Even though I had done a ton of reading, viewing, and other research on pregnancy and birth before getting pregnant with my son, I knew it was important to me that my partner and I attend birthing classes to get ready for the big day. I'd heard from family members and other moms that the way their partners acted while they gave birth had either helped bring them closer together, or in a few cases, led to lifelong resentment. Fortunately for me, my partner did all the things every good dad does when attending birthing classes and, as a result, was a stellar birth partner when it came time for me to actually bring our son into the world.
What my husband needed to be a great birth partner were, thankfully, already part of who he was as human being: a caring, attentive person who knows how to be supportive when he's needed. Still, after a lifetime of miseducation about what birth is really like, most people (straight, cisgender men very much included) need accurate, non-sensationalized information about what to expect during labor so they don't freak out unnecessarily and do things that can make birth less comfortable or more dangerous. Our Bradley class helped both of us know what to look out for as labor progressed, and assisted my partner in learning concrete ways he could be helpful so that on the day of, when I would be increasingly less able to think about anything other than how intense my contractions were, he'd have some frame of reference for what is going on as well as ideas of what to do to help me as I labored.
Though we went in hoping for more information about birth, our class experience actually ended up being one of my favorite parts of my pregnancy. We learned a ton of really useful, practical information that made labor and birth feel way less scary and much more approachable, and it was a dedicated few hours a week where instead of having to worry about work and everything else, we got to just focus on the fact that our baby was actually coming. Plus, watching my husband get excited about knowing all the answers was so adorable and endearing (and reassuring), and reminded me of how lucky I am to get to have a baby with such an awesome person, and my best friend. Good dads know that one of the most important parts of this whole experience is ensuring that their partner knows they're as all in on this birth thing as she is. That's why they make sure to do the following: