We encourage moms and dads to work hand in hand to have the best birth experience for them. Many dads experience anxiety and fear at the thought of helping a laboring women and would benefit greatly from having an experienced birth professional by their side to guide them in helping their laboring partner. Take my husband for example:
He is your typical car loving, math minded, engineer type man of the house. When we found out we were pregnant with our first he was... nervous to say the least. I went into labor right around midterms (yes he was still in school) and when I went in to be induced, we had been so excited the night before that he FORGOT he had a huge midterm due by the end of that day. *cue extremely upset past dates pregnant wife!!!* I was livid! We went in to be induced and he worked on his test all morning. When contractions finally started to hit me, they hit me HARD. I needed him, someone, ANYONE desperately and my being upset didn't make any part of that experience easier. He finally finished his exam and was able to support me through the majority of the labor but I knew that I wanted something different the next time around.
With my second I employed an amazing doula. She and I were already close friends so she knew exactly what made me tick and how to read my cues. The best part was that she guided my (completely clueless!) husband in how to help me. She instructed him in "slow dancing", breathing techniques, and when to say nice things to me. It was a night and day difference! I finally got the experience of feeling like a goddess during labor and having the man that I love by my side to help strengthen me through each contraction! And he got the support he needed to do so.
So you may be saying "well we have a doula now! What's dad supposed to do?!" Or "Dads there, he will be able to handle it, we don't need the extra support." Well from one new mama to another I'm here to tell you, he may look brave, he may act the part, but nothing instills fear in a man like being the only support person for a very pregnant, very hormonal women and having absolutely no clue what to do to make her stop giving you that dirty look!
Dads can be such amazing support people and there's nothing like watching a once timid dad truly step up to the plate. Whether dad is a go-getter ready for anything that labor throws at him or a quieter voice near by, we are here to support and help you to have the best experience possible! Don't worry dads, there's still lots for you to do!
Photo courtesy of thelocketphotography.com