THE IMPORTANCE OF FAMILY
"Engage the support of others."
The father's role during pregnancy and birth is often viewed as secondary or less important than the mother's role. On the surface this appears to be true. However, the benefits of the father's complete and continued involvement from conception through birth, and with the rest of the parenting process, cannot be emphasized strongly enough.
Once they are open to the idea that there is awareness and consciousness present in unborn babies long before birth takes place, fathers often see responses to their touch, to their voice, even to unspoken thoughts. One can witness changes in fetal movement, frequency, and location of fetal kicks and fetal heart rate in response to a parent's touch or voice.
Siblings should be included in the process, too. They need to know that they will not lose any of their parents' love when the baby arrives. They can be included in activities surrounding the pregnancy, making him or her feel like the important big brother or big sister whose efforts and support are needed, appreciated, and rewarded. Remember that sibling rivalry is mostly created by unbalanced adult attention. Allow the siblings to determine their own trust and involvement, however. Don't force them to participate.
Bearing in mind that no member of the family should be forced to participate, involvement of the entire family of an unborn child allows the family unit to learn and grow together. Sharing full experiences together, and with the rest of the family, will help the parents feel very comfortable with any new knowledge they gain and techniques they choose in planning their own, special birthing experience. In circumstances where the father is not available, support from other family members and friends can be very important.
Remember, strong physical and emotional support from anyone helps eliminate fear and greatly improves your birth experience.
ENCOURAGING THE RELUCTANT FATHER:
Above all, think for yourselves, and maintain a positive, loving attitude.