While in the past the paternal figure was banished to the hospital hallways, they are now, thankfully, asserting their right to be present for the birth of their child. Yet, this unknown territory can be uncertain ground for a new dad who wants to be a help, rather than a hindrance. That’s why we’ve compiled some tips for dad while mum is in labour.
Pack the Hospital Bag
Pack the hospital bag, then check it, then check it again. Trust us, this is no time to just ‘throw some stuff in a bag’. Luckily we’ve already outlined everything you need in your labour bag, hospital bag and baby bag (yep, there’s three of them, so get packing). But on a side note, labour takes time and you don’t want to be running off to refuel just as baby arrives, so pack a few energy bars to keep dad on the move too.
Nerves and tensions run high in the delivery room and even if your partner is the coolest of cucumbers, the strain of labour may cause her to act unusually sharp-tongued or stressed out. If this happens, try to remain calm. She knows (deep down) that you’re trying to help and it’s important that someone bring an air of calm back into the room. That’s where you come in dad!
Read the Books
There’s nothing more reassuring than someone who knows what they’re talking about. While nobody expects you to become a pregnancy expert, showing how supportive you are by demonstrating the time you’ve dedicated to preparing for your child will mean a lot to your partner. However, should she suddenly suggest you to stop showing off what you know, follow our next piece of advice.
Don’t Argue Dad
Maybe you’re in a relationship with a woman who enjoys a spirited debate and that’s one of the many things you love about her. However, her mind is somewhat preoccupied at the moment, so now is no time to start questioning her. If she tells you to count out her contractions, don’t argue. If she tells you to stop counting, don’t argue. If she tells you to sing the entire works of Disney to distract her, don’t argue. Do you see a pattern forming?
Be Her Advocate
Long before you get to the labour ward, you and your partner should have a long and clear discussion about the type of birth you want. When the time comes, your partner may be pressured into going against her birthing plan when it’s not strictly necessary. If this should happen and she feels unable to state her case herself, it’s your responsibility as her partner to be her advocate and therefore, voice any potential desires or concerns with doctors and nurses.