on the business of living creatively and sustainably
it becomes essential that we pay attention
to how we treat the next generation.
What follows is a brief introduction to prenatal life, Prenatal
Education for World Peace.
have an important part to play in the life of their children, even
When it completes there is a 'Part 2", all compliments of
What messages do we want to give to the world ...via our children?
between anxiety and excitement, men can be ambivalent about the birth
process. As fathers we have the opportunity to make a conscious choice
if we are to be anything other than bystanders. Earning the income and
supporting the welfare of the family is what seems to naturally arise as
a father’s useful contribution. Mothers-to-be are operating from an ever
expanding physical, emotional and hormonal imperative. It is our
perspective that men are also being asked to expand, yet without the
obvious imperatives. A collective lack of understanding that the birthing
time is a significant emotional event, combined with fathers not being
the physical focus, can bring about feelings of powerlessness in
men. This is when those we love most are facing their greatest
challenges. Acknowledging there is something happening that is
significant and deserving of attention and resources is what
Right of Passage
Richard K Reed in his book
'Birthing Fathers' illuminates that birth is a "rite of passage to
fatherhood" and "provides an important window for men to develop
relationships with their children". So obvious perhaps to us today; in
recent times however men were told to wait outside the birthing room for
news or just continue working and we will let you know “when it is
over”. To speak of birth in this way also contains some subtleties worth
exploring. A 'rite of passage' indicates a trial of some kind, a test to
some extent, an initiation, a deepening which helps inform and mark the
transition from one time in ones life to another. The time of birth is
certainly that for fathers, from 'man to father' from 'father of one
child to the father of two' etc, a transition takes place. It is this
that is often not seen as important but rather as something difficult to
be 'got over' and not celebrated or even acknowledged for the change it
has wrought in the father.
For our child, birth is
life’s first 'big' event. For adults it is probably the first big event
of our adult lives. Birth and what we bring to it, for child and parent,
is the opening moment in our shared lives. How can we honour its
significance and as fathers do our best for ourselves and our families?
As men, educators and fathers working closely with birth we have
come to understand that for fathers to be able to bring a refined and
valuable presence there may be some work to do. An aspect of this is
remaining open in heart and mind and ready to respond to physical needs
while supporting the pregnant, labouring and breastfeeding woman. It
takes a bit of skill to be able to do this in the emotional and hormonal
turmoil of pregnancy and birth and brings the benefit of a deeper level
of bonding, commitment and satisfaction for the whole family.
In Fathers-To-Be (F2B) expectant & new dads
programmes Patrick Houser and Elmer Postle are offering a place for men to explore pregnancy and birth with a particular focus on the
Transition to Fatherhood. F2B provides a unique opportunity for men to
learn skills that will help them be truly present, and not just in the
room, during this most powerful of times. When we speak of birth we
generally encompass the 18 month period from conception to 9 months old.
Expectant dads can now come
together to learn more about pregnancy and the birth process than
conventional antenatal classes offer. They will, in turn, learn how to
bring a calm and useful presence to the birthing time and enable them
to make creative and loving birth choices with their partners.