In 2017 when Birthing Dads Founder Steven Kennedy had a rough trot after the birth of his son he researched evidence around the topic of men at birth. He discovered the health system supporting birth is in crisis and many of the statistics that define modern birth (cesarean, birth trauma, inductions) are heading in the wrong direction.
He discovered that many men are unprepared for the experience of birth and this could actually be contributing to the poor outcomes. Steven decided to create Birthing Dads to see if the statistics could be turned around by engaging men more effectively in the process.
Fathers are now at 95% of births, however, they are rarely given any preparation, guidance or support for this role - until now!
Birthing Dads equips expectant fathers with the confidence to make a positive impact on the perinatal support they are able to provide.
Continuous perinatal support is linked to better birth and health outcomes for both babies and parents, reduced maternal death, less domestic violence, fewer relationship breakdowns and generally - happier, more resilient families.
It is our view that encouraging teamwork and nurturing the couple relationship in the perinatal period strengthens the family unit and has potential to have positive effects in the wider community.
Birthing Dads provides evidence based information on the physical, and emotional support strategies that men can use to prepare to welcome their newborn baby into the world.
Birthing Dads was founded to raise awareness that the outcomes below become possible when fathers are actively involved in supporting their partner and baby during pregnancy, birth and early parenting.
–Improve perinatal mental health
–Reduce medical interventions
–Reduce gender based violence
–Improve breastfeeding outcomes
–Reduce maternal mortality
–Reduce perinatal relationship breakdown
–Reduce pre term birth rate
–Reduce in premature hospital arrivals
Birthing Dads supports woman-centred care by supporting dads in the transition to fatherhood. We inspire men to reach their full potential as partners - for the wellbeing of the whole family.
Extensive research espousing the benefits of engaging expectant and new fathers in maternity care has resulted very little progress over the past 5 decades.
“In my 3 years at university I don’t think I was taught a single thing about dads. We learn a lot about our role in woman centred care but nothing about dads.
(Australian midwifery student, Rominov 2016).
Many dads, especially first-time fathers, are underprepared for experiencing the birth of their child. They are aware they have to provide support but have little idea of what that actually looks (or feels) like in practice.
"Men experience “uncertainty, exclusion, fear and frustration. There are also feelings of helplessness, uselessness and anxiety“ (K. Hasman 2014).