Dads, Birthing Partners and Birth!

parents and those that are on the other side of childbirth, are watching in awe and wonderment!  There will dads-to-be and birthing partners all over the country worrying about a whole range of things- how the labour is going to go; will they know what to do; will they get their partners to hospital in time; what will they do if the baby starts to come at home; how will they cope with the lack of control; will they be a good dad! And the list can go on! 

Having spent years working with expectant parents and had many a conversation about their concerns and worries, I truly believe that a couple do share many of them.  However, labour and birth is a completely different experience for the dad-to-be or birthing partner!  I can hear all the mums shouting at me now, that as women we have the tougher part of the job! And don't get me wrong, we definitely deserve lots of praise, chocolates, flowers and of course diamonds, for growing, carrying and bringing our gorgeous babies into the big wide world!  All I am saying is that the dads or birthing partners have a tough job too!

With every woman that I have supported in labour and birth, I have supported their birthing partner too!  If any of you are on the birthing partner side, then you will know it is a challenging job!  You have to be alert and awake, you are the time keeper, you are the brow mopper, the shoulder to cry on, the stress ball, the driver, the butler, "the one that did this to me!!!", the one that has to take the abuse and the most important person in the room to the woman in labour!  That's a lot of pressure isn't it!  The most challenging part of supporting your other half in labour is watching the person you love in pain and not being able to do anything about it and feeling helpless.

But I want to reassure you all!  Although you feel that you aren't able to do anything to help, just being there is so vitally important and helps mums in labour feel reassured and safer.  Birthing partners provide such fabulous support to their partners without knowing it.  Take your partners lead as to what she wants you to do (it will change constantly throughout labour, don't take it personally) and how she wants you to support her.  

And that moment that you both meet your baby together, it will make everything worthwhile, it is the most magical and overwhelming experience!

Please share your experiences with us, as a dad or birthing partner or as a mum?