women have better and more pleasurable birth experiences.”
—Barbara Harper, RN, CLD, CCE
Author of Gentle Birth Choices
and Founder of Waterbirth International
“Fathers at Birth, by Rose St. John is an excellent resource
for those who are committed to working with a woman or women in labor.
This book is a great tool for not only fathers but also anyone working
in the childbirth profession-doulas, midwives, nurses and doctors. It
is right up there with Penny Simkin’s Birth Partner. In fact while
reading Fathers At Birth I could not help but wish I had stumbled
upon this book a year ago when I was pregnant and gathering books for my
husband to read.
One of the many handouts I provide pregnant couples with is a list of books
I recommend they pick up. Some of which I would make mandatory if I could
—needless to say Fathers At Birth has made its way to the top
of that list. As a doula and childbirth educator I am always eager to learn
more—to accumulate tips and techniques that will allow me to assist
couples to the best of my ability. Thank you Ms. St. John for putting your
years of experience at my finger tips.
—Simone Snyder, International Childbirth Education Association
Online Review (excerpted) —
Click to view entire review at ICEA.org
“Fathers at Birth: Your Role in Bringing Your Child into the World, by
Rose St. John, provides detailed instruction in the author's myriad techniques for assisting
a laboring woman through touch, breath, vocalizations, words, and focused presence. St.
John's methods demonstrate her awareness of the acute physical and emotional sensitivities
of the laboring woman, as well as the critical yet undervalued role of the father in
birth. Her one-minute centering practice is a terrific tool for any labor attendant. In short,
this is some of the best guidance I've seen for professional doulas, let alone fathers. I
highly recommend this book.”
Managing Editor, Mothering Magazine, September - October 2009
“I applaud Ms. St. John on her enormous effort; she has taken a lifetime of experience as a mother,
doula, yoga instructor, birth coach, and a birthing woman, and rolled
them into a clear, easy-to-read guide for the most important
attendant at the birth: the father.”
—Cathi Parisi, MSN, CNM
Director of Connecticut Childbirth and Women's Center
Thank you for the gift you have given to the world.
I will let the below speak further.
Expectant fathers today are often
challenged with finding their place at birth as well as in the mine field of
information on the subject, primarily designed for women. In her book Fathers at
Birth, Rose St. John handles both.
With the depth and breadth of the
information, exercises and personal stories presented men no longer need to go
on a voyeuristic journey through women's literature. They can learn all there is
to know about pregnancy, birth and the breastfeeding time in a book that is written
for them and speaks directly to their questions and concerns, fears and hopes,
needs and values.
Ms. St. John's vast experience working with couples
over several decades shines throughout. She also insightfully enlightens the reader
about the nature of motherhood and what it is like for a woman. This is highly
valuable for men during a time that begs answers to the age old question, what
do women want; or more specifically what do pregnant and birthing women want?
Help is at hand!”
—Patrick M. Houser
Author of Fathers-To-Be Handbook, www.fatherstobe.org
“When I first picked this book up, I was excited to see something written
expressly for dads. In the first chapter, ‘Your Presence Makes a Difference,
’ the father's role at a birth is defined. How many moms have told their
spouses that they just want them to be there? This book explains how dads can hold
the space for their laboring partners. This struck me as a wonderful thing! They
don't have to fix anything or take away her pain... they just hold her space.
The author states early on that she has written this book with two goals: ‘
The first is to share my experiences, to teach you practical skills and give you
tools that work... The second goal is to share my perspective on the transcendent,
sacred aspect of birth.’ Dads are taught how to respond to their partner's
cues while keeping themselves centered and calm. The author does an excellent job
explaining how dads can take care of their partner during labor and what signs to
look for when she gets stressed or uncomfortable. There are chapters outlining
helpful clues to look for and what to do to help her relax.
Next come several chapters with exact step by step directions on how to use different
positions and rituals to help mom through labor. It is helpful to practice these
before labor begins. The appendices at the back offer a quick refresher that can be
used in the heat of labor. Beautiful black and white photography decorates each
chapter and illustrates the different positions that are recommended for labor.
I could see how this book could be recommended reading for childbirth classes. It
is one of the few books that actually address the father and his needs. This book
reminds us how important it is for dad to take care of himself as well. How else
can he be there for his partner if he is not caring for his own needs?
I highly recommend this book to any new father. Heck, I'd recommend it to a dad who
has already been to the births of his children so he could learn more for the next
one. This book was long overdue... I'm glad it has finally arrived.”
Founder and Editor of Organic Birth Magazine
“Rose St. John lovingly holds the door open…to a place where man has seldom
gone… and gesturing with a smile, [says], ‘Come in;
it’s okay. You can do this.’”
“This is a truly wonderful book. Clearly and insightfully written (with beautiful
supporting photographs), it empowers Dads with a bounty of tools they can use as
they support their partner during the amazing work of labor and birth. Perhaps more
importantly though, it encourages fathers to draw upon their own innate gifts--and
gently reminds them of just how powerful their simple, grounding PRESENCE can be.
As mothers, we are blessed with an abundance of great books to choose from, as we
prepare to bring our children into the world. For papas, this has not always been
as true. Ms. St. John's book wonderfully, wisely, and warmly welcomes fathers to
fully inhabit their incredible new role.
As a certified childbirth educator (and prenatal yoga teacher), I have found
Fathers at Birth to be an exceptional and unique teaching resource, and
highly recommend it to anyone who works closely with birthing families--and of
course, to every daddy-to-be!”
—Camille Mulchi, BS, RYT, CCE
MotherWise Yoga and Holistic Childbirth Education
“As a labor and
delivery nurse I experience on a daily basis how scary and
overwhelming labor can be for unprepared partners. The
significant other often feels helpless and unequipped to
adequately support his laboring loved one. By reading this
book he will prepare himself for the birth experience, both
by gaining knowledge about the birthing process as well acquiring
a big bag of practical tools and helpful strategies for supporting
his partner (and himself!) during labor.
“Not only will this greatly reduce his stress and empower him, it
will support both his and his partner’s ability to cope
with the challenges of labor and ultimately enhance their birth
experiences. I highly recommend this easy-to-read birthing book
for any father-to-be, whether it is his first or subsequent
child, and whether the couple chooses to birth their baby
at home, at a birthing center, or in a hospital setting.”
—Tina Zeeberg, RN, BSN, labor and delivery nurse.
“Rose reveals to us
the power of the birth experience. She illustrates beautifully
how mother and father can tap into their own inner resources and
power. [Her] approach is liberating, simple, and limitless.”
Prenatal and Postnatal Yoga Instructor,
Bradley Method® Childbirth Educator
“As a nurse-midwife with more than 20 years of clinical experience, I recommend this book very highly to pregnant
couples, and also to doulas (professionals who provide support to the laboring couple). Rose St. John’s approach
to labor and birth combines the practical, the spiritual, and common sense. During the most beautiful, satisfying,
safe, and healthy births I have attended, the laboring couples used many of the techniques St. John describes. Rose St.
John has a place, with Penny Simkin and Sheila Kitzinger, on my list of very best writers about birth.”
—Elisabeth Genly, RN, CNM