“Did you only go to birthing class to make me happy?” I asked my husband this morning.
“No.” Was his immediate response.
“Why did you go?”
“Because I was interested. I was excited about having a kid.”
With that response, my husband separated himself from men who, Swedish researchers say, generally attend childbirth classes only for their partner’s sake, even though they have their own questions and are afraid of childbirth.
“Childbirth classes, which are to prepare parents for childbirth and parenthood, are mainly aimed at the mothers-to-be, and the fathers-to-be see childbirth classes as a ritual they attend for their partner’s sake”, thesis author and midwife Asa Premberg of the University of Gothenburg in Sweden says.
“Men seem to have other sources of information ahead of childbirth, such as their workmates or relatives,” Premberg continues. But workmates and relatives may not be the best people to put fears to rest.
“Some of the dads said that they’d asked the midwife questions only for the midwife to direct her answers to the mom, it’s important that men too have an opportunity to talk about their fears and ask the midwife questions if they’re to feel it’s worth taking part.”
My husband really enjoyed the childbirth classes we attended, in spite of me volunteering him to change the diaper on the doll in front of everyone. We – especially he – came away with a better understanding of what my labor would be like and how it would all go down. He seemed especially concerned about when to know it’s time to go to the hospital and was really into the breathing exercises. It was pretty cute, I have to admit.
What about your husband? Did his actions jive with this study? Did you have to drag him to classes? Did he go but only did so for you? Or was he an excited and willing participant?