Should fathers be at the birth? A view from Trinidad.

Debrah LewisI have been a midwife for 31 years and am one of the Founders of, and Executive Director at Mamatoto Resource & Birth Centre in Trinidad. I was Americas Board Member at the International Confederation of Midwives (ICM), then a Vice President.

I have attended many births and spoken to many fathers. Men generally have little preparation or support for parenthood. They are not included during the pregnancy and, in too many countries, including Trinidad, often are not allowed to be present at the start of their children’s life – their birth – but are expected to be present for the rest of their lives. The impact this can have on the bond with their children and their lives cannot be ignored.

In my recent TEDx talk, Why fathers should be present at birth, I talk about the shortcomings of a system that does not offer fathers opportunities to be fully engaged parents.


Photo: TEDxPortofSpain. Creative Commons.