This post was most recently updated on January 2nd, 2018
Over the last few years I have been honoured to support some amazing fathers. Men who have walked a dark night of the soul all of their own in order to be by the side of their lovers when they give birth. I have watched men step up, and step into their power as fathers. Just like the transition to motherhood, witnessing this process unfold is beautiful to behold.
I have seen trauma resolved, relationships healed, families reunited, weakness and fear forgotten in the journey to a birth that both parents can exhalt in. I have also seen fathers forgotten, ignored, patronised or laughed at in their fear. And I have seen them recruited as assistants in the attempts to coerce a mother into a particular course of action.
I have seen fathers make the difference between a smooth birth and a difficult one; between a women reaching her breastfeeding goals or reaching for the bottle.
Fathers are precious and should be nurtured so they can nurture their lovers….and, well because most of them deserve it.
Here are some resources for fathers, some fathers talking about their experiences, how having a doula helped them and doulas writing about how they support dads. Please feel free to add links and useful information in the comments.
Fathers have a role in childbirth that has been carved out for them by hospitals and doctors so this film is incredibly important in helping dads to truly accompany their partners through birth. On the Other Side of the Glass is a clarion call to fathers to protect both mother and baby from some of the more heavy-handed, and sometimes dangerous, routine hospital procedures.
Oh and by the way, I know not all partners are fathers and as such have some of their own challenges to face. I am not forgetting you. Some of the resources below may be of use to you too if you are a same sex partner, trans or identify as anything else I might have forgotten. I am interested in collecting resources and writing about the experience of becoming parents in a ‘non-traditional’ family so please feel free to comment below to aid my learning. Thanks!
http://birthingawareness.com/category/birthing4blokes/ Mark Harris, a midwife and author of http://www.pinterandmartin.com/men-love-and-birth.html
http://konzababy.tripod.com/fathers_and_doulas.htm (Penny Simkin)