The woman is the one who carries the child in her body for nine months, the one who has to give birth, the one who (if she wants to) will feed her the milk produced by her breast. The other party involved must also be present throughout this process, hence it is very important (and even necessary) that the father attend childbirth preparation classes, a way of understanding pregnancy, childbirth and everything that will come later.
Women are perfectly designed to gestate and give birth. Both are physiological processes, and just as we do not doubt our body's ability to breathe or digest, we would not have to doubt its ability to give birth. But in our culture we seem to have forgotten it. Therefore It is good for future moms to go with their midwife to childbirth classes.
These classes have changed a lot in recent years. It is no longer about 'learning to breathe' or 'being taught to push', but about understanding the process, knowing the physiology of normal childbirth and connecting with our tools to travel that path.
But what about future dads? Is it also beneficial for them to attend these classes? Of course yes. In these sessions, not only will we talk about what happens on the day of delivery, but important issues for parenting and the family in general are discussed: baby care, needs, breastfeeding, care for the new mother, parenting ... It goes far beyond the old 'childbirth preparation'.
In addition, they are increasingly inclusive for future parents; In some centers, there are even sessions directed just for them, in which they can freely share their impressions, expectations or fears (which they also have): from how to bathe a baby to how to face the day of delivery.
In these groups of equals it is easier to share without feeling judged, and without feeling that they steal the spotlight from them, because in that group the real protagonists are them. The disadvantage is that if it is not discussed later as a couple, a wonderful opportunity is lost to share fears, doubts, beliefs and possible ways of facing and considering the birth and raising of the baby.
For a future father, it is super important to know what happens in pregnancy, childbirth and postpartum, but above all what a woman who is pregnant, giving birth or who has just done it needs.
And the thing is that childbirth is a super intense experience for everyone present, and accompanying this moment is not easy; because accompanying the pain of your partner is an extreme situation. Probably in childbirth you will see her as you have never seen her before, expressing very intense emotions and sensations; a new and overwhelming situation if nobody has told you before.
Because your feelings are joined by your concern, your need to do something to try to alleviate, sometimes impotence because you don't know how to do it ... Knowing in advance how the process is, what we can expect and how we can help, facilitates it.
And something similar happens with postpartum. It is said many times that 'when a baby is born, a mother is born'. But we forget that most of the time 'a father is born too'. A father who has to learn to be one while accompanying the new mother in her adaptation to the new role.
And at the same time that he accompanies her, he begins to know her in this facet, which may be surprising at first. But information is power, and in these classes you will have learned what the puerperium is, how it affects the mother's physical and emotional state, what she may need and how to help her achieve it. And of course, what does a baby need at birth (I'll tell you before, he doesn't need anything other than his parents), how to take care of him, and a lot of other things that will be useful to you in your new role as a father.
So do not hesitate, look for a center where they do something more than a preparation for childbirth, that is a preparation for motherhood / fatherhood, in which the companions / future parents have an important role, and get ready to live this exciting adventure. Good trip!
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