WHY DOES IT MATTER YOU’RE THERE?
This day is a big one. Labor is intense. Having someone trusting, dependable and empathetic with the mom-to-be while she labors and births helps minimize her discomfort, increases her coping skills, helps the progression of labor, and makes both of your overall labor and birth experience more rewarding. Here are labor tips for dad to help him on this big day!
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW?
- Being familiar with the events that occur throughout pregnancy, labor and birth is vital.
- Know possible medical interventions throughout the events of labor and birth. This will help both of you to remain focused and confident.
- Attend birth classes together, office visits, read books, talk to each other about what seems helpful, talk to other couples that have labored together, and ask them questions about what they liked and disliked. There is a wealth of information available that you may not know or understand unless you ask!
- Be prepared. Being prepared will lower everyone’s anxiety level. Keep in mind there are times the unexpected occurs, and you will be asked for an opinion. Be ready!
- Be prepared to help make some significant decisions together regarding care for mom-to-be and baby.
SPECIFICALLY, WHAT DO I DO?
- Offering a loving hand to hold, cool washcloths, ice chips, encouraging fluids, and fanning to cool her off. All of this may seem simple, but during labor and giving birth they really can be helpful.
- Offer focused support, breathing, massage and relaxation. They are all very valuable tools to initiate and know for labor. Try to be able to read what is helping her and not. Help her communicate.
- Discuss what seems to be comfortable and helpful for her as she labors and practice it before the big day.
- Be her rock solid support. You would be surprised at what can be accomplished going through labor and birth with a couple working together as a team!
- Often as the mom-to-be is coping with labor, it may be up to you to be her eyes and ears in the room. Keeping her informed of what is happening. You will be depended upon to remain by her side and assist her in making some very important decisions together regarding care for her and the baby.
- Be her advocate. At times a mom-to-be may become so uncomfortable in labor she may have difficulty making decisions or communicating what she wants or needs. It will be up to you to be familiar with what she may desire during these moments. Moments can vary from simple to critical. Discuss potential scenarios together and know what the two of you expect for labor and birth. Be prepared for the unexpected.
- Be sure to take care of yourself when you can during labor. It can be an intense experience for not only the mom-to-be, but for partners as well. Bring snacks, change for the cafeteria or vending machines, a change of clothes, and personal toiletries in case you need to shower while at the hospital. You’ll be prepared for anything!
Remember to be open minded and not to take anything personal while the mom-to-be labors. Anything hurtful or angry said while she is laboring has nothing to do with you or her, it just may indicate the situation is becoming more intense or unbearable.
Our labor tips for dad might prove to be helpful as you help on the birth day. You can discuss any concerns at anytime with us at Women’s Excellence in Midwifery. That’s what we’re here for!