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Ask a Childbirth Educator (Sep 2022)

“I really want to be at my baby’s birth, but I don’t want to feel like a spare part, and how will I cope seeing my partner in pain?”

Gone are the days when the father kissed his wife goodbye at the steps of the hospital or paced up and down the hospital corridor awaiting the sound of his crying baby or an announcement from the Doctor.

Thanks to the wonderful lobbying by Parents Centre many years ago, fathers, partners and whānau are now ‘allowed’ to be at the birth of their baby and play a vital role supporting their partner and participating in the birth of their baby. 

For many this experience can feel overwhelming and even daunting; this is perfectly normal.  It is an understandable reaction when you see someone whom you love experiencing pain, or challenging times, to want to step in and stop it or fix it.  What is really important is to offer support, encouragement and love.  Let your partner be the guide as to what she needs and how she feels; don’t think you need to step in quickly and suggest drugs or alternatives – she will know, and she will tell you.

Attending Parents Centre antenatal classes will help to prepare you for this big day and beyond – our classes are for you both!

I often talk to partners after their baby’s birth who say they wish they could’ve done more; they wish they could’ve taken away the pain, and they felt helpless.  Upon talking to their partner, she shares how amazing he was – he stayed by my side, I felt his love, he offered words of encouragement, he hugged me.  These things may seem minor, but to the labouring woman, he is her rock and her strength to succeed! 

Don’t underestimate the importance of your role in bringing your brand-new baby into the world.

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