Fathering During Childbirth
A few decades ago, the role of the father during childbirth often amounted to smoking a couple of packs of cigarettes and wearing trails in the waiting room carpet as the baby was delivered. Of course, fathers have been encouraged to be more involved in recent times, but specific information about the role of the father as a birth coach remains scarce.
Greg Bishop, "head coach" of a fatherhood organization called Boot Camp for New Dads, shares some of the wisdom accumulated from the thousands of fathers who have participated in the Boot Camp program.
"While the dad obviously isn't the one who is giving birth, he is in a unique position to make the process much easier for Mom," Bishop says. "It's important to remember that Mom may be experiencing pain, worry or fear; first-time moms often feel like they're losing control over their bodies when the birth process begins. When pain and emotions like these are taking center stage, expecting Mom to keep track of added concerns like whether or not the birth plan is being followed, or if the private room she requested is available, is just too much. It is in this area where Dad can step up and help her feel supported, by handling details and speaking up for her."
The information Bishop provides can be loosely arranged into 10 fields: