There’s been a big increase of focus on dads in recent years as a new generation of dads take on a more ‘active’ role when it comes to day to day parenting.
This has marked something of a shift when it comes to the traditional stereotypes of dads, with a number of organisations and outlets starting to represent dads in a way that truly speaks to the modern day role they have as parents. But while there’s starting to be great work when it comes to dads at work, men’s mental health and more, there is still one area where that old perception of dads as a secondary parent still holds true…dads at birth.
Often consigned to a corner and feeling like a spare part, we so often at DaddiLife hear about how dads have a limited (at best) role at birth. That perception, alongside the fact that 1 in 3 new mothers go through significant birth trauma – led us to one question recently – why can’t this be better all-round?
Why should a day that’s so transformative for mum and dad, be approached with such trepidation? Why can’t a birth experience actually be better, and how can dad have a far more active role that supports mum?
Well for the last 8 months, DaddiLife has been writing the first ever Hypnobirthing book – for dads!
While Hypnobirthing is a field of birth that’s becoming increasingly well known and utilised by new mums to be, there isn’t anywhere near the same level of knowledge when it comes to fathers.
Studies on ‘The Father effect’ in general have often focussed on the beneficial outcomes of involved fathers in their children’s lives once they pass a certain age, with numerous studies in recent times showing positive affects on children where dads are involved from toddler age onwards. The closest study on the area of pregnancy and involved fathers is a a 2019 study from researchers at the University of Cambridge that found dads who are stressed during their partner’s pregnancy are more likely to have children with emotional and behavioural problems as toddlers.
Hypnobirthing is an often misunderstood area, and has nothing to do with hypnosis.
In its simplest terms, hypnobirthing is a set of relaxation and visualisation techniques designed to help women eliminate fear and anxiety about birth and instead replace it with a positive and calm approach. It is used primarily for labour and birth, but it can also be used to reduce the stresses of everyday life during pregnancy.
What’s in the book?
Above all else, the book challenges dads on what an optimal birth experience really looks like for dad, and mum, together.
It’s about resetting the standards on what a great birth can look and feel like, and how dad can truly be a great advocate for mum.
Amongst the key features of the book I’m really proud of:
- It demystifies what happens to a women’s body during pregnancy and birth, and talks about the 4 stages of labour and the science behind it.
- It goes back into history (as well as little into the future) about our birth rights, about the role of oxytocin (the love hormone) and how we can create more of it for mums at birth
- We’ve worked with not one but two hypnobirthing experts to create a dad specific toolkit – that covers everything from breathing techniques and relaxation scripts, through to anchors, affirmations and much more.
- It’s had some lovely feedback from the Royal College of Midwives, and is supported by over 20 hypnobirthing dad interviews
I truly hope this book can start to inspire more dads and families as a whole into the benefits that hypnobirthing can bring – for mums, for dads, and ultimately for better, happier births.
It’s an area where dads can have so much more of an active role, and I hope this book can be a useful guide in that journey.
A Positive Birth – The Dad’s Guide To Hypnobirthing is out now on Amazon.