Dads and Antenatal Classes
It isn’t uncommon for dads to wonder if they really need to go to antenatal (childbirth education) classes with their partner. Surely all the women will be sitting cross-legged on the floor panting through breathing exercises and chanting. Do I really need to endure THAT?!
We have news for you! Childbirth education classes have come a long way since the 1950’s and today focus on providing the infornation and support that both mums and dads will need on their parenting journey.
Being at the birth of your baby is an incredible and often a completely life-changing experience. You won't want to be standing around like a spare part! It is crucial that you know what is happening so you can support your partner and actually be involved.
The classes also provide information for when baby arrives: opportunities to learn practical skills such as dealing with nappies, bedding, bathing and soothing. You might be surprised to find out that your knowledge can help to establish successful breastfeeding for mum! It's also important to know about the roller coaster of postnatal emotions that new mothers may encounter and understanding how babies tick will make those more challenging moments when baby is unsettled so much easier to respond to and soothe.
Parents Centre CBE’s (Childbirth Educators) are skilled at ensuring that men feel at ease and that the content is relevant equally useful and relevant to both partners.
It is common for evaluation forms to have this sort of feedback “I really didn’t want to go, I told my wife I’d probably only come to 1 or 2 classes, but I ended up being the one who enjoyed the classes the most! The content was really relevant to me as a dad and it was helpful meeting other dads too. I ended up looking forward to going each week as it was not only interesting but actually quite fun to attend."
So go along to the classes, you are in this as a team - and we are sure you will enjoy them much more than you realise!
Some useful websites for dads:
This information is from our Ask A Childbirth Educator series of questions from members, November 2014