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Afterward: New Thinking about Fatherhood: Creativity and Pregnancy

By Binnie A. Dansby

Binnie is my wife and a fellow pioneer in conscious birthing and living practices.

The process of conception, pregnancy and birth is a most available metaphor for creativity. When we have an idea, we have conceived. If we add energy and time and attention to the idea, we are pregnant with the possibility. Continued persistence will bring forth a result, a birth. In the light of this understanding I always encourage pregnant fathers to be aware of the creative energy that is available when their partner is pregnant. At no other time are we more creative than in the process of ‘becoming’. I consider the human body to be the most sophisticated and beautiful of artworks. The energy that was necessary to paint the Sistine Chapel does not come close to the energy that is necessary to create a human body. Each father-to-be is in direct contact with that energy when sleeping, when making love and when simply being in daily life. Awareness is the key to the access and use of this valuable resource.

Many years ago I taught a class called the Conscious Birthing Program in Santa Monica, California. Fathers were always welcome and typically comprised one third of those present. The intention of the class was to facilitate the release of any fears regarding birth. We explored each partner’s birth experience as the source of his or her thoughts about birth. Sometimes these thoughts are held just below the level of conscious awareness. I used gentle breathwork, visualization, and affirmation to help people to remember, release and heal. We also gave attention to society’s thinking about birth and what the people in their lives were telling them about birth. This supported them to acknowledge the influence of the environment on their thoughts and behavior.

During this time I had a private client in my counseling and breathwork practice who was a screenwriter with ‘writer’s block’. In one of our sessions I suddenly suggested that he come to the Wednesday morning Conscious Birthing class. He was, understandably, in doubt about my sanity, and I admit, I had my doubts, as well. Given some thought, I knew the reason for my invitation was to expose him to all the creative energy generated by 10 to 15 pregnant women. With encouragement he came and continued to join us every Wednesday for several months. In a very short time one fourth of the participants in the program were creative artists of some form. Everyone was pregnant, some with ideas and some with human beings and new lives.

It has been a privilege to work with couples who chose to use the energy of pregnancy to start up new businesses, build new homes, and take art classes together. One couple decided to do The Artist’s Way, by Julia Cameron, as they were creating a baby together. Another went to French class as a couple. Other couples took Tango and Salsa lessons. They all expressed how easy and enjoyable creative pursuits were for them during pregnancy.

An added advantage to learning and creating during pregnancy is that the baby will have an affinity for the language or the activity when they are of an appropriate age. A German woman whom I met spoke English with a British accent. I asked if she had lived in England. She told me that she had not. With further inquiry it was revealed that her parents lived in London during her mother’s pregnancy with her. They were learning English and speaking it for most of the 9 months. They returned to Germany only a week or so before the birth. She reported that one of her easiest classes in school was her English class.

An essential aspect of creativity is curiosity. What do you really want for yourself and your partner and your children? What gives you pleasure? What is something you have been longing to learn about? What is something you have wanted to do with your partner, just the two of you? You have a new life adventure ahead. Be curious about what is happening with your partner. Be curious about the possibilities of giving birth, the world over. Be curious about how to best nourish your pregnant partner and your baby. Be curious about ‘fathering’ and parenting practices in other cultures. Have fun during pregnancy. Explore the creative possibilities in all parts of your life. Expand and grow during this intense and precious time and the future will reflect your efforts and commitment.

©2010, Patrick Houser

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Patrick Houser is a father and a grandfather. His second son's arrival was the first waterbirth in the U.S. This led him into nearly 25 years of support for both choices and working with parents. He has gained wide experience from various fields including a degree in marketing, owning a construction firm and a natural health centre. Patrick is a Life Coach and co-founder of Fathers-To-Be, a new concept in antenatal education, for men. Fathers-To-Be also offers consulting and training for health service providers. E-Mail or www.fatherstobe.org These articles are excerps from his book Fathers-To-Be Handbook: A road map for the transition to fatherhood.

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