Today you can hardly surprise anyone with the statement “We’re going to have a baby together! After all, family births have recently become very popular. And this is a very good trend that came to us from the West.
First of all, a partner’s delivery is rightfully considered an intimate event in the life of the couple, and the role of the father in it is as important as that of the mother. And secondly, by going all the way from beginning to end along this difficult path together with their loved one, the couple gets great support, a sense of security, and they take an equal share of responsibility for everything that happens during the birth. Moreover, the new fathers become not only witnesses, but active participants in the sacrament of birth.
An illustration of the theme of family birth can be Rober’s story: “Even before we became pregnant, Anny and I decided to give birth together. It never even occurred to us that it could be any other way. If we conceived our child in an atmosphere of love, we wanted to see his birth that way. When we realized we were expecting a baby, we started looking for a way to experience the birth the way we wanted to. We started taking classes to prepare for this birth. Communication with other parents, trusting relationships that developed in the classes gave us invaluable support. I not only asserted my desire to be there for my wife and child during the birth, but I realized my role as a father. We found a clinic that allowed us to give birth together and made an appointment with the doctor. I remember everything that happened with a great deal of fondness. I didn’t let Anny out of my arms, helped her to change position, rubbed her lower back and feet, encouraged her, tried to maintain an atmosphere of calmness – in general, I did everything in my power. Honestly, I can’t imagine how she would have survived this physically demanding job without my help. And I’m really proud that I was one of the first to hold our son in my arms and cut the cord myself. I am now a strong advocate of daddy involvement in childbirth. Tell me, how can you be on the sidelines at such an important moment in your own family’s life?” If you are currently expecting a baby and are thinking about the possibility of a family birth, you are probably trying to gauge your family’s internal readiness for this step. Even if it seems completely out of your reach, don’t discount the fact that 9 months of pregnancy can make amazing changes to you.
If a family birth is necessary for you to deal with some issues, it can not only prevent a normal birth, but it can also seriously damage the family relationship. So ask yourself: “Why do I need this?” It happens often enough that people, without figuring out their true motives for wanting to have a baby together, are disappointed. Some women seek to strengthen family relationships, to show their husband the extent of their suffering, to “punish” him for his lack of attention, to attract him to childcare. As a rule, such actions have the opposite result. Causing a man to feel guilty, you are not bringing him closer, and alienate him from themselves and the baby. Do not forget that children are very sensitive to the relationship in the family and may even become ill on the basis of parental conflict. So your task – by the time the child is sorted out the internal problems, and if it is impossible, at least postpone their clarification until the moment when the kid will grow up a little. There is a situation where the father goes to the hospital, as on a feat in the name of his wife and child. It would seem, what’s wrong with that? But childbirth is not a place for a feat or a battle. If someone takes on an overwhelming burden of responsibility, the atmosphere of tension prevents the birth from proceeding naturally and normally. The father in such a state tries to assert himself, expecting then to get the respect of relatives or friends. Some men are attracted by the extremity of the situation, the opportunity to prove themselves, to overcome their own fears and weaknesses. These motives are not enough to participate in the birth. And you should do some serious inner work to realize that your job is to help the baby come into the world safely, to meet him in a calm environment of trust and love, not to solve any problems at the expense of the baby.
Many couples have come to family delivery thanks to special courses. The atmosphere of such family classes gives you an opportunity to reflect on your own life priorities, assess your own parental responsibility, compensate for your lack of experience with children, get rid of fears and stereotypes, and gain confidence in your own abilities. Working together, expectant parents learn to feel and understand each other better, especially if they do not just listen to theoretical lectures about childbirth, but also undergo special training. As a rule these are breathing exercises, practical training of postures and supports used in childbirth, teaching the elements of massage, relaxation practices and the basics of autogenic training. Parents who have established contact with their baby during pregnancy tell us that they are much more aware of their child’s intrauterine life than doctors are and feel all his or her needs, emotions and experiences. In these stories sounds real wisdom, because no one but loving parents can better understand and feel the baby. And this is the most important parenting skill, which cannot be taught, but can be learned. After all, the way to family birth is through your own heart. All of the most remarkable at first glance, psychological, pedagogical and medical advice pass through the prism of your love for your child, each other, keep the good and light that is in every family, and your intuition will not deceive you. Only you decide who will be there for the birth, avoid people at this moment, causing negative emotions. When seeking help from specialists, look for people who are creative, enthusiastic, sincerely loving children – those who would be in tune with your inner search.
Speaking about dad’s participation in childbirth, we would like to note that each family determines the degree of this participation in its own way. Some parents go through the whole way of pregnancy and childbirth together from the beginning to the end, dad takes an active part in the birth, he is not separated from his family for the first days after birth. Other parents decide that they are ready to live through the period of labor together, and the father will not be present at the pushing, he will just wait for the moment of the baby’s appearance and join the mother and the baby immediately after the birth. Some men are not ready to participate in the birth, but they want to see their newborn baby as soon as possible and have an opportunity to spend unlimited time with his wife and child during the first days. There have been cases where dads have been involved in a C-section operation and completely took over the care of the newborn while the mother was recovering. Nevertheless, spouses should choose the best option for them. And whatever they decide, the main thing is to make their final choice absolutely firm and conscious. As you know, happy parents have happy children. The spouses who truly love each other make every effort to prepare as best as possible for the arrival of the baby. At the moment of its birth the great sacrament of unity and strengthening of family ties takes place. Therefore, there is no doubt that the birth of a child is the brightest and happiest event in every family, which wants to repeat over and over again.