Men a pillar of strength

THE words childbirth and delivery room are enough to have most men quaking in their boots.

Beer and Bubs sessions highlight role of male in childbirth

Most men are surprised to learn that childbirth is not a spectator sport. - Rachael McLeod

But a new concept in prenatal classes, combining a trip to the local watering hole with all the tools to help navigate the childbirth, is coming to Bendigo.

Childbirth educator Rachael McLeod, a former Bendigo resident, will host a Beer and Bubs session at Bendigo's National Hotel on March 4.

“Most men are surprised to learn that childbirth is not a spectator sport and that they can have a profound impact on their partner’s birth experience, helping to make it faster and easier for them,” Ms McLeod said.

"Dads are usually overlooked when it comes to childbirth preparation.

"Yet when it comes to the big day, they need to know how to support their partner through what can be the most physically challenging and emotionally charged event in their lives."

Beer and Bubs was developed by Sydney-based childbirth educator and birth attendant Lucy Perry in 2004.

"She's then set it up so it goes to every major capital city in Australia and going into some regional areas as well," Ms McLeod said.

"I've been a facilitator at the South Melbourne sessions for two years.

"I'm a Bendigo girl originally and I now live near Daylesford so I've had the thought to bring it to Bendigo but this year the timing's right.

"So I'm going to come up once every two months to start with and then I'll go monthly into next year."

Ms McLeod said most childbirth preparation content was aimed at women but Beer and Bubs was all about the men.

"We tell them if you say these things and you harness the hormones it can make the birth potentially a lot quicker and a lot less painful," she said.

Ms McLeod said she was familiar with Bendigo's hospitals.

"I work as a birth attendant as well so I'm employed privately to work with couples to attend the birth of their child," she said.

"So I've been to both of the Bendigo hospitals on several occasions which really helps with helping men really in their role of advocate.

"Most men think that the midwives and doctors will know what to do and that they're sort of just on the side.

"We completely turn that upside down by saying they are their partner's number one support person.

"They know her better than anyone - their role is so fundamental in how she can mange the labour."

For more information or to book a Beer and Bubs session visit  www.beerandbubs.com.au

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