Archive for May, 2012

Dad to be Here are the 5 Top Tips on What to Say to Your Woman in Labour

Not sure that you’ll have the right words to say on the big day?  Unsure because you’ve heard stories of men being told off by their partners in labour? Sat in your traditional antenatal class but weren’t given any information on how to support your partner verbally during birth?

DadSkills Online Childbirth Classes for the Dad to be believe there are many positive things fathers-to-be can do to support their partners well and part of that support includes the words you use.  Here are some tips to help you along.

1.  Dad to be tell her you love her

This may sound obvious, but as the intensity rises during labour – particularly during a natural, unmedicated birth – the three little words “I love you” can get forgotten.  By remembering to tell her, she will know you are there for her and connected with her.

2.  Dad to be tell her she looks amazing and is AMAZING

Firstly, because she will and she is.  Cath and Sally have seen the meekest and mildest of women turn into amazing birthing women and look so beautiful.  (Some men are surprised when they find they have a particular physical reaction to the sounds and images of their woman in labour – this is normal.)  Secondly, some women feel really self conscious about what they look like so encouraging her to be what she needs to be on birth day can help labour progress.

3.  Dad to be encourage her to make noise:  especially if she is already doing it

We’re talking about deep, low outward noise.  High-pitched sounds indicate that she is distressed.  If she is struggling, you can guide her to make low noises by having her copy you.  This can help labour progress.

4.  Dad to be use positive language and remind her you are there with her

You may find that you come across staff whose language is not always positive and encouraging.  It doesn’t matter if there is a room of people telling her she is not doing it right.  Tell her that she IS.  Using language like “lack of progress” or needing to “move things along” can really undermine a woman’s confidence.  In our experience, there is no right or wrong way, just what happens on the day.

5.  New Dad tell her Thank You!

Again maybe a bit obvious, but really you should tell her.  After all, she has been through a rite of passage to birth your baby.  Pretty amazing when you think of it like that.  And you don’t have to wait till your baby is born, you can tell her thank you at any stage – especially if she is starting to doubt herself.

Have confidence in yourself and your ability to encourage her and keep her focused.  A lot of the time, it will probably be most appropriate to be fairly quiet, but those words of encouragement from you are precious and priceless in getting your baby born.


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DadSkills Top 5 Things to Pack for Labour – for Mums-to-be

DadSkills top 5 things to pack for labour - for mums to be

DadSkills Top 5 Things to pack for labour – for mums to be

There are many lists around giving mums-to-be suggestions of what to pack for labour, you may have even come across one in your hospital antenatal class.  We have written this list for Dads – these are things that she will need that you can have ready on hand for when the time is right.  When you are at your birthing place, set these things out so that they are within reach – this way, you’re organised and your focus is completely on your partner and you will be able to respond to her needs quickly and without fuss.

1.  Coconut Water

This is just becoming readily available but it is the perfect mix of electrolytes and natural sugars for a labouring woman.  They come in flavours too because coconut water has a taste that takes a little getting used to.  If your partner is able to take responsibility for her own hydration during labour then she is less likely to need IV hydration.

2.  Hair Ties or Butterfly Clips

As doulas, we carry these to tie up hair.  Labouring women get hot and sweaty and having her lovely long locks in the way can get frustrating.  Don’t worry, you don’t need to be a pro – it doesn’t have to look good, it just needs to be out of her way.

3.  Unscented Massage Oil

If you are serious about helping her with pain management, there is a very high chance that you will need to use massage at some stage.  A natural, unscented oil is the best choice (think jojoba, apricot, avocado).

4.  Lollipop

When she’s feeling a bit tired but she just can’t stand the thought of eating, a lollipop can come in handy.  It gives her a sugar boost and it’s really easy for her to take out of her mouth when a contraction starts and you can give it back to her when it’s finished.

5.  TENS Machine

These can be hired online or from some pharmacies or physiotherapists and can help with pain management.  Some women find they use these in early labour and others find that it gets them all the way through labour.   Click here to see a video presentation on how a TENS machine works.


antenatal classes – prenatal classes – childbirth classes – dads to be – dad to be – online childbirth classes – pregnancy classes – birthing classes



DadSkills take on Mother’s Day








This Sunday, May 13th, many countries around the world are taking time to acknowledge and celebrate our mothers and the special role mothers play in society.

We all THINK that we know how much love and attention a mother gives her children each and every day but it’s not until we have own children that we really “get” it. This point was driven home when one of our dads from DadSkills – online childbirth classes for the dad to be – recently said, “I never realised how strong my partner is and how much she was willing to do for our baby. It makes me wonder what my mum went through” Ben, Perth.

As childbirth educators and doulas we are constantly amazed at the newfound respect that fathers have for their partners after the birth of their baby. Whilst the love and connection is already there, birth, when a partner is prepared, focussed and calm really helps grow the bond. What better way to start parenthood?

We have seen some pretty cynical views about the commercialism of Mothers Day. At DadSkills we firmly believe it doesn’t have to be this way. Cath’s request for Mother’s Day is simple – breakfast in bed. She loves that her son and daughter make her favourite breakfast and bring it to her in bed. She is also so grateful for her own mum and mother-in-law. For Sally, she would love a sleep in but the truth is she will be getting up to take her two boys to footy where there is a competition for the mums to kick the longest goal. The pressure is on! This mum doesn’t want to disappoint. As for you, how can you celebrate this special day and not make it all about the gift?

This Mother’s Day, DadSkills would like to honour all mothers for their dedication, love and tireless effort – the everyday part of being a mum. We hope you enjoy the day.


antenatal classes – prenatal classes – childbirth classes – online childbirth classes – dad to be – dads to be – pregnancy classes – birthing classes

Top 5 Things to Pack for Labour – for Dads-to-be!

Your partner is probably thinking about what to pack for labour and maybe you’re involved or maybe you’re leaving it up to her to organise.  The subject has probably come up in your hospital childbirth classes, but how much of what was discussed was about what you need, as the father-to-be?

There are some important things for birthing women to take with them, but what do men need at birth?  You need to look after yourself to be able to support your partner well, so we have put together a list of our Top 5 Things to Pack for Labour – for Dads-to-be!

1.  Warm jacket

Some birthing facilities are nice and warm, and some are like walking into a refrigerator!  So pack a cosy jacket and maybe some warm socks that you are happy to part with if they get dirty or lost.

2.  Documents and phone numbers

Some hospital or birthing centres require you to bring in your own folder with all your antenatal care in it so make sure it gets packed and you know where it is.  If you’re fumbling around for documents to give staff, this will be taking your attention away from your partner.  And make sure your phone is programmed with the numbers you need, so that when it’s time to call and talk to your midwife/birthing facility you can do this without having to ask your partner for the details you need.  In intense situations it’s amazing how your memory can fail you.

3.  Board shorts

Take your boardies, show you are serious about supporting your partner with pain coping techniques by being prepared to get in the shower with her.  And remember to pack a fresh change of clothes.

4.  Camera with charged batteries!!!!! 

Say no more.

5.  Something to eat and drink

Pack a water bottle which you can refill when you need to.  Take something that is easy to snack on, something that’s readily accessible, doesn’t crunch too much or make your breath smell.  You may be lucky enough to be supplied a meal, but take other food just in case – this way you can be fully present and support your partner well without a belly crying out for food.



antenatal classes – prenatal classes – childbirth classes – online childbirth classes – dads to be – dad to be – pregnancy classes – birthing classes

Online Childbirth Classes Great for Second Time Dads too

DadSkills’ online childbirth classes for the dad to be have been up and running now for just 2 months and the response has been overwhelming.  What we have found is that lots of dads-to-be are spreading the word to their mates who are already fathers because they heard that they were not prepared the first time.  The amount of times we have heard, “I wish I had heard of this the first time round!” is countless.

DadSkills’ childbirth classes are specifically designed to show dads to be and already initiated fathers, that birth doesn’t have to be scary and like the movies.  It can be a chance to be involved in the birth and make a difference to how things go.  In fact, it’s our belief that every birthing mother needs a present and prepared partner to support her.  We know that her partner is her rock and no-one is more important than her partner in seeing her through.  She may have someone else there as well as extra support, but she needs her partner.  And unfortunately dads to be aren’t going to find the specific information they need to support their partners well in most typical childbirth classes.

Dads will get all their questions answered, including the ones they want to know the answer to but don’t want to ask.

A lot of second time dads say, ” I want it to be different this time” after feeling left out or ignored at the birth of their first child.  They often say it’s the lack of being prepared and not knowing their role and what to do that stopped them from being actively involved in the birth.  We have both attended many births where the dad was completely hands on after feeling sidelined at the first birth.  Dad’s beaming face, and often tears, when the baby is born is enough to show us how important this is for dads to have the tools to be involved.

Even the dads who felt they had a great experience the first time will often say there is always more to learn.  There are so many great tips to help men along the way – and every birth is unique, it’s great for men to be prepared for different scenarios so that they can adapt their support as needed.


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Introducing Karee – who appears in the DadSkills Online Childbirth Classes for dads to be


Karee is our pregnant model in DadSkills who shows all the great positions women can use leading up to birth as well as during childbirth to assist the baby into an ideal position. She also demonstrates great positions for the car which are helpful for the ride to the hospital.

Karee has since gone on to birth her fifth baby (Cait), her fourth daughter. Karee has had very quick births and there has usually been a bit of a rush to get to the hospital. She found the most reassuring thing was the calm and strength of her husband. This dad-to-be realised very early on in the birth of their son that he shouldn’t speak to Karee while she was in labour, the best thing he could do was to, “Hold her hand and resolutely say nothing.”

Karee says it was enough to know that he was calm and just there with her the whole way. She says it’s hard to know what you will need on the day but thought it was great that her husband picked up straight away that she didn’t find it helpful to be spoken to.

Congratulations Karee and Dave on the new addition to your beautiful family.





Antenatal classes – prenatal classes – childbirth classes –  dads to be – dad to be – online childbirth classes – dad skills – pregnancy classes – birthing classes