Archive for November, 2012


When will I feel like a dad?

A Dad is Born screened on the ABC recently. Being birth addicts and absolutely having to watch anything to do with dads at birth we got ourselves settled on our respective couches to watch. Within minutes the texts between us started flying.

There were many standout moments in this little documentary. One in particular was the dad that said, ‘When do I start to feel like a dad?” Great point. Having supported many women and men at births over the years we have come to realise that this is like birth – different for everyone. For some dads, the high of witnessing their baby being born is instantaneous and overwhelming, like Viktor in the documentary who couldn’t stop crying. This happened at one of the births Sally attended this year. She has never seen a happier Dad – ever. Grinning from ear to ear, holding his baby girl and repeating over and over again how amazing his partner is was such a lovely thing to witness. Every visit has been the same, just so happy to be in this new role.

For other dads the thrill and excitement comes later, when everything has settled and the idea of the baby being a reality sinks in. This again was shown on the documentary and it was clear that the connection with his baby was going to take a while longer for this particular dad (he was the one that asked the question in the first place). We have both seen this at birth. Most recently, Sally was lucky enough to witness a dad holding his baby and falling in love many hours after the birth.

Just on the weekend, one of “our” dads was sharing the moment where he felt “the connection”. We won’t spoil it for you, you can listen to Mark tell you himself.

The important thing we are trying to get across is that there shouldn’t be an expectation that you as a new dad will feel instantly connected. It’s great if it happens but don’t worry about it if it doesn’t. That connection comes at different times for everyone, there is no right or wrong, just know that it will happen.

 

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


Online Childbirth classes talk about what we love about birth

Cath and I were discussing what it is that we love about birth. This is something we are asked all the time. A lot of people are mystified with our passion and devotion to birthing couples.

We might give you a different answer on a different day, because there are so many levels and layers to pregnancy, birth and parenthood.

But if we could summarise it today, this is what we would say. (We essentially both have the same answer we just see it in different ways.) In short, we both love witnessing a couple become parents.

For me, I love seeing when women become mothers and men become fathers. I don’t mean the act of the baby coming out (although this is pretty amazing). The moment I’m talking about can happen anytime during labour – or even before. I’m talking about when the penny drops for the mother and father, that it’s actually happening and it’s bigger and better than they could ever have imagined. It may be something she says or the look on his face when his wife is birthing their baby, or even something resulting from discussions in antenatal classes. They are different to who they were before. There is a new layer exposed. What’s even more amazing to witness is when the dad sees the change in his partner for himself. You can see a whole new level of respect and love for his partner.

For Cath, she of course loves supporting the mums as they work through their labour, gaining the strength and determination they need to get their babies born. But with dads, it’s about that moment when the dad takes responsibility for his family. This could be during pregnancy, during the labour or immediately after the birth in the way he supports his partner – physically and emotionally – but also, importantly, supporting her and their baby through advocacy. After all, birth is just the beginning when it comes to advocating for your child.

Why are we talking about this? Well I guess its to show that DadSkills wants to help prepare you for this, to make it less daunting, to help you understand that it can be a wonderful experience if you are given the right support – and it will ALWAYS be a life changing experience. We are more than just childbirth classes. We are about supporting you as your enter parenthood.

 

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Why won’t my wife have sex with me? A reply to howtobeadad.com

Sally and I have been tossing up how to approach this topic for a while now.  I mean, it can be pretty sensitive and everyone feels differently, but there are probably a few things that couples have in common after birth.

Then I came across Charlie’s post at howtobeadad.com. Cracked me up! Worth a read. Thanks for breaking the ice, Charlie. So here I am, diving into that sensitive subject.

Being physically ready

Firstly, if she has had a vaginal birth, I’m sure you are aware that it’s likely there will be some healing that needs to occur – whether she’s had stitches or not. If she’s had a caesarean birth, and here’s the surprise, she may also experience discomfort, even though no baby has passed through there. This seems to be completely normal, her body is getting used to not being pregnant and is adjusting to its new hormone levels.

How will you both know when she is physically ready? Well, she might know that she’s definitely not ready, but otherwise it might be a matter of giving it a go and seeing how it all goes, without huge expectations.

The typical time recommended before getting back to it is about 6 weeks. Do couples have sex before this? Absolutely. Do couples wait much longer than this? Absolutely.

Being emotionally ready

And here’s where it gets unpredictable. Women, as you will have worked out by now, are complex and cannot separate emotions from the physical. So what sorts of things might be going on?

  • Maybe she’s having trouble switching from the role of mother to lover. Giving birth is transformative and she will need time to get used to this new role.
  • Even if you get back to it relatively early, breasts may be out of bounds. Many women can’t cope with a dual role, she might feel that her breasts are for your baby until breastfeeding has finished. Don’t worry guys, there will be many more years when they will be yours again.
  • She might just need a break from giving. When you have a baby, she needs to be attentive every waking minute, she needs to know where the baby is, what the baby is doing, she’ll be thinking about how things are going, what she’s going to do in the future, oh my goodness, the list goes on. So when that time comes when your baby is sound asleep and, let’s say, she actually has some energy, it’s nice to just ‘be’. And then in comes Charlie, walking around the room naked, expecting that will get things going – IT DOESN’T MATTER HOW MUCH SHE LOVES YOU, right at that moment, to get busy means having to give more of herself to another person, when she feels that she just don’t have anything else left to give.

So here are some ideas for helping things along:

  • Date night – a perfect time to reconnect. And it doesn’t have to be expensive or an all nighter. Just grab a glass of wine, cheese and bickies and sit and have a chat WITHOUT the baby being anywhere you are (so look for a babysitter now). Just don’t expect a heavy session the first few times you go out. If she thinks that’s all you are after she may boycott the night altogether.
  • Help out as much you can. It’s true, the best aphrodisiac is a man who is willing to help out. Mums have list of things that need to get done so if you can help her get through the list she may just help you out in return.
  • Tell her how beautiful she is. Many mums feel very self conscious about their bodies after bub is born. A woman’s brain needs to be “turned on” before she will get down and dirty with you. Make sure she knows you still dig her. DadSkills’ hot tip – don’t buy her sexy knickers or a gym membership unless she asks you to.
  • Discuss the possibility of her getting a checkup if healing seems to be taking an extraordinarily long time. This is not only after having had some repair work done but also if she has something emotional going on from the birth that she may need help moving on with.
  • When you do start, take it slow. It’s probably not going to be like before you had your baby, so don’t have any expectations of a full romp. She may be worried it will hurt (even if it never does) so taking it slow shows that you really care and you may well find that she will keep coming back for more.

Charlie and all the new dads or dads-to-be:  Never fear, one day you will again be seen as the sex god in your home (how do you think so many 2nd children are conceived?). We know you love your partners. Patience and understanding is the key.

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