Pregnancy preparedness part II: What’s your parenting identity?

When couples first discover they are expecting a baby the euphoric feelings quickly turn to practicalities. Are we financially ready? Will we be good enough parents? What will we do differently from our parents? Pregnancy offers a finite amount of time to prepare your parenting identity. The weighty morals and values are debated. Dinners are spent discussing the baby’s taste in music, food and art. Parenthood unites couples and increases responsibilities tenfold. Juggling priorities and demands is strenuous on new families. Natural childbirth education values partners, moms and babies equally. The family’s health and well being is paramount. Partners are immediately granted the role as mother’s coach. Together, couples traverse the rocky terrain of pregnancy to parenthood.

Empowered couples identify as informed parents making decisions together. Parenting choices start during pregnancy and having an active partner mitigates fear for everyone. Natural childbirth education classes teach coaches to support mom’s healthy nutrition by assisting with food shopping and preparation. Coaches are taught how to assist mom in her pregnancy exercises. Counter pressure and hip squeeze techniques become second nature. Deep relaxation occurs when coaches describe their repertoire of relaxing images: melodic crashing waves, majestic snow covered mountains, and floating feathers. Coaches take on a bouncer-like role, protecting mom from the superfluous medical interventions. Under the coach’s watch, powerful contractions must cease before cervix checks, fetal monitoring or any other distraction occurs. He may stand at her side ready to deter the vulture like anesthesiologist circling the room.

As contractions become more challenging mom has a well-trained coach supporting her with every twinge. He recognizes her furrowed left brow as a sign of imposing pain and reminds her to release the tension. The valued coach rehydrates her dry mouth and dims the light to create serenity. Coach anticipates what mom needs. This empowers the baby to progress and be born.

Parents identifying as a team are fortified to withstand challenges. Babies cry, babies need infinite amounts of attention and they love to be loved. The foundation of a healthy family is a strong partner, equipped to coach mom through pregnancy and labor. Determining parental identity requires evaluating strengths and weakness. Natural childbirth is an endeavor that requires support. During a time of need what better person to turn to then your rock, your partner, the parent of your baby.

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