Learning about pregnancy, labor, breastfeeding and parenting can be a little overwhelming in big groups. I’ve found that men/partners are often intimidated by an unfamiliar space.
It’s important to seek information and discuss what you learn with your partner. This will help you form your team and make decisions about what your journey together will be.
There are many ways to birth, and can depend on many factors: where you live, how your family birthed, who your birth professionals are and where your knowledge level is. Let’s not forget your current health status, and if there are other factors concerning safety for you and your baby.
The truth is that birth is totally unpredictable. If you ask most birth workers if it goes the way most people plan it, their answer is “NO!”. I believe if people create a birth plan, and remain open-minded that it can change (without fearing the unknown outcomes) – it goes better.
Just trusting your body and the people you choose to be in your birth space makes a huge difference! However, there is an easy preliminary step that you can do right now: get childbirth education.
Finding the right childbirth education.
Childbirth education classes are readily available, but finding the one that makes you most comfortable is a key element to not being weighed down by fear.
Some factors to consider when picking a class:
- The class shouldn’t be overloaded with “fluff” or filler material.
- The class shouldn’t be too long, otherwise both partners will lost interest (more on this later).
- Avoid judgmental instructors. They should give you information but not guilt you into a win or fail scenario.
About class length: remember most people don’t have 4-12 weeks to commit. After reaching out to two of my mentors, we all agreed that 4-8 hours of childbirth education with another 2 hours of breastfeeding education is sufficient for a great birth.
Many people have busy schedules and ask me about individual learning. My answer is the same as it has been for the last decade: taking classes together is the best way, but I also believe that expectant fathers should get individual mentoring before they start their classes together.
I’ve seen this work very successfully in my own practice everyday! Expectant fathers seem to have a fear of not being a part of pregnancy and birth. How will that translate into parenthood? When a male can get some guidance from a credible source it makes all the difference in how he approaches and navigates their childbirth class.
When couples approach their journey to parenthood in this manner, typically the male is more engaged in the process than his partner can comprehend. That’s a GREAT thing.
This opens him up to the process of learning and even how he treats his partner, due to a newfound empathy and compassion that comes from security and knowledge. This will make learning together and making choices together so much easier.
This is when you can start figuring out how you want to birth and begin making decisions together as a team!
Your relationship deepens as you share in the intimacy of the birthing process together. And this is also how you start to build and evolve your birth plan.
In order to get here, you and your partner should be ready to learn how to support each other.