A lot of the focus around having a baby is on the mother: however the father is also experiencing big emotional and maybe some physical changes. We want to offer you support you during the process. Together, we can discover ways to help you understand your role and tools and resources to support you, as well as enabling you to support your partner and develop your connection with your baby.
We hope that you will find Shiatsu and Massage may be helpful resources for you at this time with their powerful combination of nurturing touch, breathing/visualisations, exercise and postural awareness.
We have some questions you can ask to help you find the right practitioner for you: although of course you will want to ask some more specific questions based on what is going on for you. However to support you in your parenting journey, you may find it helpful to have support from a practitioner who works with maternity. However we may decide that you prefer to see a male practitioner.
If you decide that shiatsu or massage is something to consider, we have a register of practitioners who have trained with us. Most of these are female practitioners, although there are a few male practitioners. You may decide that you may or may not want to see the same practitioner as your partner.
Specific aspects of Well Mother work which may be of interest for you are:
- Before conception, it is helpful if the father is in the best possible state of health This way you are supporting your child’s development in the best possible way.
- During pregnancy, you may feel you need support. A lot is going on for you too. You can read the Article: on Couvade and why shiatsu might help, written by a male shiatsu practitioner who did the Well Mother diploma course.
- Birth preparation and the book Beautiful Birth is written with the role of the father in mind.
- After birth as well, you might find you need some additional support to help with all the changes which are going on.
- You may also be interested in infant shiatsu and massage.
- Our practitioners can also show you techniques to support your partner at all stage of the maternity journey.
- There are free clinic sessions during courses which you could try.
If you have a question that isn’t here then please post a question via Well Mother face book pages or send a personal email to Well mother. These are free services. If your question is more in depth and you need more of a mini consultation, this can be offered via Skype consultation. A fee will be charged for this service.
You can often be forgotten during the pregnancy with the focus on the mother and baby but you too will be going through big emotional changes: adapting to your new role and your changing relationship with your partner. You might find it helpful to have shiatsu or massage for your own support during your partners pregnancy.
Of course you might want to find out ways that you can support your partner and connect with your growing baby.
There are lots of changes for you during pregnancy but often you might not feel more able to get involved when you feel the baby moving. Here is a touch exercise which may help you ( https://www.wellmother.org/advice/touch-exercise-with-partner.html )
Preparing for birth and supporting your partner during birth
Supporting your partner to prepare for birth and actually being present at the birth, are times when you are able, if you want to, to become quite involved.
Our book “Beautiful Birth” goes into some detail on this aspects.
Bonding with your baby
Infant shiatsu and massage can offer a wonderful way of supporting you to develop your connections with your baby. You can build on work that you have done during the pregnancy: massaging the baby in the womb by massaging the mother’s abdomen.
Fathers who are highly involved with their infants have been found to be as tactile-sensitive as were their mothers. Allan Schore’s work details the neurobiology of attachment. His observations show fathers who regularly interact with their infant, can develop greater neural connections in the right brain area [Schore AN. Effects of a secure attachment relationship on right brain development, affect regulation, and infant mental health. Infant Mental Health journal 2001; 22(1-2): 7-66].
Supporting the mother
Some of the work that you learn during the birth, can be used afterwards for the mother and for the baby.
But don’t forget that you might need help and support for you. It is a big time of change and adaptation: sleepless nights and tiredness, your partner being less present for you, having another member of the family, having perhaps to do more household chores, this can all bring up issues for you and it is wise to recognise that you need to find ways to support yourself.