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As a dad, if you believe that a previous good birth means your partner will have another good birth, think twice.

Every birth is different and there is no way you can predetermine what the next birth will be like. It’s so easy to assume that once you have experienced a good birth, then you will always have good births.

Too many women and men have been totally blown away by a subsequent birth that was more difficult. Men are really relieved when their partner has a good birth experience. Often men feel they’ve had little to do with a woman achieving a positive birth, although knowing that you’ve been a good support person during labour, has definitely helped you feel involved.

By being at any birth you already know that birth is very much like an athletic event. If you did nothing to prepare for birth and ended up with a good birth then that’s much like being able to climb Mt. Everest without previously doing any skills-based preparation suited to that task.

In other words, unprepared pregnant women can have great births. They are fortunate. For most people it’s common sense that you have to prepare and practice for a high-level event you’re going to do again. It’s unreasonable to assume that a previous good performance means repeatedly good future performances.

Get serious

Athletes have to hone their skills for their Olympic events. However, you might not have felt that you really had the skills at the previous good birth and everything was great. That’s what makes birth so complex. Why do women have good births?

  1. The baby can move easily down, through and out her body so there’s no delay in 1st or 2nd stage of labour.
  2. The natural occurring pain connected to labor contractions never gets really intense.
  3. The birthing woman does use skills even though she didn’t specifically learn them. In other words, at the time she does her best to relax and breathe well.

Many men see birth as something women carry out. That’s correct; however, women want you to be at the birth with them to help. Sure, you might have been great support last time by holding her hand, breathing with her, rubbing her back or holding her up for hours. However, many men aren’t really certain they knew how to help. By learning specific skills for your next birth means you can know exactly how to participate in the birth of your baby. Treat childbirth as an ultimate, intense high-level sporting event.

We are the same

Do you know any man or woman who doesn’t blink, sneeze, cough or can tighten up their biceps? We all can. We share the exact same bones and muscles. The Birthing Better Childbirth online birthing classes are coaching and birth skills based on this commonality that we can all do several things.

  • First, whether or not this next birth is as perfect as the last, enjoy preparing your partner’s birthing body during pregnancy, particularly from 24 weeks on. This way you’ll help her increase her ability to have a great birth next time.
  • Second, learning great birth coaching skills means you work together with your baby’s efforts to be born. This means you have to alter your mind to the differences between supporting and coaching.

Birthing Better skills give you the precise ability to see and hear when your partner needs your help to cope with the naturally occurring pain of childbirth. This means you can support, give guidance and help so she stays on top of the sensations.

If the birth for some reason is either more difficult or even requires a surgical delivery, you still have the shared skills with which to work. This is all good. The birth of your baby deserves total, conscious involvement on your part. Besides, your partner knows the difference between just being there and helping her.

Do women really know how-to birth?

There is no doubt, many women don’t know why or how they had a good birth. With birth skills, women are more likely to consciously work with their baby’s efforts. This becomes an internal dance with the sensations and messages known only to them. However, when you and she share a common set of birth and coaching skills you will most likely become closer as a couple.

You know that giving birth is definitely not a noun or inaction.

Your role as a father, who has been at a previous good birth, is not to be a spectator or passive to be hung on. Your role is to actively work with your partner and this can be achieved by learning skills together, such as Directed Breathing, The Pelvic Clock and Deep Touch Relaxation.

Even if your partner has had a previous good birth, preparing her birthing body will give her more confidence to meet the challenge of labour no matter what. No woman likes to be surprised and unprepared; particularly if they have believed they would always have a good birth because of a previous good birth experience.

Having a good birth is about being involved at every moment of the experience and knowledge you are working together with your baby. Another good birth can be so much more enriching rather than feeling like it happened by accident. Achieving a good subsequent birth has a great deal to do with what we do during pregnancy to prepare, and learning the appropriate birth and coaching skills for the task that unfolds.

As a man who has been at a previous good birth, you will never regret spending time during pregnancy to learn good coaching skills. Just as your fathering skills grow, so can your ability to bring forth your baby.

All Birthing Better skills were developed by hundreds of dads and moms in the early 1970s, housed in Common Knowledge Trust and available as online birthing classes.