Dads and Childbirth; As a dad, unless you have been through pregnancy, it is difficult to understand everything that is going on during labor, in addition to the emotions you experience yourself.
Most of the attention is focused on the mom during labor and birth, which is for a good reason, but dads often get overlooked in that regard.
Therefore, to feel more confident during your birth experience as a dad, it is beneficial to know what to do and what to expect when your partner goes into labor.
Dads and Childbirth: How Dads Can Help During Labor
1. Start Preparing Early
Plan ahead for when your partner goes into labor as soon as possible. Make a list of everyone you’ll need to communicate with when the time comes. Make arrangements for a babysitter to watch your kids and if you have a pet, make arrangements for it as well. Get to know your Doula so you can communicate with her throughout your labor and delivery.
2. Birth Plan
Know The Birth Plan but it is important to remain flexible while advocating for her birth plan to be followed. Ensure that everything you have done has been in the best interest of your partner and your baby.
3. Write a List
As a guide when your partner is in labor, you should make a list of everything you will need during labor after delivery. As early as possible, begin making this list to avoid forgetting anything.
4. Know Your Hospital
Find out the fastest route to the hospital. To ensure that the entire transition process is as smooth as possible, you will need to know which floor to go to and who to speak to once you arrive. It will be necessary for you to know your partner’s personal information so that when it comes time to fill out the intake forms for her, you can do so on her behalf.
5. Pack a Bag and Bring Snacks
Don’t forget to pack a bag for yourself, and bring everything you will need because you don’t know how long you will be there.
6. Be Present
If your partner goes into labor, be there to support her. Make sure you are both physically and emotionally there for her. It means you can’t spend endless amounts of time on your phone or other electronic devices. Remember that even though you are not the one giving birth, this is your experience together. Be the one to pay attention to your partner’s basic needs.
7. Be a Mirror
There is a great deal of power in nonverbal communication during labor. Being a demonstrator, a role model, or a mirror to your labor partner is essential. Take deep breaths in and out to help her manage her breathing so she can mimic what you are doing. A deep breath will help her manage her pain more effectively.
Also, you can model the pain management positions you learned in your birthing class. The positions will become easier for her to remember if she sees you doing them. Practicing these positions prior to labor will make it easier for you to demonstrate them to your partner during labor.
It is important that you eat, but don’t eat in front of your spouse, girlfriend, or mother of the baby while they’re in labor since they can’t eat. Your partner deserves at least this.
9. Be Nice but Firm With The Midwife
Ensure your wife or partner’s health is the main priority in any decisions made by the midwife. Your partner might depend on you for her decisions because you might be the one making them for her. Take time to research the stages of labor so you will be able to better understand how your partner or your wife feels.
10. Take a Moment to Think of Some Motivational Quotes
This can be said to your partner while she is in labor. There will be times when your partner needs to hear some comforting words. As you know her best, you can tell her jokes to make her laugh, or something you know she would like to hear. You can care for your partner by giving her gentle massages, giving foot rubs, or playing soothing music.
11. Ensure That the Car Seat is Installed
Car seats are required by the hospital before you leave. As early as 35 weeks, you can prepare your car seat so you don’t have to worry about it later.
12. Supporting During Epidural
By holding your partner’s hands, you will be able to support her during her epidural. This will allow her to squeeze something, however, make sure you offer her two fingers and not three. Giving her three fingers will cause her to leverage your middle finger, resulting in it breaking. Giving two fingers prevents her from gaining leverage, which prevents your finger from breaking.
13. Faint Easily When Exposed to Blood
In case you have even the slightest fear of blood, IVs, or epidurals, don’t watch as they administer these to your partner, as you may pass out and hit your head which means you’ll miss the delivery because you’ll be in the emergency room getting a CT scan of your head.
14. Hydration and Nutrition are Essential
Find out where the vending machines are so you can access them quickly. Bring some change and small bills with you.
Make sure you pack a snack that you can eat after the baby is born. Don’t forget to eat outside the room if you have to eat before your baby is born.
15. Don’t Panic
You shouldn’t freak out or point it out if you see something gross. Try as much as possible to be in control of your feelings.
16. Expect the Unexpected
Adapt your birth plan as needed, and be flexible. The birth process is unique every time, so it’s wise to keep an open mind and be flexible. Do your best to adjust if something unexpected happens
17. Focus On Nurses
Make sure you learn the nurses’ names and treat them with respect. During your hospital stay, you will be cared for by these people so be polite and establish a good relationship with them.
18. Advocate For Her
During delivery, you will need to step up and advocate for her so she can focus on giving birth.
You should remain positive, but be firm and direct at times when defending your partner’s interests. Birthing partners have a significant impact on the experiences their wives have during labor and delivery. You will advocate for her so that she doesn’t feel alone and that her wishes are respected.
19. Be Respectful
It is imperative that you respect her process and her pain. It is important that you respect the space in which she is, as well as the way she wants things done. Encourage her during labor, respect the length of the process, and be by her side every step of the way. Give her the recognition and validation she needs for the pain she is experiencing; do not undermine how she feels or tell her what she should be feeling.
Many dads may think their partner is responsible for educating them about the birthing process, but dads must also educate themselves.
Dads should be aware that labor has four stages, with the first taking the longest. In most cases, the first baby’s labor process takes longer than the second or third child. Become familiar with these stages and what they entail.
Educate and inform yourself about childbirth by taking childbirth education classes and reading childbirth books with her. Furthermore, when the birth process is going on, you will feel empowered, and in turn, you will be able to empower her as well.
Be there for her in every area you can. It would be your job to understand what her birth plan is and ensure that her wishes are carried out during birth by the doctors, nurses, or anyone else helping her out during birth.
22. Be Energized
In addition to being there for your partner during labor and birth, you need to take good care of yourself. Ensure that you are eating enough food and staying hydrated.
You need all the energy you can get to support your partner, so sleep when you can. If you are drained and fatigued, you can’t give her any kind of support. Keep yourself energized and nourished as often as you can.
23. Don’t Take Things Personally
It’s very possible that your partner will be in a totally different mood during labor. You might get a snappy reaction from her if she doesn’t like what you’re doing. Do not be offended; keep trying different things to make her feel comfortable. You will want to use different words of encouragement.
24. Be Her DJ
An individual’s mood, energy, and tone are affected by music. In addition to being a powerful tool for relaxation, it has other benefits as well. In the hospital, it can also be used to muffle out the noise. Prior to the date, sit down with your partner and make a playlist of music she enjoys.
If you’re giving birth in the hospital or wherever else you’re giving birth, you can get an inexpensive Bluetooth speaker. Once you get to the hospital, it will be your responsibility to remember to play the music. Play music as soon as you get settled into the hospital without waiting for your partner to ask you to do so.
25. Tune in
Try to read your partner’s body language instead of waiting for her to tell you what to do. Be proactive. You have been with her through this whole process, and you know and understand her well.
26. Find Out Her Expectations
Find out what she expects from you before she goes into labor. Ask her what role she wants you to play. She will be very appreciative of you even asking this question.
27. Know Your Limit
Depending on your level of squeamishness or ability to get sick easily, the birthing process can be messy. You will typically be able to choose where you want to be during the birthing process. To avoid getting involved or seeing everything, you can stay near her head. Make sure your partner understands how you feel in this regard.
28. Remain Calm
Even though staying calm can be challenging, you must do your best. Labor can be exhausting because there’s a lot of stress and excitement involved. You will benefit from being calm not only for yourself but also for your partner.
29. Be Her Cheerleader
As a partner, you are such a valuable source of strength. You can make a big difference to your partner by telling her that she is strong and capable.
30. Hold Your Baby
Take as much time as you can to hold your baby. As much as possible, do skin-to-skin contact.
31. Give Your Partner a Push Present
After your partner has given birth, this would be a nice present to give them. You are doing your partner a nice favor after they have gone through so much with being in labor.
Dads and Childbirth; why is it vital for dads to be educated about childbirth? During the birth process, you will play an irreplaceable role as long as you are there and showing compassion and empathy. The main reason for a dad being in the delivery room is to support his partner. The experience of supporting your partner during labor and birth is a wonderful one, so join forces and support her during this time. Get ready for your birthing experience together by attending birthing classes together.