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It's a Guy Thing

It's a Guy Thing

WebMD Feature

As you might expect from a man who later wrote several books on fatherhood, Armin Brott did a lot of things right as he supported his then-wife through the births of their two children. Except for one blunder: He used the C-word.

When the going got tough during the second birth, Brott suggested -- apparently too indelicately -- a cesarean section.

"She had been in labor for 20 hours, plus 16 hours the week before," recalls Brott, who also has a syndicated radio show called "Positive Parenting" in San Francisco. "I thought, God, this is enough already -- who the hell wants to go through this?"

Well, she did, he quickly realized. Two words said it all. "She said 'f--- you,' frankly," says Brott, sheepishly.

That big day is sure to stretch limits -- and not just for the one pushing the baby out. The dad-to-be has lots of pressure, too. But even with the dubious distinction as "The Coach," how can he possibly have all the answers?

"Here's a person who's never had a menstrual cramp, and we're asking him to empathize with somebody who's in freakin' labor," says Susanrachel Condon, a certified nurse midwife, doula and massage therapist in New York City. "It puts a big burden on him."

Nor is it easy straddling the game and sidelines at the same time. "They're going through their own emotional process in the labor, too," says Erica Lyon, a childbirth educator and president of the Childbirth Education Association of Metro New York.