It never ceases to amaze me when I am contacted by a potential hypnobirthing client to ask if her partner 'has to come along too'. 'Has' to?! I mean, no-one's going to force them and of course, women are absolute super heroes who are most welcome to attend my hypnobirthing classes by themselves and totally ROCK their births, but seriously, in my opinion: how fucking selfish of said partner, to even make this a question!
Gone are the days when fathers weren't allowed in the birth room. I can barely believe that was ever the case. These days, thankfully, most fathers want to be at the birth of their baby, although there are still some who do not.
It should be noted that although most women want their partners to be there, some would prefer to be supported by their mother, sister, friend, or doula and that is a different matter altogether. The theory being in these scenarios is often due to the thought that the father may be an unhelpful influence. A frightened father; a clueless father; a helpless father, for example, is likely to act out of fear and be no use to anybody! However, with a father who has attended hypnobirthing classes, that is rarely ever the case. Many women, myself included, would say: "I couldn't have done it without him."
A father who has come along to my classes, with his absolute superhero of a partner and has dedicated time to practise the tools and techniques he has been shown; who is feeling confident and calm; who has read widely and feels in control; who is a fully supportive part of the process, will not only be producing all the right hormones, he will positively enrich the experience for all involved. Being pregnant, growing a human, giving birth and becoming a family is absolutely life changing. A father's active role in the process is crucial.
It's not uncommon for a father to feel nervous, embarrassed even, at the thought of attending a birth preparation class. It's completely natural. This is life changing stuff! It's ok for them to feel this way. What's not ok - and what really pisses me off - is when fathers shirk their responsibility as a partner and ultimately, as a father. To these boys, I say: it's time to be MEN! Step up and show up! Birth is not just for girls!
All the love,
Your body, your baby, your birth.
Helen Wright: Double Mama to two gorgeous little humans; Positive Birth Coach and Postnatal Revival Expert, is on a mission to support parents achieve the right births for them and their babies and help them to thrive in the precious postnatal period and beyond.
Helen is an experienced KG Hypnobirthing Teacher, Positive Birth Coach and Creative Genius behind BirthWright Affirmation Cards; she's also a Certified Placenta Remedies Specialist with the Placenta Remedies Network, a Registered Breastfeeding Helper with the Breastfeeding Network and she co-hosts a monthly Family Meet Up & Support Group in the East End of London where she lives.
For more info visit: www.BirthWright.co.uk and follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.