Pregnancy and birth used to be a space for women only. But thankfully times have changed and we are living in an era where dads want to be involved and are wholeheartedly part of the journey of their children.
For a mother to have a optimal birth experience a delicate balance of elements is required: the right physical environment, quiet, calm and most importantly a sense of safety and privacy, the people that are present at the birth, as little interference as possible, a good personal emotional state to just name a few essential ingredients to birth positively.
The hormone that governs the birth process is called oxytocin. This hormone is also being released when we make love, the actual creation of a child. So it makes sense that the hormone that is involved in creating the baby needs to be present in birthing the child, right? In order to keep oxytocin levels high at birth, it is important that the mother feels loved and supported by her partner. That can be expressed through encouraging words, praise, caressing and kissing,gentle touch or massage.
The level of awareness and presence of the father is a crucial factor for the mother to labour well. She might be in her own zone, not engaging in a communicative way, but rest assured, she will be able to sense whether the partner is engaged in the process or not.
For fathers to provide this safe and reassuring space they need to feel safe themselves and be informed about what happens at birth. This will add a tremendous sense of security for the mother.
In order for the dads to feel secure in their role and ability to support, the key ingredient is preparation. That can mean to start with the antenatal classes around week 25, to give yourselves the time to practice the techniques, so that at the birth they are already second nature and your subconscious mind can just tap into them, without having to think about it too much.
Practice makes masters, so spend some time each day preparing for the birth, with exercises, breathing, massage and whatever else makes you feel comfortable, relaxed and safe.
Men at birth release the hormone dopamine which is responsible to create a sense of safety and protection. And that is the role of the father, to keep the space safe.
During Pregnancy the foundations of a family are laid and at birth the family is being born.
Birth can be the most empowering moment of your life, not only for mothers but also for fathers if they are welcomed and included in this journey of pregnancy and birth. It will create a deep bond between the couple and their child as it is the first thing they will do together as a family.