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Dads at Childbirth

How Present Should Dads Be at Childbirth?

Here's a post from our partners at BabyCenter! Every week, we bring you the best parenting and lifestyle stories from the experts at BabyCenter, including this post about dads being present at childbirth.

After reading that Wiz Khalifa will be very hands-on during home birth, I was struck by two things.

One, I think it's awesome that home birth is becoming a normalized, viable option for expectant couples of both the celebrity and regular old Joe Shmoe kind. And two, it just makes sense that all dads should be present and "hands-on" during their child's birth.

Related: Has your toddler destroyed your home yet?

Truth be told, I don't think I could've done it — the pregnancy, the early labor, the active labor, the pushing part — without my husband being nearby. We were in this together, as a couple. Sure, I was the one whose feet swelled up like baseball gloves, I was the one who planned on oiling up her taint every night because I was so afraid of having an episiotomy, and, ultimately, I was the one who had to pass a child's head through my nethers, six times.


Me, just me.

All self-deprecating humor aside, it’s true: I needed my husband's presence during the births of our children. It felt good to know my partner was there, helping me, reassuring me, comforting me, coaching me through the hard work of labor. It was very much a team effort. I know women who say that they wanted to club their husbands over the head during childbirth, but that wasn't my experience. My husband was pretty much amazing at keeping me focused, calm, and hopeful. Yes, I know he was probably as scared as I was at times, but I always felt safe when he was beside me.

I wasn't the type who liked having an entourage present during labor. Sisters, friends, mothers, sister-in-law — having them present during your birth is great, and I've certainly had those moments where I wanted them there. Still, I consider childbirth a very intimate moment. Together, we created a baby and together we'll welcome him into the world.

That said, I can't imagine not having my husband be involved in the birth of our children. A father should want to. They need to bond with their child just as much as we do. There shouldn't be any questions or statements — it's a given.

Was the father of your child present and "hands-on" during the birth?

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The answer is simple: He helped create your baby and you expect him to be a great dad so he has to know how to: 1) Prepare your pregnant body to become a birthing body 2) Learn and practice birth and birth coaching skills during the last 12 weeks of pregnancy 3) Work with you during your baby's birth journey. We just need to grow a Skills-based approach to all pregnancies and every birth. But let's take a step back. Fathers-to-be need to learn skills during pregnancy. Once you get pregnant your baby is on a biological mandate to grow and you get pulled along. Men have never been given the right skills to grow during the 5 phases of pregnancy. Learn more
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