wives during childbirth, but why not – for what reason is this not allowed? There is no impediment to prevent a man from being in the same room as his wife as she gives birth, not in State law or Sharia law (1). If it is a matter of ethics then how cruel these are; there is nothing worse than giving birth to your child alone.

In fact it is only right that a man be with his wife when she is giving birth; who better to comfort her through this pain, wipe away her tears; it is only right that he be the first person to smell his baby! This is not the men’s fault. Doctors and employees in the birthing unit are female; why do they not realise that a woman needs her husband by her side during childbirth and implement changes so that it is allowed? Why are they behaving and thinking like uneducated men, without compassion?

When a woman goes into to labour, she is taken to the hospital and accompanied by her mother, sister or a woman from the neighbourhood, and her husband is notified by a telephone call that his wife is in labour. All he can do is wait outside the front of the hospital for hours while his wife is alone in a room, screaming in pain!

Women doctors are responsible for keeping them apart; what is wrong with them, do they not understand how a woman feels under these circumstances?

Another big problem, is the fact that women going through childbirth are all together in the same place within the birthing unit, even the ones who tragically have stillborn babies. These poor women have to witness other mothers’ joy at the birth of their babies, whilst being in despair at losing their own. I once saw a woman whose baby died during child birth, and she was crying and screaming, “Why am I here with these women”? I need to be alone, my baby has just died and I can’t bear to hear the cries of other women’s babies, I feel like I am going to die!”

You…Madam Doctor! Do you understand me? Do you know what I am talking about? This is mine and my husband’s baby, so let him be with me to help me stay strong, I need my husband with me while I give birth to our child!

During pregnancy, husbands should be informed on how to make their wives comfortable and happy; they should be taught how to welcome their child after the birth. Why don’t women doctors speak with new fathers? Why don’t they teach them how to treat their wives during and after pregnancy?

Isn’t it punishment enough that a woman has to go through childbirth alone? Her pain would be relieved so much if her husband could hold her hands during childbirth, and husbands would gain so much respect for their wives as mothers, after witnessing the pain they experience to give them a child.

You know we have to change many things.

Let’s be the modern community…..


(1) Islamic Canonical Law based on the teachings of the Koran and The Prophet (Hadith and Sunna), prescribing both Religious and Secular duties and sometimes retributive penalties for law-breaking. It has generally been supplemented by legislation adapted to the conditions of the day, though the manner in which it should be applied in modern states is a subject of dispute between Islamic Fundamentalists and Modernists.

Tania Kurd Mirza is a lawyer and women’s rights activist

6 Responses to Allow Her Husband to Witness Her Giving Birth
  1. kawa
    August 30, 2015 | 11:46

    Thank you one of best article I have read.
    Cannot agree more with what you suggest.
    Though we trying to imitate western in nearly aspects of our live, secularism, alcohol and clothing yet we fail to adopt good practice by western society in term of attitude and thinking. Almost it is a must in UK that husband to be with wife, if available!, during childbirth.

  2. Jan Best de Vries
    August 30, 2015 | 15:41

    Dear Tania Kurd Mirza,

    I’ll translate for you from my last novel in Dutch Liefde en meer…. (2015, Love and more….) how it should have been in the Netherlands between 1963 and 1966 but still isn’t everywhere in my country.

    “But who gives birth and life is the woman and the role reserved for the man with this indisputable fact should only be that of her aide: to dap her clammy forehead, to do massage her back, to respect her as the bearer of life.”

    So her husband should be near at hand with childbirth all over the world, not just in Kurdistan, you know.

    Best wishes for your project,
    Jan Best de Vries

  3. Kuvan Bamarny (Abdul-Qahar Mustafa Musa Bamarny)
    August 30, 2015 | 18:52

    Good and hard moments are better to be shared.He should takes care of her during the time of pregnancy just as he takes care of her during the time of bed.

    He should at least hold her hand during the time of pregnancy and her leg during the time of delivery ,if unable to comfort her pain when she delivers the baby.

    Kuvan Bamarny

  4. Yasin Aziz
    September 2, 2015 | 14:49

    The universe has been designed and established around woman’s feminine aspects, as the source of rebirth according to the old Indian Tantrist philosophy. They are the source of love, life, labour, sacrifice and the highest respect. Women are the universal basis of a continuous life’s eternal resurrection, and happiness. If we all had realised that, the world would have been totally different.

    • Jan Best de Vries
      September 4, 2015 | 05:41

      You are absolutely right, Yasin Aziz! Best wishes,

      Fragments of knowledge

      the soul of a woman I possess
      from way, way before I was born
      knowledge that once a world of love existed
      that it is only our body that rests in Mother Earth

      women do recognize in me their ancient souls
      for we are not the individuals we think we are
      now, in this life of violence and murder
      why to take a woman when she can take me?

      so always lost in a men’s world
      I have my life devoted to a woman
      a soulmate whom I have known from old times
      life passes by, soul will be recycled

      La Bessonie, September 24, 2013

  5. ketevan
    October 12, 2015 | 12:15

    Actually there is wisdom in a woman giving birth alone and her husband being present could end up exacerbating things and prolonging the labour. It’s actually the natural way of things. When animals give birth, they don’t invite their mate to join them in the giving birth process. They isolate themselves and give birth that way. The husband has plenty of time to rejoice and share a moment of bonding with his wife and child after she has recovered a bit. But during labour he should leave her alone and let her tap into the primal part of her brain rather than distracting her from doing her job properly.

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