Archive for July, 2012

Online Childbirth Classes show how to Support Caesarean Birth

Skin to skin contact

Caesarean birth is becoming a more prevalent way to birth and while this can be a contentious issue we, at DadSkills- Online childbirth classes for the dad to be, believe it is important to be prepared for this in case your partner is faced with birthing this way. Many women are disappointed when faced with birthing by caesarean and we realise the importance of dads being prepared for such an event even if caesarean birth wasn’t the original intention.

Many childbirth classes do cover this topic in quite some detail. You may well have already come across this at the antenatal classes held at the facility where you intend to birth. However they rarely, if at all, cover what the dad to be’s role is during this and how to support their partner in this situation.

DadSkills online childbirth classes for the dad to be are designed by two doulas (childbirth assistants) and childbirth educators who have over 10 years’ experience supporting women and their partners during birth. This includes caesarean birth and VBACs (vaginal birth after caesarean). It has been our experience that dads are often completely left out of the loop and none more so than at a caesarean birth. It can be an intense situation and many dads don’t know there are some fantastic ways to support their partners through this time.

Our childbirth classes cover all the hot tips fathers-to-be need to know in order to support their partners through a caesarean birth from what to say to what he can do facilitate bonding. Our intention is to empower dads to be by providing them with good information.

Many times as doulas we have heard how mothers wish their partners had known what to do when they went to theatre to birth their baby. This is often when they are looking for ways to support themselves through their next birth. Dadskills is a huge supporter/fan of Birthrites: Healing After Caesarean. This is a non for profit organisation which helps women prepare for the next birth after a caesarean (whether that be a planned vaginal birth or a repeat caesarean). If your partner has birthed by caesarean and is looking at options for the next birth then this is the group to go to.


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





Dad to be Here are 5 Top Tips for When Labour Starts

You have probably already read our post on the Dads to be here are 5 top things to say to your woman in labour.  Well we thought we would rewind a bit and go back to the point where labour starts.  This is when lots of dads-to-be get really excited only to learn that they are at the very beginning and there is a while to go yet. By the way this is what they DONT tell you in childbirth classes.

Here are our 5 hottest tips:

1.  Dad to be turn off your mobile/home phone/computer

As much as we love communication technology, birth is one place where it should only be used when absolutely necessary.  A woman in labour will feel she is being “watched” and the sense of having to “perform” can really slow labour down.  Birth is such an intimate experience and you can share the joy with everyone once your baby is born and you are ready.  Cath remembers an instance when a Facebook friend was sitting in the labour room giving everyone his partner’s progress updates – really!

2.  Dad to be cover the clocks

Birth will take as long as it needs to and no longer.  If a woman is constantly reminded of the time she will start doing what we doulas call “birth mathematics” – “If it has taken me this long to get this far, then it will take another xxx hours before the baby is born”.  Not only is this inaccurate (birth is not linear), she will be using the “thinking” part of her brain (rather than the “instinctual” part of her brain necessary for birth) and she can lose confidence very quickly if she feels that she should be further along than she is.  And these things can make labour slow down even more!

3.  Dad to be get some rest

Ha.  Too excited?  Thinking the birth might be close?  First have a think about what you learned about labour progress in the DadSkills Online Childbirth Classes.  If it looks like things are in the early stages, get some rest, especially if it’s at night.

We can tell you, as doulas and as parents, this is probably your very last rest without children so take it while you’ve got the chance.  Sally attended a birth where the dad couldn’t sit still despite all the talking about rest in the prenatal classes.  The labour went for over 24 hours and the father was exhausted.  At the last postnatal visit the dad said, “Quote me to all your next dads, GET SOME REST.  I haven’t rested properly since our son was born 8 weeks ago.”  While you’re at it, make sure you fuel up on some food.

4.  Dad to be get organised

Really have bags packed, get the pets sorted.  If she’s happy doing her own thing and it’s during the day, tidy up!  You’ll appreciate it when you come home.  If you plan to labour at home for a while, organise your home into stations – you will see more of this on DadSkills Online Childbirth Classes.

5.  Dad to be be patient and chill

Like number 2, labour will take as long as it takes and no longer and this doesn’t have to fixed.


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

Dads doing it all – How much is too much?

So your partner is pregnant.  You may be attending antenatal appointments with her, participating in childbirth classes.  You’ve prepared yourself for the birth and to be her main support partner.  You might be planning to cut the cord, you might even be planning to receive the baby with some guidance.  You’re planning on being a “hands on”, involved kind of dad.

Then your baby arrives and perhaps you’ve been blessed with the kind of the baby who is not happy to just feed and sleep, perhaps your baby has long periods of being unsettled.  Perhaps your partner doesn’t cope as well as you thought she would.  But life goes on for you – after some time at home with your new baby, you need to go back to work.

So you go back to work, work a full day and come home to a partner who is exhausted and who needs you to take the baby so that she can have a break.  So you continue the role of the involved partner and father.  Maybe you’re cooking meals, cuddling bub, not going to bed til midnight, getting up by 5 or 6 to do it all again. Before too long you’re driving tired, your work is suffering, maybe eventually it all starts to get overwhelming.

New Australian research shows that out of those people with postnatal depression, half of them are men. Men with postnatal depression? How can that be? This depression is not hormone related, but from society’s recent expectation that dads should be able to do it all.  It seems we’ve got dads involved in pregnancy, birth and parenting (awesome!) but it seems that perhaps the pendulum has swung too far.

As a society in general we have gone from relying on extended family members for birth support and help after bub is born, to the notion that as a couple we can and should do it all.

It’s not sustainable. Something has to give. As doulas and childbirth educators we know this isn’t sustainable.  So much so that we have dedicated a whole section in our online childbirth classes to get dads to think about what kinds of things they can do before it all gets too much. The section gives you the tools to be prepared when the new family member arrives home and reality sinks in. We are not just about the birth, but parenting too.

As part of our DadSkills mission to provide dads with the resources they may need, we discovered that there is not one group in Australia exclusively dealing with dads and postnatal depression. NOT ONE.  At best, there is some tacked on information for dads.  While support groups for women exist, in our home city we could not find one group for men – we are sure that Perth is not unique on this issue.  Maybe it’s a symptom of our macho society where showing weakness and the thought that we should be able to “just get on with it” still exists.

Postnatal depression in women is thankfully getting more recognised.  Now we need to get recognition and systems in place for men. Over in Wales a fantastic dad, Mag Wills, has started up Fathers Reaching Out which is a great website dedicated to fathers getting help and helping one another if their partner or they are feeling low. We would love something similar to start here.

In the meantime there is PANDA, who do recognise that postnatal depression exists in men and can help refer you on.  You can always go and see your GP, but if you want to talk with someone anonymously over the phone, you can call 1300 726 306 within Australia, 9am to 7pm AEST.  Postnatal depression in men does exist and the sooner you chat to someone about it, the sooner you can get back on track.


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