BECOMING a father

How did you experience your wife’s pregnancy? Her female body reacted, maybe looked a little different every day. Normally, you did not experience any physical changes like a woman. How was and is that for you? Do you feel that it would be or is now nice to be the stronger one, to carry the groceries, to take care of the woman and also to let things go sometimes, e.g. in an argument? Those who cultivate relationships can also have conflicts. 

Again, look at yourself first. Do you feel centered in order to be a protector or do feelings of insecurity, envy or arrogance towards the woman sometimes come up?

“The spiritual soul of the child immerses itself more and more into the new earthly body during the months of pregnancy, in order to then connect completely with the earth soul in the last three months. Some women feel the presence and absence of the soul in the first months. How wonderful it is for the new earth child when the mother” (and of course the father) “… repeatedly addresses nice, welcoming words to it and does everything she can to make the child feel comfortable. In these moments a lot of basic trust is allowed to grow” (translated from:FrauenHeilkraft, 2021, p. 136). The more often you, dear (expectant) father, speak to the unborn child, the more likely it is to remember your voice as soon as it is born. (translated from:Rainbow, S. E.)

Fathers – guardians of birth?

Have you two discussed whether your partner would like you to be present during the birth? This is not a matter of course, because some women like to be in a circle of women, in sisterhood. It is important not to be dominated by expectations, but to have a completely open dialogue about it. At the same time, you could hand each other a letter saying what everyone wants about the birth. This way there is less danger of misunderstandings. 

Some women like it when men go along to the midwife’s or doctor’s appointments; perhaps you might do it for her sake? What else can you do? You know that the baby hears your voice. So it is wonderful for the baby if you talk to it regularly or sing to it; it will know you after birth. 

Have you both decided that you will be present at the birth as a man? Would you like to talk to me about what your role will be then? How do you see yourself? What do you feel comfortable with? 

Be informed – counseling for fathers

Whether or not you will be present at the birth, but you should be informed about every stage of the birth process, whether it is a power cut or a taxi strike or whatever might make it impossible to get to the hospital or to see the midwife in time. 

It is useful to read the birth stories posted here that other fathers have written. Maybe there is something that appeals to you individually. 

What utensils do you need? What would be good for your wife during the birth, what would not? How do you behave towards the medical staff? How have you thought about keeping the necessary  safety space for your partner? Use the time now to inform yourself in detail. Afterwards, saying “I trusted the doctors and midwives at the clinic so much” is not OK. Own up to the fact that you are going to be a father and take responsibility! Educate yourself. 

Both through my own births in the presence of the children’s father and through my work as a doula, you have a heartfelt and informed contact person.

The time of the post partum 

The baby is here: I heard from a father about the postpartum period that it is proper for a man to “clench his cheeks” for at least two weeks and take care of his partner exclusively. 

Especially if your partner has had a cesarean section, she is even more physically limited. “Most women feel depressed, guilty and weakened after a cesarean section and have much more trouble regaining their strength” (translated from: Rainbow, E. S., FrauenHeilkraft, 2021, p. 140).

Your wife needs a lot of time and energy to breastfeed the baby. Always bring her something good to drink: water or herbal tea for example.

The postpartum period – due to the life-changing event of childbirth – is a state of emergency for the woman and can be associated with sadness due to the hormonal changes. It is important for the new mom  to grow together with the baby and sleep a lot..all in their individual time

Don’t be disappointed if she prefers to do a lot of things alone with the baby now; the mother decides when you can take things off her hands. Tell her that you are waiting for her to ask you for support because they have been a dream team for 9 months. 

The uterus needs as long to recover as the pregnancy did. “During this time, it is also advisable to refrain from sexual activity. Many women start opening up to their partner again far too early, before the uterus has had a chance to complete its regeneration. This can result in states of exhaustion and imbalance” (translated from:Rainbow, E. S., FrauenHeilkunde, 2021, p. 140).

But also talk about it. She will be happy and relieved to be able to talk openly and honestly with you about her feelings and needs without you being immediately disappointed, and she will be grateful that you are informed. 

Your time as a man and especially as a father will come. Then you can play around with the baby and do a lot of  loving, but possibly more reckless things than your wife would like. 

It is also good that you men treat the babies differently; see theme 2 here. It will shape your child and do him good to feel both mother’s love and father’s love. 

Would you like an exchange for inspiration or encouragement? Feel free to get in touch.