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.