July 4, 2014 7:07 pm

The waiting room or the delivery room, where do dads want to be?


The birth of a baby is difficult, painful, and the process can last several hours but the final outcome, your beautiful newborn baby, makes the tedious process well worth the pain.

Or does it? Well one journalist in the UK, as a dad, said the experience was anything but heart warming.

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Neil Lyndon, a writer for The Daily Telegraph, recently wrote an article titled: “Why dads don’t belong in the delivery room, and other lessons of childbirth learned by a father.”

“Nobody ever told me that after the birth, I would feel as shaken as if I’d been in a car crash,” Lyndon wrote. “That was how I felt for about two days after my oldest son was born, 32 years ago.”

Lyndon goes on to warn fathers that the experience is anything but beautiful and those so-called prenatal classes do very little to prepare men.

According to a new survey by the British Pregnancy Advisory Service, only one in 20 fathers avoids the delivery room.

But here in Canada, the sentiment seems different.

“The shock and the horror of being in a car crash I don’t see that as being a reality for us,” Steven Euser said.

Euser and his wife Jessica are first time parents.

“Because it’s my wife, there will be a lot of emotions. Even if on the day I am a bit frayed, nerves, I can do something, be there for her”.

Dads are not alone in this process. There are classes available for both mom and dad, to help prepare them for the labour, birth, and arrival of their baby. For dads, some prenatal classes have a more “dad focused” approach.

“The partner is not an emotionally removed person. They are very emotionally involved in the outcome of this. There is huge pressure to say the right thing to do the right thing ‎yet such little time is spent preparing them for what they are about to encounter,” Amanda Spakowski, the founder of The Nesting Place said.

Spakowski says, the father in the room is often overlooked with there being so much focus on the woman and the baby. As a result, dads need to know what they can do to help in the birthing process for both their own benefit and the mother’s.

“What a laboring body might react to at different stages of labor, how their method of support has to change if their partner gives birth via epidural or cesarean. Doubt is a very big part of it. Not knowing is this normal, is she ok, what can I do?” Spakowski said.

Janice Holsmer, a childbirth and lactation educator, has two children. One was born in the hospital, the other at home. She says her husband was her best support during both pregnancies and births.

“I trust him. He was a great support, he was extremely helpful, lots of great ideas, he definitely came to prenatal classes with me. He’s my rock,” Holsmer said.


© 2014 Shaw Media

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