Copy of preparing for birth
In this article, Dean Beaumont from DaddyNatal gives expectant dads some valuable tips.
What can we do as men to prepare for the birth of our child?
Wow what a heading, this one could fill a book! For the sake of actually getting you to read this - I will keep it relatively short.
One of the most important things is to bond with you baby antenatally, so wherever possible attend those appointments with the midwife don’t miss the scans and read this “when does a man become a dad”.
Attend antenatal classes, now unfortunately DaddyNatal ( http://www.daddynatal.co.uk ) classes are only available in certain areas at the moment but we are training more dads to spread the availability. So once your child is born maybe you could be next DaddyNatal educator. So what are your choice's.
NHS classes, unfortunately in some areas these have become women only! And run during the day but some still run couples classes. The classes tend to be quite matter of fact and medicalised run either at weekend over two evenings to allow partners to attend. One of advantages is you will normally get a tour of delivery suite which is always a good thing. Knowing where you are going and what to expect can help.
NCT,( http://www.nct.org.uk/) these classes are couple classes run normally over 6 classes, they will cover things like breastfeeding, c sections, how to bathe your baby, interventions and a lot more. A lot of people form very good friendships at these classes that continue for life.
Daisy Birthing (http://www.thelazydaisychain.co.uk), they run courses just for mums but also couples workshops, their classes include no nonsense education, in practical every day language and using real life metaphors to help understanding! Including what causes the process to happen and what causes the process to falter. Techniques which enable you to provide meaningful support (through prompts, breathing, massage and practical tasks).
Natal Hypnotherapy (http://www.natalhypnotherapy.co.uk), these workshops are run in two parts, natural pain relief and birth preparation. The Natal Hypnotherapy workshops focus exclusively on what you can do to help yourselves have the most positive birth experience, regardless of the type of birth you are planning. They teach you in depth skills to prepare yourself mentally, emotionally as well as physically for the birth.
There are other more regional offering like those I run with Bump Birth and Beyond ( http://www.bumpbirthandbeyond.co.uk), covering things from different perspectives. Ours have both a male and female facilitator to allow us to cover things from both perspectives. Find a course that suits you both.
All the ones I have listed above are run by educators approved by Federation of Antenatal Educators FEDANT (http://www.fedant.org). I would recommend before you attend any course you check the teacher is FEDANT registered.
In addition to this, what can you do yourselves, most importantly talk to each other, understand each others preferences, talk about your fears, yes you will both have them, by talking about them you can overcome them. Fear plays a large part in labour even yours as I explain here, so its important you deal with your fears.
Read plenty out there to read, try to avoid forums but read information pages, and of course use the Dadzclub site and their experts to get your questions answered.