Questions people often ask Rob Mawhinney
Haha, it was just a joke my friends made at me. Since I always try to work out, they said those days would soon be over and a dad bod was imminent. I just embraced it
My partner has asked me to watch a documentary called “The Business of Birth.” After watching the perspective of what a “transaction” of labor would likely look like, I was honestly terriﬁed to have my baby in a hospital. As a man, the process of giving birth to a child had not crossed my mind like I must assume it does for all women contemplating. This is obviously extremely selﬁsh, but its diﬃcult to think about this when I never any type of education before. My grandfather was actually told to wait in the lobby when my grandmother gave birth to her children. To me that seemed like I didn’t have much of a role.
The scared man of course has to be honest and admit that I was absolutely nervous and insecure to take on the actual coach role, but insofar as being nervous about not being at a hospital, I was actually more scared to be at a hospital after really diving into how both scenarios would play out.
Hospital staﬀ have schedules, medications that are routinely used, interventions that are common practice, and aesthetically speaking, hospital lights, smells and layouts have always reminded me of unhappy and scary thoughts and feelings. We, with upmost conﬁdence, did not want to give birth to our baby at a hospital.
I was enlightened with the brilliant point of “Women have been having babies since the beginning of time. How did THEY do it?” In addition to this very obvious fact, my partner and I became extremely educated in this subject because the community of the natural birth world gives such support in a way that hands on classes, education, knowledge, and passion is shared freely and in such abundance. I became much more hands on and involved than if we were scheduled to have the baby at a hospital, which I had perceived the staﬀ to do most or all of the work. (Not much work required from daddy). The natural birth class, which was once a week, gave me such conﬁdence that I went from wanting to be the scared dad that wanted to hide behind the curtain and not see blood, to promising that my hands would be the ﬁrst to catch my baby.
That is the biggest misconception. When having a natural birth, we go through a process of interviewing a Midwife and a doula. The Midwife is medically trained and can administrate certain prescribed drugs in the event of a medical emergency. They are trained to perform any
task that a doctor or nurse would perform, but more so equipped in my opinion since this is their prime and only focus. They are not in a rush to get home to catch the baseball game. They are not oﬀering interventions that could quickly lead to a C-section, they are not promoting an epidural which in no way do I want entering my 8 pound baby’s blood stream. It isn’t simply the training that gives conﬁdence
There is both a definitive answer and a subjective answer. Objectively speaking, a midwife is medically trained and is certified. Her role would be to assist in the physical delivery of a healthy baby. The doula is the emotional support for not only the mother, but in this case, myself. I also said this answer is subjective, because our midwife Blyss Young (https:// www.birthingblyss.com) was also a major emotional support. Weeks prior to birth, we met with both our midwife Blyss and our doula Haize Hawke @ iamhaizehawkerosen, which further boosted my confidence as coach and my abilities to be there for my partner and baby.