Updated: Dec 14, 2019
One of the many benefits of Hypnobirthing is the role it gives dads-to-be. Now mother nature has rightfully chosen women to take centre stage in this business of giving birth, however I am all for equal opps in my relationship (although my husband may disagree with my position on this when it comes to my enthusiasm for taking the bin out...) and if that means dads get more of a look-in during pregnancy and birth then I'm all for it.
Thankfully the days where dads paced the corridors of a hospital waiting for news on the birth of their baby are long gone. With Hypnobirthing, dads have an integral role in the lead up to the birth and the birth itself. By learning Hypnobirthing techniques together couples are more likely to enjoy their pregnancy and feel calm and confident throughout. They are the mother's birth facilitator, her advocate and guardian of her birthing environment. They are equipped to help the mother relax and actively contribute to the birth of their child. In turn this sets the tone for bonding and parenting their new baby.
Once they get over the "another sodding class", men tend to like Hypnobirthing as they get told what happens, why it happens and what to do about it. It is the science behind it that changes it from the "fluffy wuffy" into reality, and is incredibly practical, providing them with a tool box of what to do when their partner gives birth. Most of the hard work of Hypnobirthing is done in pregnancy so practice is essential. Practising the techniques together brings a couple closer and dads know they have played a useful role in how their baby entered the world.
People often talk about a "mother's instinct" but fathers have instincts too. When his partner is pregnant he has a strong instinct to protect her and his unborn baby and studies have shown that his testosterone levels drop shortly before birth (don't worry guys, it comes back shortly afterwards!) Hypnobirthing harnesses this natural instinct.
Perhaps the most valuable support that a dad gives through Hypnobirthing in the form of continuity of care. Without exception it is acknowledged that the continuous support of a known caregiver gives the best outcome at a birth but sadly NHS resources means this rarely happens for births planned in hospital. A knowledgeable Hypnobirthing father provides that continuity simply by being there for her and being involved right from the get-go. Just knowing that the person you know and love is there for you and looking out for you is of enormous benefit when giving birth.
So come on dads, step out of the wings and book yourselves onto a Hypnobirthing course - it will hands down change your birth experience too.