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During the 9 months of pregnancy, everyone is busy asking the mother-to-be how she is feeling. They excitedly rub her tummy and ask all about baby names. Of course, they offer congratulations to the dad, but while the mommy-to-be is changing and growing and glowing, sometimes the dad might feel like he is on the sidelines. However, he has an incredibly important role during labor.
How Dads Have an Important Role:
If you were like me, you are probably nervous about what is to come. This is especially true if this is your first pregnancy. This is absolutely expected of all moms! So you Dads have the role of being the one who can help coach them and keep them calm while they go through labor. This includes helping them breathe through contractions, supporting their legs and back while they push, and encouraging them and helping them after labor.
How Can Dads Prepare for Labor:
- Have an open discussion about labor with her. Find out what she wants or expects of you. While one mom wants her back rubbed, one doesn’t want to be touched. One wants ice chips, one wants nothing. Find out how involved she needs you to be.
- Learn what you can about labor. Okay, not always pleasant. For the “miracle of birth,” it can be kind of nasty. But reading up on what happens beforehand can help you to support her.
- Go with her to prenatal classes. These classes can help prepare you with breathing techniques, labor positions, and more.
- Be prepared that it will get gross, and kinda smelly. I can’t sugarcoat this, it isn’t always fun.
- Help her prepare the house in advance. This includes getting the nursery ready, mounds of baby clothes that need to be laundered, and baby-proofing the house.
How Dads Can Help His Wife During Labor
- DON’T FREAK OUT. If you freak out, you will stress her out, and that can cause issues during labor.
- Listen to her. She will tell if you if she wants her back rubbed, a cold cloth on her forehead, ice chips, or whatever. Follow her lead.
- Don’t take her too personally. She is going to be in a lot of pain, chances are. So she may be a little snippy, at least I know I was, but it was the pain talking. Not me.
- Unless she asks you for your recommendation on pain management, don’t give your opinion on what she takes, whether it is all-natural or an epidural. No uterus, no opinion.
- Help her by reminding her to breathe properly.
- Help her walk around, bounce on the yoga ball, or whatever they want her to do to help along with the labor.
- Remind her how amazing she is doing, and how proud you are of her.
- Make sure that she follows all doctors recommendations.
How Dads can help after the baby is born:
- Take pictures. It is usually on the moms to take candid photos of the baby. Pictures with Daddy, Grandma, Grandpa, so make sure there is some with Mom.
- Make sure she takes care of herself to heal properly. Make sure she takes any medication given to her by the doctor, and that she follows all healing directions.
- Help out with the baby when you can. Make sure she gets to rest. Especially at first.
- Monitor her mood for postpartum depression.
- Make sure she drinks a lot of water. Especially if breastfeeding. The same goes for eating regularly.
- Help her get some light exercise when she is ready.
Sometimes, dads might feel like they are in the background of the pregnancy. However, in reality, there is SO much that dads can do. You can be such a support for your significant other! She needs support at this time. These are just a few ways that you can help her.
What else did you do to support her during labor and delivery? Comment below!
Mom blogger, job coach, ESL teacher and mom to my little girl.