how to involve your husband in childbirth preparation

Smart, dumb, lucky me at 40 weeks with my first baby

When I was pregnant for the first time five years ago, I was in some ways very smart, in other ways very dumb, and still other ways, very lucky. As a person of faith I like to think that it was all a part of The Plan; my imperfections redeemed by grace.

I’ll start with the dumb and the lucky because those are the two that relate most to the topic at hand: how to convince your favorite father-to-be that things like hiring a doula and attending birthing classes are really worth it.

I was dumb because I let my own insecurity about being ridiculed for the birthing method I had chosen (Hypnobabies) get in the way of inviting others to participate more fully in supporting me. So I chose to complete the Hypnobabies Home Study program in mostly solitary fashion. (I must admit, I did like that it was more affordable than a group class.) But I failed to recognize the ways that my husband and I could have benefited from attending a weekly class together. I was lucky because he never once said anything negative about my choice, always believing in me even though I had no clue what I was doing. In hindsight, it would have been nice for me to more proactively engage him in participating in my studies at home.

I did manage to have enough sense to hire a doula and attend the Hypnobabies Home Study Advantage class that she taught. In fact, looking back to that night we attended, it’s one of a very few memories etched in my mind as it relates to preparing for childbirth.

Now when it came time to give birth, it’s when the smart choice I had made to birth with Hypnobabies was realized. During my birthing time/labor which lasted from Sunday until Wednesday, I was never medicated and yet very comfortable and energized during the most active phase of birth. When I finally met our pink little baby girl, I felt like I had just climbed Mt. Everest/won a marathon and a million dollars all wrapped into one. I knew that I was not only smart, but strong and powerful! I did it!

Here we are today, a happier, more confident family than we were 5 years ago.

Here we are today, a happier, more confident family than we were 5 years ago. The insecure home study student became an instructor! How’s that for grace?

Now, I still had a long ways to go as far as growing into a confident mother, but that story would take too long to tell here. So let’s get back to the point, shall we?

If you’re smarter than I was and you understand how much you can benefit from getting your primary partner completely in the loop with this natural childbirth stuff, yet your husband/partner is reluctant, resistant, averse, adamantly opposed, or indifferent to childbirth preparation, you have a few choices. You can:

A) Tell him to get over himself. (Haha. Just kidding.) He might need to, but that’s still an ineffective approach.

B) Tell him how confident you are that he’s going to be a total rockstar in the birthing room, but at the same time all rockstars need a band. A drummer (the doula), a bassist (the midwife), and another dude (who’s probably a woman) who does things like teach childbirth class and encapsulate placentas. Then there are the groupies (nursing staff) who set up the birthing pool and make sure the hospital doesn’t get sued (kidding… sort of).

OK, so this analogy is not going quite as well as I’d hoped, but you get the picture.

If your husband/partner had any of the above reactions, consider why. Purely financial? Lack of understanding/education? Or total close-mindedness? If it’s the latter, I’m not kidding when I say the problem is beyond what a blog post could help solve and get thee to a licensed marriage counselor. But if it’s simpler barriers such as the cost or the very common problem of “not getting it,” something like option B could work, especially if you come to the table with a cost-benefit analysis.

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