How does a prenatal education class prepare DAD for birth?
" I wanted to take a class but he wasn't really into it!"
Taking a prenatal education class is definitely NOT just for moms. Dads have a lot to learn and typically don't spend as much time during those 40 weeks of pregnancy reading up on cervical changes, contractions, and other birthy stuff. But, if they want to be there for you during labour then getting on the same page is a must!
So how can a prenatal education class help to prepare Dad to have a positive experience with birth and to be a kick ass birth partner?
Taking a class helps Dads know what to expect.
You will be the one giving birth but the birth of a child is an important experience for Dad, too. It is 100% normal for him to be emotional watching you labour. Watching someone work that hard and dig that deep can be tough when your partner doesn't have a good understanding of how birth works! This is even more true when Dad is not sure if what you are experiencing is normal or cause for concern. Once you have taken a class, you will both have a solid understanding of the basics of birth and what labour can look and sound like. A good prenatal education class should help to answer your questions and take some of the mystery out of birth.
Taking a class helps Dads learn new skills to help during labour.
If Dad is your main birth partner, he is going to need to know what he can do to help you manage those contractions when they start to get more and more intense! Some of his regular day to day massage techniques might help but sometimes you will need more targeted touch. Taking a prenatal education class together means that Dad will have a chance to practice some new skills (usually called comfort measures) with you so he will know where to rub, press and squeeze for maximum pain relief while you labour that baby down! Being able to offer this kind of hands on pain relief really helps Dad step into role as your birth partner.
Being on the same page means Dad can help you make choices along the way.
A big part of being a birth partner is understanding birth and the different options and choices you will come upon as labour unfolds. When you take a class together, you are going into birth on the same page. It is not uncommon to hear from a Dad that he felt out of the loop or uncertain about what was going on at different times during birth. A prenatal education class will give Dad the language and tools to be an active part of birth and to feel included.
Prenatal education is for Dads, too!
If you think you want to take a prenatal ed class but your partner is sitting on the fence, let him know all of the amazing information and skills he could learn by coming to class with you!