I asked my hubby to give me the top 5 reasons he was glad we took childbirth classes together and these were his well thought out (or maybe off the top of his head) reasons. These are 5 great reasons that I teach my natural childbirth class series in Buda.
NUMBER ONE. I knew what to do to help in each stage.
Labor goes through different stages as it progresses and the laboring mom needs something different for each. She may or may not ask for something different, or she may say "don't do that" and you have to think on your feet (or be educated) to know what to try next instead of retreating to a corner to just stand and watch. In early labor, it will likely just be the two of you laboring together and you may not want to call the doula or midwife 6 times at 2am to ask questions about "what next".
*For one of my labors, Corey would watch the clock and come in every 5 minutes just before the contraction started to apply counter pressure while he was setting up the birth pool. I did not need to ask him to come, or call him, he knew how much time he had.* -Michelle
NUMBER TWO. I knew exactly what was happening in each stage (TMI for some probably)
There are different things that a woman's body does as labor starts, through the pushing stage and delivery of the placenta. She will feel much more confident when she tells you she is losing her mucous plug and having bloody show and you know what she is talking about. Knowing that her body is opening up and the uterus is literally pushing the baby down and out will help you to affirm her when labor gets serious. It does not take a PhD to know some labor vocabulary and knowing what a posterior baby is will help you labor together when mom is having back labor. You don't want to be the guy that says "what does that mean?" when your partner says she feels the ring of fire.
*My husband has seen my cervix. Seriously. At my first exam, after Corey told the midwife "I trust my wife with you", then she asked if he wanted to see my cervix and he said sure! I am not saying you need to have THAT much information as a dad, but knowing what the cervix is and does is vital to knowing what is happening during those contractions that you are supporting her through*-Michelle
NUMBER THREE. I knew what to expect. Dads don't like surprises.
When you know all the possible variations of labor (or have a handy chart like the one found in the Birth Boot Camp workbook) you know that labor can look different for each person. You know that the water probably won't break like it does on TV and that the due date does not really mean much. If your partner starts labor with long weak contractions, you won't get worked up because you know what prodromal labor is. You will make her an appointment with the chiropractor though, because you know that she may benefit from an adjustment. You will not be surprised at all when she she vomits and starts shaking because you know it is perfectly normal and things are progressing. You will tell her she is doing wonderful and working hard. Cutting the cord is on a whole different level the first time though.
*Each of my births were completely different from each other but my husband handled each variation like he had already been there before and with my 3rd, my he actually said "I got this, we don't even need the midwife." He was joking of course, but fully confident in the birth process and it made me feel fully protected and confident in my ability to have an amazing birth. *-Michelle
NUMBER FOUR. It made the whole experience "ours" instead of "yours".
Most Dads hate co-ed baby showers. They are not interested in playing sniff the candy bar poop diaper or how fast can you change a baby doll. They do not want to sit in a chair and ooh and aww over baby clothes. Most of them are not "showing" (although some dads do gain weight along with mom) and they do not get asked "how are you feeling?" by random strangers. They do get some odd advice from time to time, but for the most part- pregnancy is mom focused. But men are becoming parents too. They have emotions that change and are excited about painting a nursery or picking out baby gear too.
Childbirth Classes are completely about BOTH couples joining parenthood together. It is a place for other dads to talk about their expectations and learn together with their partners. Education classes are a safe place to be vulnerable and learn how to read a Rainbow Relaxation to your partner without feeling judged. This baby does not belong just to the mother that is growing it, but also to the father that provided half of his DNA to create it.
Many first time dads have a hard time bonding in the first few months because breastfeeding is something only mom can do, but taking a childbirth class such as ours shows dads the many ways he can help the breastfeeding relationship with mom and also bond with his baby in all the other ways. (Dads can skin to skin and baby wear just like mom can!).
A dad can do more than just cut the cord and hold the camera.
*I always felt awkward being showered with attention when pregnant and wanted to find ways to include my husband in everything so he could share in that awkwardness haha. When we took our childbirth class series, it really brought us together as a couple to truly prepare for labor as one and also increased the expectation and excitement about becoming parents. Just handing him a "Fathers 101" book was not nearly the same as us taking a class together with other dads in the same room.*-Michelle
NUMBER FIVE: Sexercise was wholeheartedly promoted.
Need I say more? Just telling your wife to do her kegels is a way to get mean mugged...but telling her you need to check her progress is another story. Did you know dads also benefit from kegels? If you took a childbirth class, you would know that and be exercising daily. -And checking your progress on a regular basis.
Sex is such a special bond for couples and is how you ended up in childbirth classes anyway, so why not learn all the benefits that it offers during pregnancy!
YES DADS- you actually have a box to check off sex. Who would NOT love that?
*Kegels are amazing for both of you and you actually can tell when you have been doing them regularly. It is so fun that Birth Boot Camp classes offer a lighthearted way for you to bond that keeps the laughter alive in a marriage.*-Michelle
Gone are the days when men were not allowed in the birthing room and the men only stood in the hallway waiting until their wives were completely made up again to hold a wrapped up bundle of joy.
Modern dads prepare for labor WITH their partner. They prepare for what may come. They know how to talk with their doula and provider. They are educated, they are equipped, they are excited. They understand why they they want a natural childbirth and how to support their partner.
Be the dad that takes a childbirth class today so you can see that Birth Is Awesome!