How Important is The Role of Dads To Be

In my antenatal and birthing classes, I see all sorts of dads-to-be. From the super-enthusiastic, wanting to learn everything they possibly can to help their partner at birth and avoid being a spare part. To the reluctant ones, who worry they may be more of a hinderance than a help during birth. And then there are those who are not apprehensive about the birth, but about my classes.

In recent years antenatal classes have become part of the ritual of becoming a dad (or co-parent with same sex couples). But still there are many who come to their first one, clearly not at all sure why they are even there.

Common Fears for Dads To Be

Perhaps it seems like they are going back to school?  Or they are afraid of the pressure to be touchy-feely with other parents, who have nothing in common other than having a baby. Or, perhaps they are nervous of being exposed as ignorant or even ambivalent about having a baby in the first place?

How antenatal classes help men

I like to think these uncertainties are eased by the way my classes are run in a package.

By embarking on the full package of pregnancy yoga, birth classes and parenting classes, it means the mums-to-be are already comfortable with each other before the couples course begins because they’ve done the yoga first.

I hope to create a fun atmosphere where no one has to get everything right. The partner’s role is crucial in birth and preparing for birth. In the classes we practice and talk about strategies for providing the kind of support that a labouring woman and new mother needs, as well as ways to relate with babies in their own right. 

The men in the classes feed back to me that they come away feeling they have got something for themselves. Not just because they are being helpful to their partner, but in their own right.

As well as becoming fully prepared for birth and parenting you will make great friends too. Groups go out for supper or form their own What’s app groups. Dads bring their babies for yoga together before a celebratory reunion with everyone. So you never know what you will get out of it.

For more information on booking classes please contact me.

Antenatal Classes and Birth Classes: How can they help prepare me for my baby?

A happy student from one of my birth classes

Antenatal classes, birth classes, NCT, pregnancy yoga. How do you know which is best for you? And what can you expect in a class. I offer a holistic package from pregnancy to early parenthood and here I explain all you need to know about these classes.

Antenatal classes are often criticised because they focus on birth, when actually the hardest bit is coping with a new baby.

Parents feel let down, because there was so much support before the big day but now, after all the excitement dies down, they are literally left holding the baby not knowing what to do.

I have thought long and hard about this over the years and how to address this in my pregnancy and birth classes in Hackney.

I try to bring in lots about parents and babies, for instance. Or couples who’ve taken my classes in the past come to visit with their babies, which everyone loves. I show short videos of baths and meeting your baby. We practice with dolls and I give out a printed guide for early parenting with advice and top tips.

But still, I notice people find it easier to concentrate on ‘what are the signs of labour?’ or ‘what positions are good for transition?’  than the nitty gritty of parenting.

Why is this? There are plenty of factors at work.

  1. It’s difficult to imagine you will actually have a baby.  Perhaps you can’t allow yourself to believe you and/or your baby will survive, so you focus on getting it out.
  2. You are learning more than you realise about looking after babies when preparing for birth.  It’s all about being in a zone, being timeless, allowing yourself to be instinctive, being confident in your partner that they are not rushing to sort things out last-minute, breathing and relaxing, moving and finding new positions to rock your baby as you do during birth.  And so on.
  3. Like birth, babies can’t be fixed and you can never be fully prepared, so it’s about being prepared for not being prepared.

This is why my birth class package includes mother and baby classes after birth as well as the antenatal stuff. That way you can share the highs and lows with the other mums you got close to during pregnancy and get some expert advice as well.

Believe me, these will be invaluable as you navigate through the early days!

For details on all my Hackney classes and advice on pregnancy and beyond. Please contact me.