Class FAQs for Dads
Why should I take an independent childbirth class? The one in the hospital is less expensive.
There are a couple of things you should know about hospital childbirth classes.
An independent childbirth class is a good way to become familiar with possibilities. A good class will teach you what is and is not negotiable, as well as how to negotiate to get what you want. You will learn a variety of comfort measures for supporting your wife. You will also become familiar with the coping techniques your wife will employ during labor, so you know where she is going and how to help her get there. Most independent classes prepare you for your birth whether you are birthing at home, in a birth center or hospital.
It is my opinion that many people who begin their birth planning do so by deciding what they do not want. "I don't want a cesarean." "I don't want an episiotomy." "I don't want drugs." I think that it is important that we move toward something positive, rather than away from negatives, when we plan. I want you to be prepared to plan toward, rather than away from. My classes encourage this mind set and prepare you to choose from among many positive possibilities.
What do you think are the best things about your childbirth classes?
Men enjoy the classes. This benefits you, for obvious reasons, but it also benefits Mom. You retain more of what you should and shouldn't do during labor and the two of you are prepared to labor as a team.
We have fun in the classes. I am told the classes are entertaining, as well as informative. One of my favorite things about my classes, something I did not plan, is that men enjoy the classes.
I am proud that some midwives choose my classes as a requirement for their clients.
Doula FAQs for Dads
What about me?: Dads and Doulas
Dads are often worried that a doula will push them out of their birth experience. A good doula helps dads be more involved at a level that is comfortable for both him and Mom. Some women need their husband's physical presence, just his closeness and attention and prefer to have the doula talk them through contractions or apply counter pressure. Other women need only their husband's touch and the doula's role changes to one of protecting the couple's space, handling logistics and whispering guidance to Dad as he supports Mom.
I find that sometimes Dads hang back and are fearful of moving in to support Mom. They fear making her experience worse by doing the wrong thing. Dad fears that she will be angry with him. Doulas can offer suggestions for specific ways to support her, even if you are a north-of-the-waist-only man. Doulas are there to support Dad, to be his "handmaiden" as the two of you work to birth your baby.
It is important to know that labor is not a one man job. It is my opinion that it is asking too much of a man, a man who has never attended a labor, to be the sole support for a laboring woman. Consider, too, that you can't look into Mom's eyes and rub her backside at the same time. There will be times when you will need to step out of labor. Who will be with Mom if you leave to eat or rest or just to get a break from the emotional and physical intensity of labor? You cannot take good care of Mom if you are not taking good care of yourself. A doula affords you the space to do that.