Preach It!

No one can tell a woman what is best for her and her baby ... waterbirth, homebirth, hospital birth, doctor, midwife, Unassisted Childbirth (UC) or cesarean surgery ... it is for her and her baby to know. The best we can do is support her to access, trust, and know her own inner wisdom and communicate with the Being within her - the One whose birth it is through her womb and the man. - Janel Mirendah, Attachment/Birth trauma therapist, Filmmaker of The Other Side of the Glass.

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Wednesday, October 15, 2008

7 Secrets of Homebirth from a Dad's Perspective

Gloria LeMay, midwife, sent me this article by a father.

7 Secrets of Homebirth from a Dad’s Perspective

by Ven Batista

1. In a home birth you are no longer relegated to the bench.

Before the birth itself there is more to think about in a planning and logistics sort of way, ranging from buying equipment to manly jobs like making sure the birth pool hose actually attaches to your taps. On game day you are not just a big hairy thing whose only use is to be squeezed viciously or swore at. You are in charge of the birth pool, maybe even catching the baby (I'm doing that next time). And, aside from the mother, who will be a little preoccupied, you are the only person in the building who knows where all the towels are. If you have ever read "The Hitchhikers Guide", you'll know how vital that is.

2. You'll lose less hair and gain less wrinkles.
Having a baby is always frightening on some level, if you're not scared out your wits you must be medicated or dead inside. With a homebirth though there are less things that stress you out and feed the ugly fear monster within. Think of it: No traffic. No worry of getting lost. No worry of the car not starting. No worry that you've forgotten something. No pacing corridors. No worry about what's happening. No corridors to pace. No smug doctors. You'll still be worried, but it won't consume you. Besides – in a home birth, you have too many jobs to do to have time to let your fear monster run free.

3. Home is where the heart is.
Not to mention Cd's, DVDs, the PlayStation... All your comforts. Your music, your TV, your favourite mug, your fridge, your magazines, your books even your beer I guess. You'll be more relaxed, the mum will be more relaxed and the baby will be more relaxed too when he/she pops out. I'll be honest, despite the stimulus of worry and excitement, births are pretty boring. Maybe I have a short attention span, but it's not, you know, entertainment. And we all know they can go on a bit. With a home birth you will be a thousand times less bored as you can take a break and read a magazine or flip on the idiot box for a bit. Hell, it's probably less boring for the midwives, too.

4. Say goodbye to the little things that kill Me?
I hate hospitals for a million and one small and big reasons. Looking back now I can't believe I didn't jump for joy when Bel mentioned having a home birth simply because I wouldn't have to go to one. My main problem with hospitals is this - the idea of being surrounded by sick people sounds like a bad strategy if you want to stay healthy. Plus there are a hundred small things: it smells bad, the foods nasty, it's demeaning to find your way by following coloured lines on the floor and most importantly, when your newborn arrives he/she won't be woken up by someone else's screaming child. Hospitals suck, home rules!

5. You don't have to live the delivery room cliché of the hapless and scorned father.
You know the one - where the woman in labor hates her husband and screams blue murder into his face, punches him etc. Either that or she is so medicated and spaced out she doesn't even know what a father is, let alone who you are. With a home birth her labor is undisturbed. She does not have to be picked up halfway through and rushed to the hospital. I cannot state enough how much of a difference this makes.

6. You are He-man of the home, you have the power!
That's right. It's not the power of gray skull though, it's the power of being the master of your environment. It's a subtle difference, but one you will notice. Your home is your place. You pay for it. The midwives and guests are the fish out of water. If they want something, they ask you. There's a funny thing about evolution, it has created the subconscious trait that whoever gives out the food is the dominant player in any situation. That's why in a home birth you will find it feels a lot more natural to ask more questions about what's going on, to make sure that the birth plan is stuck to and to generally be more involved and have more say over the whole thing.

7. You won't have your surprised, fragile heart ripped out.
If you only remember one of these secrets, make sure it's this one. At the end of a home birth, the midwives leave. Not you. This is the way it should be. In a hospital, you will be torn away from you newborn child and your exhausted wife at the very peak of your emotional vulnerability.

Let me paint the picture for you real quick: two weeks before my eldest daughter was born my Dad had died, we were not financially safe and I didn't have a job. In short, it was tough. But being the alpha male I am, I wasn't showing it and being the rock solid guy I like to think I am. But the instant I saw my new daughter’s face I discovered a vein of happiness and a depth of feeling that washed away my ego and my fears and even helped me come to terms with my Dad's recent death and made me, a mainly scientific sort of thinker, to almost see a thread of symmetry within life.

If that's all a bit too Lion King for you I apologize, my main point is this –at that point the most unnatural thing in the world for me to do was leave my daughter, drive home and lay on my couch for eight hours and wait for the sun to rise. To make me do that, is probably the cruelest thing that has ever been done to me. In retrospect I wish I had stayed and made them try and have me arrested to make me leave. I have forever lost that first night with my first born.

These are my reasons why home birth was better for me. I've called them secrets, because these things are not common knowledge and are not talked about all that much even within the world of home birth programs and message groups etc. It's not all good – you will have to clean up afterwards. That's not any one's idea of fun. But hey, that's a small price to pay in my opinion.

After experiencing both hospital and home birth my wife and I wouldn't even consider going to a hospital again unless there was a very compelling medical reason why we should do so. That's compelling, by our standards of reason and common sense. Not what any medical profession says. It's a no-brainer for us. As a Dad there is really no comparison to be made.

You are a key part of a home birth. The mother needs you and is relying on you. In a way it's a shame when it's all over because you revert back to being a useless man again before the midwifes left-over tea goes cold.
Ven Batista

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Buy It!

Part One: The Other Side of the Glass: a Birth Film for and About Men officially released in digital download format on June 2, 2013. Go to to purchase a digital download.

Men have been marginalized in birth for a long time. The old joke is that a man was sent off to boil water to keep him busy. I believe they were making the environment safe. Birth moved to hospitals and for forty years women were separated from their partners who was left to wait in smoke filled waiting room. Finally, he would see his baby from "the other side of the glass." Now a man can go in the birthing room and even get to hold his partner's hand during surgery. But they are still marginalized and powerless, according to the fathers I interviewed around the country.

Historically, birth has been defined by the medical establishment. The midwifery and natural birth movement now advocate for need "to educate and prepare men to protect their wife and baby" in medical environment. Seems logical ... if we process with the same illogic that got us here.

Through the voices of men - and doctors and midwives - men share heart-touching stories about how this is not workin' out. A man is also very likely to be disempowered and prevented from connecting with their newborn baby in the first minutes of life.

Now is the time for men to take back birth.

The film is about restoring our families, society, and world through birthing wanted, loved, protected, and nurtured males (and females, of course). It's about empowering males to support the females to birth humanity safely, lovingly, and consciously.

Donors, check your emails or email me at for info to download. Release on DVD is not planned at this date.

FREE online! watch Chapters 1, 2, 3, and 10 at

"Doctor's Voices" - Stuart Fischbein, MD - Part 1

Doctor's Voices - Michael Odent, MD

Human Rights Violations

Resources - Healing Birth Trauma

"The Other Side of the Glass" has the potential to open up feelings that have been denied and ignored for a very long time. How to heal the trauma of birth at any age will be addressed in the film. Meanwhile, these are pioneers in the field.

Raymond Castellino and Mary Jackson -

David Chamberlain, Ph.D. -

Judith Cohen -

Myrna Martin -

Karen Melton -

Wendy McCord, Ph.D. -

Wendy McCarty, Ph.D. -

And, many, many more all over the world at
In both relationships and life trust begets trust.
Generosity begets generosity.
Love begets love.
Be the spark, especially when it's dark.

--Note from the Universe,

"Everybody today seems to be in such a terrible rush, anxious for greater developments and greater riches and so on, so children have very little time with their parents. Parents have very little time for each other, and in the home begins the disruption of the peace of the world." - Mother Theresa