Childbirth Educator Resource Center

Best Practices for Men in Childbirth Education Classes

I have six brothers, and I always treated the men involved in Boot Camp like brothers. We are, in a sense. Well, I also have six sisters, which is how I feel about childbirth educators, and how they have treated me since we got Boot Camp going together.
— Greg Bishop, Founder of Boot Camp for New Dads

Below, you will find a brief listing of best practices for those working with fathers during the prenatal period and shortly following birth. These are notions that have emerged after nearly two decades of working with fathers, primarily in the healthcare setting. The subheadings below represent the people most critical to the early success of individual fathers, as they are the ones who initially shape the father’s impression of his role.

  • Men prefer to forgo the subtle hazing ritual of wearing an “empathy belly” in front of others.
  • Men do not like to be made to look stupid in Childbirth Class.
  • There is value in, at times, separating the couples in your class into gendered groups to promote discussion of issues unique to being a mom and a dad.
  • Dads prefer to be referred to as “Dad” in class, as opposed to partner, coach, or other alternatives designed to promote an inclusive atmosphere. Partners in class who are not dads should be given the option to say what they prefer to be called.
  • Childbirth class is a venue that can promote a father’s connection to the pregnancy.

Please Tell Us What Works For You

While we have information about best practices for fathers in childbirth education classes, much of what we know we learned from you.  Tell us what has worked for you. 

Email Tips on Connecting with Dads

Childbirth Educators can now receive emails from Dads Adventure on connecting with the dads in their classes. To be added to the list, email with your contact information.

Downloadable Resources

Dads Adventure Magazine

A concise magazine that first time fathers-to-be are very pleased to receive from the  OB office, hospital staff, childbirth educator, or their mates. 

Dads Adventure magazine offers guidance for fathers-to-be from the 325,000  veterans of Boot Camp for New Dads. It also encourages men to focus on making  fatherhood fun, one of the best things a dad can do for his child – and himself.

*The magazine is available for .50/ea for shipping & handling. Email us to order magazines.

Greg Bishops PowerPoint Presentation from the ICEA National Conference held in Oklahoma City, OK October 2009