I’m saying it- birth is HARD for men. I know, I know. But honestly, it is. That which has traditionally been a female domain has shifted into the realms of coupledom, in response to our living situations. Most of us are not lucky enough to live round the corner from our mothers/ sisters/ aunties who can tell us about birth/ stroke our hair/ show us how to get comfortable.
For most of us, our partners are our primary support- but what the hell do they know about how to lift us up? Absolutely sod all.
Think about it- men do not stand around the water cooler in the office sharing their top tips for labour. How will they learn? Their instincts haven’t caught up with modern life. The role of the father, in evolutionary terms, was to physically protect the birthing space, roaming around outside the cave, waving his club to ward off a sabre tooth tiger. The emotional side of things, the finer details of what was going on- all left to the women.
So, if you want to say “I couldn’t have done it without him”, know that this won’t happen by accident, but that he definitely can be your secret weapon.
- Get along to some shared antenatal preparation-HYPNOBIRTHING is fantastic for partners as it offers them practical tools, a clear understanding of the process, and the emotional awareness that makes a huge difference
- TALK about what you want, what matters, what worries you, let him into your head
- LISTEN to his concerns- he will most likely bottle them up as he thinks you’ve got enough on your plate, but you could be in a position to alleviate his worries
- WATCH some births together where it really is a team effort- there’ll be a post later in the series sharing a couple of great ones
If you go into labour knowing that your partner is calm, confident and prepared, you can truly relax, buoyed up by their strength.
So what happens when it all works out? Here is my husband’s perspective of the birth of our second baby, and how he learnt from how things went the first time round.
Remember that you have until the end of 2016 to nab your place on The Retreat at the early bird rate. This is a unique opportunity to combine your birth prep with a babymoon in the lap of luxury by the sea. You can book with a deposit, and get some gifted contributions on your Xmas list- there’s no better gift than empowered, calm confidence. #nomoremuslinsthanks
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