By MamaSandoval, Barefoot & Pregnant
One thing that I knew for sure before my husband and I even conceived was that a baby would change our relationship forever. When people learn that we're having our first child, the reaction we get is either a look of pity, along with a comment along the lines of "enjoy being alone while you can" or a smile and something like "the baby is going to make you both so happy." I find that I tend to agree with the latter. Bella hasn't even arrived yet, and already she has drawn my husband, Rafa, and I closer. We're kinder, more affectionate, and more in love with each other than before we knew we were expecting. While our relationship was great before, now it has become even more wonderful. Part of this great change is due in part to the childbirth class that we started taking.
Focused on natural childbirth, the class goes through not only the anatomy and physiology of childbirth, but the best ways to help deal with the pain, tension, and worry that accompany childbirth. All of the coping techniques require a partner who can provide the mother with strength, compassion, and unconditional support. From joint breathing and massage, to supportive positions and verbal cuing the class has given both Rafa and I not only the tools to help us experience childbirth together, but to help us prepare for it in a way that draws us closer together and makes us a stronger couple. Each week we learn different massage techniques for the partners to use on the mothers during labor, and when Rafa can't wait to practice at home, it makes me realize just what a loving husband and father to be he is. Perhaps the biggest thing we're learning from the class is the art of communication. As the instructor says, "if you can communicate together openly, honestly, and in a loving way during labor; one of the hardest things you will go through together; then you'll definitely be able to do it outside of the delivery room".
Not only has our childbirth class given us an idea of what birth will be like (taking away some of the worry, and leaving more room for excitement) but it has also given us tools to help nurture our relationship through birth and beyond. For that alone, I would recommend a childbirth class to expecting couples.