Cheers to Childbirth: A Dad’s Guide to Childbirth Support

cheers to childbirth For over ten years Lucy Perry and her husband Bruce have run Beer+ Bubs: childbirth education sessions for men at the pub – hence the name of the book. Cheers to Childbirth is a great guide for dads.

Lucy is a birth doula and mother of three. She was inspired to write the book after one such session when an expectant father approached her to buy her book. He hadn’t expected to learn so much and had taken no notes.

Each chapter is very readable, with practical advice from someone who has ‘been there, done that’. Each chapter ends with a boxed summary of the content and then is followed by a father’s personal story.

The fathers’ stories are one of the highlights of the book. Lucy has been able to gather stories from a wide range of men from many walks of life – some well-known names, especially if you come from NSW. These fathers include: Mark Occhilupo (world champion surfer), Danny Green (three time world champion boxer), Adam Spencer (radio and TV presenter), Dr Charlie Teo (neurosurgeon), Gerrard Gosens (blind Paralympian and adventurer) and James Tomkins (one of the ‘Oarsome Foursome’).

The second last chapter on ‘life after birth’ has some excellent advice to help the new mother: make sure to get extra home help; restrict visitors; make nappy changes your job; watch out for PND; ignore unsolicited advice and go with what works for your family; eat well and get some exercise and help with the housework if you hope to resume your sex life!

The book is divided into three sections:

  • Part 1 covers what an expectant father needs to know before getting to the hospital – how to be an advocate for the family, pain management strategy and what to say and not say during childbirth. One chapter talks about pregnancy loss, a topic often glossed over.
  • Part 2 also covers pre-labour, first stages, transition (duck for cover is the warning!), the first few hours after the birth as well as caesareans.
  • Part 3 comprises ‘Life after birth’ and a section on ‘breastfeeding for blokes.’

Whether a bloke will actually read this book cover-to-cover is a moot point but the author has foreseen that possibility by having brief boxed summaries of dad’s own stories. That is worth the read alone.

Lucy Perry
Pure Publishing 2010
ISBN: 9780980413212 (pbk)
270 pages RRP $29.95

Further information:

For more information on the book or the Beer & Bubs program, visit:
http://www.beerandbubs.com.au

——–
Reviewed by Judy Gifford of the ABA

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