The Daddy & Family Magazine Winter 2014 Issue #1 - Page 36

Now, I must go on record here and state that all of these stories are founded from couples who have had a thorough, comprehensive, childbirth education course, and were specifically prepared to hold space and provide comfort in a labor and birth. In my professional opinion it is unreasonable to expect any one person to be able to be everything that a woman in labor needs, especially without a thoughtful and comprehensive education about the physiology, as well as the emotional process, of giving birth. Childbirth Education is important for women preparing to give birth, but make no mistake about it, when she is in labor...when she is being challenged... she is not going to be able to recall the specific attributes of active labor vs. transition, and the tools and techniques she finds comforting may, or may not shift dramatically throughout labor. She will likely be unable to interpret what she's feeling into specific suggestions, or even give clear feedback, she may not be able to form complete sentences at all! even give clear feedback, she may not be able to form complete sentences at all! Please do not rely on her to guide you through, that's not really fair. Nice-ness isn't likely going to cut it. The nicest person in the world, without some guidance, will usually not be able to fill all the time by saying nice things, or be understanding enough, or know what to say at what point. You need to know how, why, where, and when to push on her back, and when is the right time to say the words we all really want to hear...."you're almost done" without giving her false hope, to give a couple examples. You need to know what the discomforts of birth are caused by, and what they mean in the context of labor progress to be able to genuinely support a woman. I don't say this to intimidate. I say this with COMPLETE and TOTAL CONFIDENCE that a supportive partner can be much of what she needs. It is not rocket science, it's actually far simpler than you probably think, but it's not knowledge that is inherent for most anyone who has not attended quite a few births in a care-giving role. Your confidence, especially when she knows that you understand labor, is extremely comforting. You also have one very specific advantage over any other attendants that will be present. You know her better. With time and some practice, you will be an expert on her body: where she holds her tension, what relaxes her, what causes her stress, what comforts her, how she likes to be touched, and much more. When you combine some education about the physical, mental, and emotional process of giving birth, with your intimate understanding of your wife’s/partner’s body, mind, and spirit, you will likely find that the beautiful woman giving birth to your baby, and your idea of a your own role and experience of birth will be uplifted.

even give clear feedback, she may not be able to form complete sentences at all! Please do not rely on her to guide you through, that's not really fair. Nice-ness isn't likely going to cut it. The nicest person in the world, without some guidance, will usually not be able to fill all the time by saying nice things, or be understanding enough, or know what to say at what point. You need to know how, why, where, and when to push on her back, and when is the right time to say the words we all really want to hear...."you're almost done" without giving her false hope, to give a couple examples. You need to know what the discomforts of birth are caused by, and what they mean in the context of labor progress to be able to genuinely support a woman. I don't say this to intimidate. I say this with COMPLETE and TOTAL CONFIDENCE that a supportive partner can be much of what she needs. It is not rocket science, it's actually far simpler than you probably think, but it's not knowledge that is inherent for most anyone who has not attended

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