Why Dads Need to Give a Shit About Birth
I met with another pregnant woman today - one in a string of hundreds I’ve met with in 10 years of birth work. Our conversation sparks a bunch of red flags in my head as I read between the lines of her conventional story. Towards the end she looked at me and said she wants a doula because her husband "will just panic and want me to do whatever the doctor says...He just wants me and the baby to be safe!”
Really? A dad that wants his partner and his baby to be safe. Ya don't say.
Not being one to sugar coat things, I looked at her and said that how she described her husband was very cliche.
He was full of anxiety because he is afraid of birth.
He is afraid of birth because he doesn’t know anything about it.
Know what the cure is for fear?
C’mon. It’s rillllll simple.
I bet you know it.
Ding ding ding! Knowledge.
And it’s really easy to learn things in the information age.
I told her that generally dads are scared of birth and they don’t do anything about it because they accept it as the default state of all dads-to-be and somehow this makes it okay. Combine this with the fact that:
- The average guy is afraid/feels dumb asking for help about anything
- Most guys are terrified/don't even know how to be vulnerable and emotionally transparent
- Most women accept the above two points and don't expect anything more because they too are a victim of our society that doesn't talk openly about the important stuff like birth, death, sexual health, etc.
So it's no wonder that when the birth rolls around dads end up quietly standing in the corner deferring to hospital staff.
Not a very masculine image.
Ideally dads are informed and empowered (along with the mamas!) so they can take on a very active role during the birth of their child. Their energy can be spent connecting with, supporting, and protecting their partner and baby. This is also what most women need to relax into their feminine energy and do whatever they need to do to birth their babies. It’s also a great way to transition into his role as a father - from a place of strength.
But most people, dads in particular, don't think much about the birth day. It’s seen as just one day they have to get through. In reality - it’s hugely important and quite indicative of the future of that family.
How a man shows up during labor and birth (and postpartum - don’t even get me started) sets the foundation for his family and for his role as a father.
It also sets the tone for how the intimate relationship between parents evolves after the birth of a child.
What do you want your foundation to be made of?
Resources for dads:
- The Business of Being Born (also on Netflix Streaming)
- More Business of Being Born (also on Netflix Streaming)
- Pregnant in America (On Netflix - DVD only)
- Orgasmic Birth
- Bag It (such a good movie, made by a dad-to-be)
I also have some pretty bitchin Pinterest boards that are worth checking out.
If you liked this blog, you may be interested in some of the other cool stuff that I do like:
And if you are a dad (or you know a dad) who just plain needs to get his shit together - send him to Reality Rehab. It's a four-month online program where we go over communication, sex, relationships, food, health and money - all the stuff you wish they would've taught you in school.