We often think of a childbirth class as something that moms-to-be need, and that dads-to-be are dragged to with varying degrees of reluctance. Often, that’s how the dads themselves see it before class starts. In my experience, however, by the time the class is over most dads are at least as happy as their partners that they took the class.
Often, when a woman is pregnant, she watches birth videos on YouTube. She reads books about labor and birth and all that comes along with that. She talks to her friends and family members about their experiences with labor. By the time she starts the class, she’s got a foundation knowledge upon which to build. Sometimes, dads do their own research, but often they go with the flow, assuming that she will do the work and all he has to do is show up and hold her hand. Anyone who’s ever attended a birth knows there’s a lot more to labor support than that! Moms and dads both leave a good childbirth class feeling prepared and confident. Taking the class together helps them solidify their values regarding birth, such as what type of pain medications might be acceptable, what newborn procedures they should allow and which should they waive, and where they might be willing to compromise should the need arise. A class gives dads the tools they need to be truly involved and helpful during the births of their babies, a bonding experience for the whole family that lasts a lifetime.
If you’re a dad and you took a childbirth class during your partner’s pregnancy, please post a comment and let us know how the class helped you!