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5 things I wish partners knew about positive birth

by lizzi (follow)
Helping plant the seeds of positive birth. www.sproutbirthing.com.au
1) It’s important

Despite what you may have heard in the media your partner isn’t planning a positive birth just because she wants a medal or because she thinks that her “experience” is more important than the baby’s safety. She’s planning a positive birth because she wants to move into motherhood with a smile on her face, joy in her heart and with her soul singing. She understands her responsibility for the life that she’s growing and wants to welcome her baby under the best possible circumstances.

Image Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

2) You have an important role to play

Most women NEED their partner to play a reasonably active role in the pregnancy and birth in order for them to consider the whole thing positive. That means you will likely be invited to go along to antenatal appointments, childbirth classes, breastfeeding classes and doula appointments. You also have a role to play in supporting your partner’s decisions. If she decides that she needs a doula, independent childbirth class, chiropractor, homeopath etc in order to enhance her experience then it would be rather good of you to support that. With minimal eye rolling please.

3) Birth on TV IS NOT how it happens in real life!

No matter what TV shows you’ve seen that include birth, I can pretty well guarantee that that is NOT how positive birth happens! While birth can be dramatic and include a bit of drama for the most part it is hours (or days!) of slow, intense, hard work. Positive birth also generally doesn’t include people bossing the birthing mother around and telling her what to do. Nor is it just about what drugs mum does or doesn’t have or simply whether she has a live baby at the end. It includes support and care and active decision making – all roles that you play an important part in!

4) How mum defines a positive birth is how it will be defined

You don’t get to say what a positive birth will look like for your partner. Sorry. If you want her to book an elective caesarean because you’re traumatised by a previous experience when she wants a peaceful waterbirth – YOU are the one who needs to redefine positive. Chances are that your partner has put a lot of time and thought into how she would like her birth to go and it is her body doing all the hard work.

This applies both before and after the birth. You may feel that the birth was positive simply because mum and bub are alive, while your partner may be feeling that it was not. Again – mum is the only one who gets to say whether her birth was positive.

5) Communication is key

A huge part of whether mum will come away feeling that her birth was positive has to do with communication. It must always be: respectful, kind, thoughtful, honest and POSITIVE. This includes communication from yourself, but also from ANYONE who comes in contact with mum during pregnancy, labour, birth and post partum. So if you hear a doctor or midwife talking disrespectfully to your partner let them know that that is not acceptable. If someone starts to tell your wife (or yourself!) a birthing horror story ask them to keep their negativity to themselves. Ensure that your partner is surrounded by a bubble of positive communication.

By knowing these five things about positive birth you are well on your way to supporting your partner to achieve one. Learn, listen, communicate, support. Trust me - She’ll thank you for it.

Further reading for partners:

5 things I wish all partners knew about birth trauma

Listen, learn, communicate, support - a man's place in birthing choices

Birthing choices - no place for a man

Hypnobirthing - Not just for homebirthers!

How the hospital environment hinders physiological birth

Obstetric violence - Stop burying your head in the sand

Why Australia NEEDS a maternity care revolution
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Oh for goodness sake, why do men have to be worrying about their wives and childbirth, breastfeeding, positive births, inter alia. Did women ever go into a marriage, or a relationship, and not know the possible result of sexual intercourse was ! are they half wits ?
If you do the act, you could probably end up pregnant and if you do, it is your fault. Blokes don't have to worry about the outcome because they don't have babies. Look after yourselves and be sure that you really want to go through all the crap that comes with having a baby but don't think you can put your expectations on blokes. You, and every other female knows what is on a bloke's mind……..and it isn't looking after you or babies.
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