Online Childbirth Classes take a peek at The Fathering Project

Fathering Project Logo

I was just looking at the Fathering Project brochure with Justin Langer (sorry I’m unashamedly a cricket fan) and saw this quote at the end:

“The link between good fathering and the outcomes for children is so strong that it is estimated that if all Australian fathers spent an extra five minutes a day with each of their children, $5 billion per year would be saved in the areas of law (less juvenile crime), health (less drug taking), education (more engaged) and industry (greater productivity).

That is certainly something to think about. Thank goodness there are groups like this.


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Great feedback for DadSkills Online Childbirth Classes for the Dad to be

DS Slides 16.1.12 NEW SLIDES7

I am a first time father and I was definitely appreciative to utilise some of the information I learned from the DadSkills childbirth classes during the birth of my daughter. My wife had an extremely quick delivery and I found I literally had to draw from instincts because there just wasn’t enough time for anything else. Luckily, I found doing the preparation helped me to make better choices during my wife’s labour.

Firstly, the intensity was full on. I found I was thankful to have the time I needed to get the car packed by myself so I could avoid showing my wife how bloody overwhelmed I was, especially because she was in so much pain and transitioning quickly. Taking the time out I needed, so I when I was with my wife I could be calm, focused and supportive made me strong for her so she could feel safe and calm during the process.

It also really gave me a sense of being the protective advocate when I needed to be. There were a few situations during the birth eg. ‘You’ll get a sore throat if you keep on moaning’, or possible choices that we’d have to make that went against the hospitals desires during post birth stitching when she really needed my support to speak up and stand firm so we could have the birthing experience we wanted. Confronting any nervousness we had about experiencing conflict before the birth took away a majority of the anxiety.

Lastly, it made me have thicker skin. When my wife swatted me away when I was giving her directions on how to push, I didn’t take it personally. We had discussed beforehand how she might feel more reassured by receiving guidance from the women at her birth because of their inherent knowledge and how this would make her feel safer and I was at peace with that. My wife guided me through what she needed, mainly strength and physical contact, to keep reassuring her that all that was happening was ok.

~ Dave Sandison father to Violet


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Homebirth was good enough for our Queen. Will Princess Katherine do the same?

What a surprise! I didnt know that Her Majesty had all four children at home. Will our future Queen do the same?

Queen with her new baby


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

What makes a good childbirth class?

At DadSkills online childbirth classes for the dad-to-be we have been providing online childbirth classes to dads for over a year now. It didn’t start here though. As doulas and childbirth educators we have been working with mums and dads to be for over 11 years.

During this time, we have made it our mission to analyse what makes a great childbirth class.

This is what we have found and, as a consequence, developed our very own childbirth classes – just for dads to be.

1. Is Dad-to-be included?

By this we don’t mean “Is he welcome to attend the class?” We mean is, “Is his role actively encouraged in the childbirth class?” I have been irritated so many times by how the dad-to-be’s role is belittled. It doesn’t matter what type of birth it is, EVERY birth needs a supportive partner.

2. Is Dad-to-be taught how to help the labour progress and how to help with pain coping practices?

This is where the naturals skills of the dad-to-be come in. If dads-to-be are given specific tools they can make a HUGE difference to how the birth progresses AND how their partner copes with the pain of labour.

3. Is the Dad-to-be shown how to advocate for his partner?

DadSkills has three blogs now about advocacy, have a read:

4. Does the class get you talking about your birth preferences before the birth?

We have found countless times that the more couples talk about what they BOTH want before the birth, the more calm and connected to each other they are. This is great preparation for parenthood – being on the same page.

5. Does your childbirth class talk about what to expect when you get home?

I am still flabergastered at the lack of information around this. You are about to undergo huge changes to your bodies, relationships and finances, just to name a few. We don’t want to scare you. We want to help you.

6. Does the class answer the questions you most want to ask but feel silly asking?

How many times have you heard, “Any questions?”, only to hear crickets. I will let you on in a little secret. Everyone wants to ask the same questions. DadSkills childbirth classes have a series of short videos that answer the most frequently asked questions, from “I’m worried about seeing my partner in pain”, to “When is the best time to go to hospital?”

7. Does it talk about caesarean births?

Now this is contentious. Everyone has an opinion about birthing by caesarean or naturally. The bottom line is, that although our wish is for you to have a ‘textbook’, low-risk, uncomplicated birth, we can’t promise you this. DadSkills firmly believes it’s good to know what to expect if you are faced with a caesarean birth. Even it’s not what you were planning.

What we have found is that most hospital and birth centre-based childbirth classes focus on the mum-to-be and how the facility is run. This is all good info, of course there needs to be a lot of focus on the mum-to-be. And who doesn’t want to know where the after hours access is? Or who you should call if you are thinking of transferring to the hospital. However these things do very little to properly prepare you for becoming a family.

So when you’re making a decision around what childbirth classes you are going to attend, we strongly recommend trying to make your decision based less around whether or not it is free, and more around what benefits you will receive from the classes.

Why Online Childbirth Classes are the best way for Dads to be.

We can help him be your best support - DadSkills Online Childbirth Classes for the Dad-to-beWith over 10 years experience in supporting mums and dads-to-be through pregnancy, birth and into parenthood, we have had seen our fair share of childbirth classes. Sometimes we have attended childbirth classes with the couple, or provided our own tailor-made antenatal classes. Many times it turns out the dad-to-be is reluctant to go the classes. The reasons are many and varied ranging from “I don’t want to meet a whole bunch of strangers and talk about birth” to “I hate hospitals” to “Can’t I just watch a video?” and finally, “I have been at work all day and I’m really tired.”

Let’s face it, these are all pretty good reasons. And they are usually from our most involved dads-to-be, the dads who are really looking forward to the birth. What we have found is that it’s just a bit different for blokes. Unlike women, they don’t really want to meet a whole bunch of others dads-to-be UNTIL they are a dad. Also we have found most fellas will run a mile rather than visit a hospital voluntarily. Not to mention that many traditional childbirth classes are wholly focussed on the mum-to-be, and how the facility runs. And sometimes this is information overload for dads.

So after hearing this feedback over and over again we came up with DadSkills. Online childbirth classes just for the dad-to-be. Now there are no excuses:

  • We have a series of short videos for him to watch.
  • He can organise the viewing around his busy schedule.
  • No more awkward moments with strangers.

This is how he’ll benefit from joining the many dads-to-be around the world who have got the information they need:

  • He can get ALL the information he needs in the comfort of his OWN home (or anywhere he has internet access). This way he can take his time and let the information sink in, as well as schedule it around work and family life.
  • He can watch and rewatch the videos as many times as he likes.
  • He’ll go into the birth knowing he has ALL the tools he needs to support HIMSELF and YOU.
  • No need to feel silly asking questions because we have answered them ALL in our FAQ videos.
  • He’ll feel confident taking your new baby home because he has followed our hot tips.

and finally

  • he’ll feel connected to YOU!

So there are NO MORE excuses. What are you waiting for? Go to and click on the get started button now!


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Online Childbirth Classes Salute World Doula Week

Its World Doula Week and we thought we would share Birth Doula Movie’s take on the great work of doulas.


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Online Childbirth Classes Salute Multiple Birth Week

funny twins

Whenever I think about parents with twins, triplets or quadruplets I am reminded of a mum whom I studied with and her experience of having quadruplets.

I discovered that she actually had 5 children, all born within 13 months. She fell pregnant very quickly after the birth of her first baby and was very distressed as she had very little support (her family living elsewhere in Australia) and her husband working long hours. These were the days before ultrasound was standard practice and so it was quite late in her pregnancy that she found out that she was carrying more than one baby.

She was sent up to the major hospital to be seen by the obstetrician as her GP was certain he could hear two heartbeats.  She was ushered into a room where a very well-spoken English doctor listened intently through a pinnard for what seemed like ages. He then stood up very straight and, in his very proper accent, exclaimed, “Well bugger me, there are four of them!” Needless to say there were many tears and cups of teas for the next few days whilst this life-changing news sunk in.

I was fascinated with how she had managed to cope with what seemed to me like an impossible mission. I still think that, especially as I now have a neighbour with triplets.

Both of these sets of parents were very open about how they found it. They can’t give enough praise for the Australian Multiple Births Organisation that has so many great resources and practical information for parents looking at having twins or HOMS (higher order multiples). There are publications available for purchase which cover all the questions you may have about preparing for the birth right up to preparing for school.

They also can’t say enough great things about the help they received from family and friends.

The mother of the quads flew her own mother over for three months to help with the first child and the feeding and changing of the babies. As the babies were tiny they needed to use cloth nappies so she used a nappy service to help with this. They recruited friends and neighbours to make dinners and had a spare freezer full of them so that they were set for 6 months without needing to cook. The father was able to take a month off work and fully support his wife in this new role.

They stressed how important it was to be prepared. They were immediately faced with needing to have more space, a new car and strain on finances. They said it was important to sort this out before the babies arrived. That way they could just fully emerse themselves in bonding and caring for these new little people.

Many ‘multiples’ are born by caesarean, but we have been hearing great things happening with twins and triplets being born vaginally with a huge support network of doulas and midwives and obstetricians. There have been many blogs about the journeys of these families. Cath is fortunate enough to have supported a couple who birthed one baby vaginally and the second baby by caesearean. A very dear friend of mine also did this. The excellent website Birthing Without Fear has videos and birth stories of multiple births.

During this month, many people celebrated Multiple Births Week (10 to 17 March) and DadSkills online childbirth classes for the Dad-to-be would like to pay homage to these very special families.


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Our most controversial post yet!

Check out our most controversial post yet!

Medical care is all about what’s best for my partner and baby? Right?

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Advocacy Slide

Medical care is all about what’s best for my partner and child? Right?

According to an advocate is:
Advocating for your Partner
One of the great things about men, and especially dads-to-be, is that they are great protectors. It’s instinctive and natural for poppa bear to make himself known somewhere along the line. Many times this is during the birth.

‘Why do I need to be involved in the decision-making process?’ you might ask, ‘Won’t the health and wellbeing of my partner and baby always be at the centre of their care?’ Have a listen to what Pete has to say.

So how do you advocate for your partner without getting yourself kicked out of the birthing room?

And how do you know when it’s right to step in or when you should just focus on your partner?

1.  Remember: You are PARENTS, not PATIENTS.

Pregnancy isn’t an illness and you don’t have to be an onlooker at the birth even if your partner needs intervention that wasn’t planned. If you go into birth keeping in mind that you are, first and foremost, parents, you are more likely to feel empowered to ask questions, make decisions and not just to be a “good patient”. This is great preparation for parenthood, there will be many times over the course of your children’s lives when you will need to advocate for them, not just at birth.

2.  Be aware that hospitals are run like businesses and profit-making ones at that.

There are many women birthing at the same time and the hospital needs to cover staff, wages, holidays etc. So a lot of your care is based around this and not necessarily what is best for your partner and your baby. A classic example is the rush to measure and weigh your baby after the birth when this is the most important bonding time for the three of you. Your partner should be given as much time as she needs to have skin-to-skin bonding. Your baby does not need to be weighed within 5 minutes of birth, or even within an hour of birth, weighing can wait until you are ready. So ask for what you want, try and determine what needs to be done and what is done for cost and efficiency. Sometimes you may need to ask for what you want a few times and be a bit pushy but always do it with a smile and manners.

3.  Be informed. Properly informed.

It’s a great idea to get more information than what you get from where you are birthing. DadSkills online childbirth classes are a great place to start 🙂 Ask questions and then ask for the time to think things over before you make a decision. If it’s a true emergency, believe me, it will be very clear and you won’t have a second to think. It will be all hands on deck.

4.  It’s not too late to change care providers.

As doulas, we have had many clients change hospitals and care providers (even at the last possible moment) when they are feeling like they are not being heard or honoured, or they feel they are being railroaded without all the information in front of them. This is a big decision and shouldn’t be taken lightly, but if you think you can get better care somewhere else, then do it!

One of my most recent clients changed her care provider at 34 weeks and lost her deposit of a couple thousand dollars. She made the decision to move, with her husband, after a consult where she felt she was being patronised and her questions weren’t being answered. She was worried that her care provider would be like that in labour. To this day she says it was the best money she ever spent.

5.  So what happens if you are at the birth and feel like you can’t speak up – that you have ‘lost’ YOUR voice?

This happens to most women during labour at some stage and it can definitely happen to men. Firstly, after the birth if you think back and think there is something you could have/should have said, please don’t beat yourself up about it, it happens to the best of us.

But there are ways to help minimise this happening. In the DadSkills online childbirth classes for the dad to be we teach you how to deal with the intensity of birth, so that you are more likely to be able to stay in the moment and support your partner. During antenatal classes, we teach our birthing couples about BRAIN. It’s an acronym used to remember questions to ask your care providers. It’s easy to implement, especially when things are feeling really intense and you are not sure of what the next best thing to do is. (We suggest writing this out on a card and putting it in your pocket, so that you can bring it out when you need to.)

Benefits – What are the benefits of this proposed course of action?

Risks – What are the risks? (It’s NOT ok for the answer to be ‘minimal’ – that’s not informed consent)

Alternatives – What are the alternatives?

Intuition – What is your intuition telling you? What is your partner’s intuition telling her?

Nothing – What if we do nothing for a while longer?

After everything has been explained to you, you will need time alone to discuss all of this so ask politely if staff can give you a few moments and you will come get them when you have decided. Don’t expect them to be happy about it. They have a job to do and would rather just get on with it.

Do all your negotiating with the hormones of labour in mind. DadSkills covers which hormones can speed up labour and which ones can make it stall. So if a discussion seems to be getting tense, take it outside the room so your partner can continue to labour and not be affected. Just make sure she is being supported while you are doing this.

This is a really special day for you and we don’t want you standing outside the door because you got a bit aggro. Do everything with a smile and remember your manners.

Don’t forget to check out DadSkills Top 5 Tips for Advocating in Birth and A Closer Look at Advocacy in Birth.

Is it hard for dads to say ‘I love you’?

Was looking through The Perfect Father interview clips and came across this one. I think it’s worth reflecting on.

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