SUPPORT FOR DADS
Feel more confident and informed to support your family
Research shows us “Fathers provide emotional, psychological and practical help during labour which promotes a more positive childbirth experience for both parents. (Fatherhood Institute, 2014 (Eggermont etal, 2016)
There is a lot to learn but you’ve got this. Together we support, guide, educate and empower you to care for your family and yourself as you become a parent.
You can build skills to:
- Provide invaluable support to your partner during pregnancy and labour – emotionally, practically and physically.
- Understand how to optimise natural physiological childbirth and reduce interventions.
- Communicate effectively to advocate for your partner and family.
- Take care of your emotions and needs so you can respond well to the challenges and choices you may face.
- Support your capacity for bonding and feel love grow with your baby and partner.
You make a difference to the health and wellbeing of your family. But it does take action. Call us or Book into a class, look over the resources on this website, ready books and talk to your friends about birth. We are here to help you and your family not just survive but thrive!
Book a time to chat with Aladdin or Erika
Birth has been womens business for eons. Now this wisdom is being shared with you! Are you ready to learn from your female anscestors and step into this response-ability?
Dads are recognizing how important it is to be present, helpful, loving and supportive to their partners in labour. We are asking men to think about what they bring to the birth space. Are they in their mature masculine? Can they witness their partner in her birthing power or do they want to fix or rescue? Are they learning about natural childbirth so they can work with it, not fear it? Do they want to know how to help reduce unneccssary interventions and improve health? The capacity for growth and empowerment as a dad is here for the taking.
Knowing that we were going to have a birth partner with us during the birth was very comforting for me during Stef’s pregnancy. My expectation was that we would be having a minimum 10 hour birth and I felt completely supported knowing that Erika would be there not just as an extra set of hands but someone Stef had come to feel really close to during the pre-birth consultations. As it turned out the birth was so quick Erika made it only minutes before the birth, and I don’t think I even had time to massage Stef’s back. Thanks so much Erika for your support and education which we feel was integral in the ease and speed of the birth of our beautiful baby girl Loup!
Next steps and ongoing resources
For your ‘Birth support partner check list’, scroll down and subscribe to the Birthready newsletter.
Attend a Beer + Bubs class (A one night session at the pub where expectant dads learn how to support their partner through the birth of their baby). Childbirth is daunting for men too and this session prepares fathers for an active, caring role.
Attend a Birthready dads session online. Dig deeper into your birth and parenting preparation. Talk to other dads about ways to boost your confidence and trust in your birth support and parenting instincts. Explore what to do if your partner is not coping. Prepare to witness your partner in labour and how to manage your emotions. Get specific about what you and your partner want from your birth experience. Learn more ways to support a positive and healthy outcome for all.
Join COPE (an email and web based support system that sends information to fathers during their transition to parenthood).
Create a dads group in your local area: Dads Group Inc (Connecting Dads in local communities so they can share their experiences, make new friends and enjoy a healthier, happier family life).
Did you know that 1 in 10 men will experience depression during the ante and post natal period. This is alarming and as a community we need to do more to care about you!
Men often don’t have enough:
- access to support emotionally to process their thoughts and feelings
- regular contact with health carers who may pick up a change in mood and function
- social situations where they can talk about it, problem solve, normalise
- time off to recharge
- ways to gain the necessary tools to manage
- support at work to help balance the extra demands on them at home
With depression often increasing between 6weeks and 6 months after birth, and lasting longer than a year, it’s very important to seek help if you notice that you are not feeling ok. Start now by taking good care of yourself and communicating with loved ones (or a professional) about what’s going on for you. There are other factors that influence having depression and overcoming it. When we shed light on it and demystify it, there is a positive way through to better health.
Alongside other health care professionals, Birthready offers doula support, coaching and guidance to support partners, and helping you make positive change in your life.
So you’re going to be a parent! Or perhaps you are going to support someone who is. What an honour and privilege to have this responsibility, and perhaps it’s a bit daunting and stressful as well. You are about to fall in love in a way that you never have before; with a new little being, with your partner and perhaps even with life itself! This time of change can bring on a whole range of emotions, all of which are valid and worthy of your attention. When you want to be a good support person to your partner, your emotional wellness matters!
If strong feelings are building up for you, do you have someone to express them to and feel supported? Often men don’t. I’m here to help change this for the better. We work to master skills for birth and life!
If you feel emotions that are challenging, stressful and negative, speak up! It’s important to have support for you. Becoming a parent is a significant time of personal growth and change. Being more self aware means you’ll be more able to care for your needs and those you love. This effort, this vulnerability is empowering and helps you and your family feel safer, healthier, supported and satisfied as you become parents.
Involved partners tell me they feel…
- Overjoyed and happy with the anticipation of having a baby
- More love, nurture and protection grow for their partner
- Better to deal with a new level of pressure and stress for taking on the primary income earner role
- Able to manage the stress of stepping up into new responsibilities.
- Adaptable to their new lifestyle and the partner/parent relationship.
- Excited to discover who they are as a dad or mum
A dad shared with me his reflections after the birth of his second childbirth. It’s honest and real. He talks about the good and the tough parts of the changes he went through and how that reflected in way he supported his partner. You may agree or not with his perspectives but I hope that it inspires you to explore how you want to be through this journey into life and how you can make it happen.
Matt’s Birth Story
I grew up hearing stories about men not caring or wanting to be involved in pregnancy or child birth, my father and my father’s father. These stories seemed so clean cut. Black and white.
The truth is, pregnancy is first and foremost a woman’s ‘journey’ and the pragmatic, clinical nature of man’s logic has no place in maternity. Our ‘outcomes’ definition of ‘success’ seems to neglect one essential part of pregnancy and often many parts of life. The ‘journey’.
A woman’s pregnancy takes 40 weeks, birth can take 1,2,3 days and newborn childcare is at least a 12 month process, yet the men in charge of modern pediatrics speak In minutes and the one percentile.
During my experience of child birth I found myself thinking in minutes, outcomes, cm and %. Why, well because I am a man.
I believe it is the responsibility of the mother and father to recognize and accept our primal instincts and work towards a balance during this period and hopefully during parenting.
I failed Sandy during the first birth because I gave into this ‘outcomes’ approach to life and allowed people with no care for Sandy’s soul to make clinical decisions that totally sacrificed her mind in preference for her body and their own agendas.
I spent most part of the second pregnancy trying to think with my heart, listening patiently regardless of outcome & spent more time holding without the intention of sex.
I believe it was difficult for me and is for other men because it involves us being totally selfless and ignoring our basic primal instincts.
My son already comes to me for more masculine tasks, even though he was not taught to and my daughter will probably seek Sandy when it comes to feminine tasks. This is something set by nature from day one and It Is very hard to find a balance as a child grows into an adult and more often than not we just give in and accept the gender roles given to us.
I guess my gender roles based view of life and maternity might seem misogynist and simplistic, but I simply cannot ignore the way I feel. However, I can learn to transcend my selfish primal urges for periods of time when it is required that I be there for people other than myself.
Sandy’s pregnancies have shown me that I can become a multi dimensional citizen, father, lover & partner that has evolved past primal needs and is capable of greater human sacrifice.
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