I had a long 21 hour labor and home birth. My husband was a great support, and I attribute a lot of his amazingness to us taking a comprehensive childbirth class! Before said class, he wanted to stand in the corner out-of-the-way, with the midwife and I telling him what to do. Even though this was my first pregnancy, I knew that plan was not going to work for me! Here are some things that our childbirth class taught my husband:
IMPORTANCE OF RESTING
It was around 10 o’clock at night. I had contracted for about an hour, and I told my husband that I was having contractions. He was watching TV, grabbed the remote, and said I should go to bed then (We were taught in our class that if labor started at night, then try to go to sleep). So like a good student; he wanted to follow that advice. Instead, I said “yeh, I don’t think that’s gonna happen”.
Hopefully next time we will both try a little harder to heed this advice. We were both exhausted, and I remember waking him a couple of times while he was providing counter-pressure.
Counter-pressure was amazing! I had a lot of back labor, since my son was in a posterior position. I’m not sure if we would have figured out this comfort measure without our class!
SET-UP MY BIRTH SPACE
Our instructor did not teach us specifically how to set up our birth space, but she did talk about creating a great birthing atmosphere, such as dim lights and music. He also knew not to bug me with the details and set-up the space, which was invaluable. This allowed me and baby to focus.
STAGES OF LABOR
My hubby is a Network Engineer (meaning he works with computers). He has no medical background and knew nothing about pregnancy, labor, birth, or postpartum until these classes. Knowing this information decreased his stress and allowed him to support me. Since these classes, he has also educated other men and women during conversations.
He was calm! Our classes provided us many opportunities to discuss how I deal with discomfort. He is usually a hover-er (You know – standing over you, staring and asking you every couple of seconds different annoying questions about what you need?) Well, that day he was not. He was calm, always touching me, and mostly quiet – He was just what I needed!
IMPORTANCE OF FOOD & DRINKS
He also knew to keep me hydrated. I was nauseous most of the labor, so I wouldn’t eat, but I still very thirsty. When you are in labor, you get so dry! Hydration helps a lot! After every contraction he made sure I sipped something.
IMPORTANCE OF A DOULA
We hemmed and hawed about hiring a doula most of my pregnancy once we learned that they existed. It is hard to anticipate your needs when you have never experienced labor or birth before. We decided not to hire a doula, instead we had my mom there for support. Though her behind the scenes role was helpful to my birth team, I needed more than that. My husband was an amazing support, but he had difficulty getting bathroom, rest, and food breaks because I needed continual support. After all the dust settled from our son’s birth, one of the first things my husband said was “we are hiring a doula next time”. He still reminds me of this when we discuss future pregnancies.
Lastly, when I asked him what he gained from taking a childbirth class, he said “It gave me confidence in the birthing process. Birthing isn’t just go to the hospital, pop a kid out and go home. It is an experience of a lifetime. There is nothing like it!” To read my husband’s birth story click here.
Did you take a childbirth class? How did it help you and your partner? Comment below!
I am a doula, childbirth educator, parenting educator, nurse, and breastfeeding mother. I serve Lafayette, Eunice, Sunset, Opelousas, and surrounding areas. For more information about me and my services, visit www.MYBirthandBaby.com.