There’s nothing sadder then a dad-to-be that knows he’s expected to “be there” at the birth of his child, knows that his partner expects him to help, but also knows that he doesn’t have a clue what to do. Then, during the labour, he shows it. Becoming a birth-coach is essential. In order to be a great birth-coach, you need the right skills to adapt to however the birth unfolds.

It is sad when dads-to-be lack the needed birth-coaching skills. Why? Because a woman often blames their partner for his failure, and this can impact the kind of partners they’re going to be after the birth – and more importantly, what kind of parents: ones that can count on each other, or ones that can’t.

You need the right birth-coach skills

Our online birth classes have been developed by hundreds of dads like you. Like many men, they are practical and just wanted to know what to do. They thought women already knew how to give birth, so they weren’t too sure how effective or even necessary they were for the process. They also worried about their partner’s Obstetrician or Midwife – what’s their role compared to a professional?

Let’s make it simple. You put the baby in there, but you also need to help get it out. Your partner may feel confident or terrified, but if she needs assistance, she’ll look to you for help. But what does she need assistance to do? Isn’t that the role of your Obstetrician or Midwife?

Certainly, a birthing woman may need medical assistance – in that case, your Obstetrician or Midwife will give it. However, most women also need other kinds of assistance; assistance to cope, to manage, to stay on top of, to deal with, to handle, to remain in control, and to feel capable of overcoming the pain of her contractions. This is the job of the birth-coach, and your Obstetrician or Midwife is not the birth-coach. You are.

These are the skills you’ll need to learn. You don’t need to learn all of them. Just choose the ones that interest you, and share them with your partner. And your partner will learn the ones that interest her, and she’ll share those with you. Then you’ll develop a plan, you’ll practice these skills together, and you’ll finally know that you’re on the same page; learning the same set of skills that you’ll need to perform your birthing roles.

Here’s the truth

A pregnant woman doesn’t instinctively know how to give birth. Just like you, your partner doesn’t already have the birth-coaching skills either. But together, the two of you can learn the skills you need for any childbirth, especially those concerning labour and vaginal birth.

As the dad, your job is to coach your partner through their birth, and that comes first by preparing your partner’s pregnant body for becoming a birthing body. So, take a leap; become skilled, and soon you’ll know what we know: that men are hard-wired to understand childbirth because they are born through a woman’s body – so all you need to do is to start learning.

So, what is labour?

Hard work and often painful. One of the great skills you’ll learn in our online Childbirth Preparation course is learning about the 5 phases of every contraction. Once you understand that a woman can implement skills in all these phases, you’ll no longer look at labour as simply ‘contractions she can handle’ and ‘contractions she can’t.’

Your job as a birth-coach is to help your partner implement skills in any of those 5 phases. When you can do this, you’ll finally be able to proclaim: “boy, the pain was sure intense, but she managed beautifully.” And that’ll be a sweet song indeed.

Birthing Better skills were developed by moms and dads in the early 1970s in the US and used by many thousands globally in all types of birth. Birthing Better online birthing classes are housed in Common Knowledge Trust.