So you’ve done your research and decided that hypnobirthing classes are for you, but your significant other is reluctant, or may even be refusing to attend with you. Let me tell you a secret – a LOT of the people (usually men) that attend with their pregnant partners started off reluctant. Once I I get to know them they often tell me they didn't really want to come but are glad they did. Here are some of the things they've told me they were worried about.
1. Hypnobirthing sounds weird.
The things you will learn on the course are actually very rational and logical. There will be no joss sticks, no chanting and no hypnotising you to do things against your will. Hypnobirthing is an odd-sounding name, but the ‘hypno’ part refers to a state of deep relaxation that allows us to change deep seated beliefs that are stuck in our subconscious, such as ‘birth is scary’. Athletes and sportspeople use this technique all the time to get ‘in the zone’ so they can perform at their best. That’s as weird as it gets.
2. I don’t want to look like a dick.
My classes are informal, evidence based, logical and I don’t make you do anything you don’t want to do. The most interactive it gets is practicing supporting your partner to take different birth positions, usually whilst laughing. But the rest of the time you don’t have to leave your seat unless you want to get more cake and tea.
Frankly, you will look like more of a dick not knowing what to do or how to help whilst the person you love most in the world is doing the hard work of birthing your baby. Think of those blokes on One Born Every Minute. Don’t be like them. When you know what do to support your partner and baby and are there every step of the way, it truly feels amazing. You feel powerful and resourceful and essential to the process, rather than like a spare part.
3. We have too many other things to spend money on.
I get it. Having a baby is life changing, and it can seem like there is SO MUCH on the list of stuff you need to buy before they arrive, not to mention redoing the bathroom. But take a moment to consider that your partner’s experience of giving birth will be with her, and you, for life. I meet too many women who are traumatised by their experience of giving birth, and traumatised Dads too. It might sound dramatic, but it’s true. The men who feel like this are not weaklings, they are just normal people that weren’t prepared and felt out of control and unable to help their partner and baby. Get prepared. It will be one of the best things you ever do. The bathroom renovation can wait.
4. What if it doesn’t work?
Hypnobirthing is not magic. It’s a logical, rational approach to birth that gives you and your partner the skills and techniques you need to manage pain, deal with the unexpected, and make the decisions that are right for you and your family. You will both need to practice the things you learn. I can’t promise you the perfect birth, but if you put the work in it always makes a difference. You and your partner will feel like a team, and feel proud of yourselves for working together to bring your baby into the world.
And finally, here are some comments from blokes that have attended my Calm Birth School course with their pregnant partners:
“As the Dad you can sometimes feel left out of the loop, but I felt included and have gained some great skills which have made me feel hugely more confident about my role.”
“(I liked)…the way information was easily explained. I felt included.”
“Very well informed, rational approach – I enjoyed that the course stayed rooted in evidence based approaches and didn’t fulfil my fears of excessive ‘woo-woo’!”
Photo by Steve Mays / CC BY
I'm Liz Dew, founder of SheffieldHypnobirthing.com and I love a good chat about birth. This blog is where I explore some of the things that I find amazing, frustrating, or fascinating about birth and birth culture. Grab a cuppa and dive in.