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This is a very exciting and important time in your life! Becoming a father, whether it be for the first or subsequent time, is a life altering event which may cause you great excitement, curiosity, concern, even anxiety. I encourage you to think deeply about your upcoming birth experience and to consider it a natural and normal part of a woman's life.

When discussing birth plans I notice many fathers seem to err the side of caution without fully understanding the ambiguous politics of birth today. Sometimes, in the interests of what they believe to be safety, fathers refuse to educate themselves and may even deny their partner the right to explore all of her options for birth. I find this denial detrimental to otherwise healthy relationships.

I ask that you please consider your partner's desires, hopes, and dreams for her labor as she will be making decisions about her own body. Consider that this event, for both of you, is not merely a physical journey, but also a spiritual adventure! I urge you to trust her instincts as well as your own and to realize that if you are not able to trust her birth choices it's possible it may affect how she feels as a mother.

I strongly encourage you to do the research and to consider studies conducted outside the United States as well as those rendered here. There is a fair amount of confusion surrounding birth in our culture as natural birth makes a slow, yet steady, comeback! Just remember to listen to her and to think about what she really needs.

Use this time to strengthen trust in your relationship. Your faith will be rewarded with a happy, healthy, confident, new mother and the adventure of a lifetime!