Most things related to pregnancy and childbirth revolve around the mums and babies, but Dad’s shouldn’t be forgotten about – they did play a fairly significant part in kick-starting this journey after all! Below is an account from an initially sceptical Dad and his experience of using hypnobirthing to support his wife during the births of their three children.
The excitement I had as a first-time dad about meeting my baby was matched only by the fear I had for how they would arrive and the unknown event that is ‘giving birth’. I felt completely out of control and had no idea of what to expect. I was worried about how to respond if things didn’t go according to plan and didn’t really know what I could do to help and support my wife. This was unknown territory for me as in both my personal and professional life I was used to being the person who made decisions, took ownership of situations and generally had things in control.
My wife signed us up for a hypnobirthing course which I was initially very sceptical of and to be honest I would have rather spent my weekend in the pub watching sport. After a couple of hours on the first day however, I started to buy into this approach. We covered some relaxation techniques and discussed the event of giving birth and I was already more relaxed about the whole thing.
At 37 weeks our baby remained in the breach position so we were offered to either have the baby turned (an External Cephalic Version procedure) or have a planned caesarean. Despite now feeling more prepared about birth my immediate choice was to have the c-section as it took all the pressure off me and would be a medically planned procedure – the easy option for me! My wife however, completely calm about the whole thing and un-phased about the thought of giving birth, opted for the baby to be turned so she could still have the chance to experience a natural birth.
During the ECV my wife used the hypnobirthing techniques she had been taught to relax throughout the (often rough and physically demanding) procedure, meaning our baby also remained calm throughout and was successfully turned.
After I had seen my wife use the hypnobirthing techniques in a real situation my level of nervousness about the big day reduced significantly. When we did go into labour the hypnobirthing techniques were a massive help, with my wife remaining at home until she was fully dilated using only the methods we had learnt on our course and a TENS machine. Her calmness and total control of the situation made me feel completely at ease. We didn’t have a completely straight-forward birth but the whole experience was still perfect due to my wife’s ability to remain calm and focussed regardless of what twists we experienced along the way.
We have since had two more children and I was genuinely excited for both births as I knew my wife had the skills and techniques needed to help her through the pregnancy and labour. Without doubt, hypnobirthing allowed us to have three stress-free, calm and perfect birth experiences.
It is for this reason that I would highly recommend the course to both mums and dads as I can assure you that it is time well spent – even if you do have to miss an afternoon or two in the pub!” – John, a hypnobirthing convert and dad to 3!