Birthing a child is an intimate and sacred experience that is a reflection of the love making that conceived the child. Doesn’t it make sense to have that experience in a familiar and safe environment?
For those of us that decide to bring birth home, we take responsibility for the grand entry of our children into this world by involving ourselves with every aspect of birth that might otherwise have been handled by someone else in a medical setting.
More and more homebirth dads are choosing to get involved with many aspects of birth because it makes sense to them and their definition of family. Furthermore, moms are asking for their support.
It made sense to me to get involved in the birth of my son. Also, my wife wanted me to be involved. Who else knew her better than me? Who was there more than anyone else throughout the whole pregnancy time? The benefit of my involvement was that I had increased bonding with my wife and my son, and I count his birth as the most transformative event of my life.
Here are 19 ways dads can positively get involved with the pregnancy, birth, and postpartum time.
- Say, “I am a dad.” Say it everyday
- Attend a childbirth education course
- Attend a breastfeeding class
- Ask other dads about their personal experience with birth
- Research birth options with partner
- Watch natural birth videos
- Be present for the sessions with midwife
- Ask compelling questions about birth such as “How can I positively influence the birthing time?”
- Participate in deciding who will be present at the birth
- Prepare the birth pool if mama wants one
- Organize the supplies requested by midwife
- Believe the process works, a woman’s body knows, a midwife is competent, and the water is safe and effective
- Watch, wait and let the process unfold
- Say, “I am postpartum care-giver.” Say it everyday
- Prepare healthy, hot meals [warm food helps new mama recover faster]
- Provide hot water bottles for mama if the weather is cold
- Be the organizer for houseguests and the duration and frequency of their stay
- Provide assistance in baby’s breastfeeding latch
- Help organize the assistance from family and friends to get all of the household chores done
Joe is an accidental birth junkie since supporting his wife, Andrea, in the homebirth of their son, Sacha. His work as a psychotherapist coincides with his new venture of Empowered Papa where he offers classes, coaching, and ongoing support through his blog. Joe is passionate about fixed gear bikes, running, yoga, and organic foods. He has devoted himself to a heart-centered practice.