By Raising Children Network
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Men laughing in birth class credit iStockphoto.com/Alina Solovyova-Vincent
 
Birth classes just for men give you information on things like being a new dad and supporting your partner in birth.

About birth classes just for men

General birth classes, also known as antenatal classes or prenatal classes, are getting better at including dads, but birth classes just for dads could be an extra option for you to consider.

These classes are often run by a male health professional who’s also a dad. Some are offered free as part of a series of hospital birth classes. Others you’ll have to pay for.

The class covered birth, breastfeeding and so on, which was useful. I didn’t expect to hear stories from other blokes about situations they were going through. It was great. We all had the opportunity to say how things were going for us at that stage of the pregnancy.
– Pat, father of one and expectant dad

Information you might get at a birth class just for men

Dads antenatal classes are a good chance to talk about issues related to becoming a dad. You might also:

  • look at your role as a parent and what you expect of yourself and your partner
  • compare thoughts and experiences with other expectant dads
  • find out why it’s good to interact with your baby and be involved in your baby’s care
  • learn how to best support your partner – for example, during birth and breastfeeding
  • talk about issues like sex, the effects of a baby on your relationship, postnatal depression and financial pressures
  • learn about who your baby will meet in the months after the birth  – for example, your child and family health nurse.

Classes are usually casual, so you can relax and have a laugh as well as learn. Some men are relieved to find out that other men share their thoughts and worries about becoming a dad, pregnancy, birth or parenting.

The class got me thinking about my role as a husband and father and how I could support my wife and family. We talked about being a communication channel or ‘gatekeeper’ for visits and calls from family and friends straight after the birth and in the first few weeks. It really got my feet on the ground. It helped me to focus on my role in my child’s life, my partner’s life and my family’s life.
– Pat, father of one and expectant dad

Things you can do

Look into whether there are men’s birth classes in your area. You could phone the hospital, ask your GP or ask at antenatal appointments. Or another dad you know might be able to recommend a class. Even if you choose not to go, it’s worth finding out what classes are available, what they’re about and what topics they cover.
 
 
 
  • Last updated or reviewed 01-10-2017
  • Acknowledgements

    This content has been developed in collaboration with Tim O’Leary, antenatal educator and therapist; Dr Richard Fletcher, Convenor, Fatherhood Research Network; and Dr Rebecca Giallo, Senior Research Fellow, Murdoch Childrens Research Institute.

    The names of men quoted in this article have been changed for privacy reasons.