Ask Amma

Needle freaks my husband out – help!

In What on 9 May 2012 at 3:45 am

My husband totally freaks out on a prick of a needle. How can I help my husband overcome the fears of the labor process and help him gain confidence and in turn help me gain confidence?
– Expecting in Elkridge

Dear Expecting in Elkridge,
First and foremost, keep in mind that giving birth normally does not involve any needles!  So no need to fear.

To help me with your question I turned to newly minted Appa Arun in Gaithersburg.  He says:

I think there are a few things in play here.
1) Fear of the unknown – The best way to overcome this is to read about it and watch a number of videos and so on. This will bridge the information asymmetry in some ways.
2) You do not want your loved one getting hurt and in pain and bleeding and so on. But unlike other injuries, this is pain with a purpose which, in some sense, should be embraced rather than feared. If the mom and dad can make that psychological switch together, then the whole process becomes easier. If the mom makes the switch earlier and keeps communicating that to dad, that might help too.
3) Above all, you would be witnessing your loved one involved in one of the most beautiful acts of nature. And she is overcoming her doubts and fears, no small amount of pain, and putting in a heroic effort – you have your own child fighting his/her way out of the mother’s womb. It is a situation where you automatically get inspired and elevated and want to play a small cheerleading role at a very minimum. And the respect for each other as a couple grows manifold and the relationship enters an entirely new level.

Thank you Arun!  You are recruited as official cheerleader for the Appas of the Askamma community!

Want to talk to Arun, man-to-man?  Send a message with subject “for Arun” and Amma will pass it along. 

Whether your little one calls you Appa or Pappa or Nanna something else entirely,  Amma wants to hear from you.  Were you nervous in the labour room?  How did you cope?  Send in your stories for the next issue or post your comments online right now.

  1. Comment from Vijay on Preparing Dad-to-be for the Birth

    Vijay from Philadelhia shares his words of advice for the dad-to-be who was freaking out on how to prepare for the day of birth?

    I suspect there is no universal answer to this, but based on my experience, I would suggest that the to-be Dad prepare himself by getting intimately familiar with the process and potential twists/turns/interventions that are possible during labor.

    It helped me to watch some videos which had actual labor experience covered (The Business fo Being born (not really about labor expereince but I think it had some coverage on actual labor, also I suppose there might be other videos on youtube etc that one can watch)

    Some books that helped me were…
    1. The Birth Partner by Penny Simkin
    2. Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth (it has lots of childbirth stories – not necessarily oriented towards dads, but it helps know what can happen)
    3. Husband Coached Childbirth by Robert A Bradley (Basis for the Bradley Method of preparing for birth).

    It may also help to talk to a local midwife/doula about the experience and/or go through a orientation session Also, if they can afford it, it would help to have an experienced Doula by her side during labor- the Doula can also have a calming effect on the husband by telling him what’s coming and the questions/issues to consider during the process.


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