Beer+Bubs is a program that teaches men what they really need to know about childbirth – in the comfortable setting of a pub amongst other men.
The program has been running in Sydney since 2004, and nationally since 2009, and has now helped hundreds of fathers-to-be understand how to help their partner on the big day.
Its organisers say Beer+Bubs dwells less on the kind of information in antenatal classes, which focus on the woman and birthing, and more on the practical ways a husband can help manage the pain of labour, what to say and not say, and expectations in the case of caesarean births.
B+B recruits presenters proficient in childbirth education, who locate local pubs in which to deliver sessions on quieter nights early in the week.
“We require a space in the pub that is separate from the general public so we can chat about all things birth, without upsetting your usual patrons,” says B+B HQ’s Carrina Bradbury.
“The friendly, casual atmosphere of the pub is a great venue for childbirth education.
“Childbirth is unfamiliar territory for most blokes, so it’s more comfortable for them to be in their natural environment to learn about something so foreign.”
Attendees pay $60, which includes a pub meal. Venues are asked to offer around five meal options, and the guys look after themselves for drinks at the bar.
Many men are unsure about their role in childbirth, and the B+B site is laden with grateful dads that partook of the program and better understood their wife or partner’s need for support – such as Peter, from Sydney.
“My wife signed me up for Beer + Bubs without my permission. I was a little annoyed but went along with it. Much to my amazement, I thoroughly enjoyed it.
“Sharing with other men and hearing a woman’s perspective shed a lot of light on how little I really knew or what my wife really needed from me. I now feel prepared to support my wife and understand how I can support and protect her during birth. “
Presenter Rebecca Connolly says while the doctors or midwife may be the mother’s medical expert, the man is her emotional expert and can be crucial to the process going smoothly.
Beer+Bubs is now presented in pubs in each State of Australia, and constantly looking for more outposts to bring a different approach to both new and repeat fathers.