Preparing for childbirth requires hard work and dedication from both parents, as the mom does her best to stay as healthy and strong for the physical demands of labor and childbirth and as the dad supports her. Dads-to-be like can be the most supportive dad in the world, starting with the effort of attending a childbirth education class with your partner. It also helps to know what you should do during labor and childbirth.
1Distinguish true labor from false labor.
As the due date approaches, many women often suffer from Braxton Hicks contractions that might seem like they’re in labor, although the contractions eventually fade. So, you should know the signs of true labor, which include her water breaking; nonstop lower back pain or cramps; regular contractions that become more painful as time passes; and passing her mucus plug.
2Listen carefully during your childbirth education class...
These will educate you about what to expect during labor, particularly its phases; what labor does to your partner’s body; and when a Caesarian section might be necessary. Knowing what may unfold during the imminent arrival of your precious bundle may help calm you down and focus on becoming the most supportive dad and partner instead.
3Known when to go to the hospital.
It doesn’t help if you panic during the first signs of labor and think that rushing your partner to the hospital would be the best thing to do. However, the hospital won’t entertain you unless your partner’s dilated enough to give birth. Instead, try to relax at home, walk around, or do something to divert your partner’s attention off her contractions.
4Be her voice.
If you have a birth plan or if she told you about her birthing preferences beforehand, make sure to let the hospital know about them. While she’s in pain, she might not be able to stand up for what she wants. Do that for her. She might want to listen to a particular music, endure her labor with a certain smell in the room, or avoid suffering under harsh lighting.
Aside from being her husband or partner, you have to coach her throughout the labor and praise her for holding on. You can teach her how to breathe right, stroke her hair to relieve the pain, or give her a massage for a little comfort.
6Prepare for surprises and everything else.
No matter how hard you plan, there are just some things that you cannot control during childbirth. Even if you hope for a normal delivery, there might be circumstances that call for a C-section. To prepare for yourself, if you’re brave enough, it would help if you watch videos of women giving birth.
7Bring along a lot of patience.
Yes, you might feel like jumping up and down or pacing the entire hospital floor with excitement that you will finally see your baby after 9 to 10 months. However, labor may last for hours, so it really is a waiting game. To help you become the most supportive dad and partner, make sure to pack appropriate distractions in your hospital bag, such as an iPod, a deck of cards, toys, and other things to keep the people waiting entertained.
8Time her contractions.
You will learn how to do this in childbirth education classes and you will surely be able to use it while she’s in labor. Monitor her contractions so you can predict when it peaks and subsides. This will give you and your partner enough sense of control despite what might turn out to be a chaotic and stressful situation.
9Work your magic behind the camera.
Finally meeting your child after months of waiting is bound to be one of the most memorable moments of your life as a parent that it ought to be recorded. If you’re allowed to videotape the birth, make sure to find the right angle. Unless you feel like working as a scientific documentary director, don’t take a shot of her crotch. The best angle usually proves to be over the doctor’s or your partner’s shoulder.
10Cut the cord and say hi to the little one.
Many hospitals allow the dads to cut the umbilical cord of their new arrival. Make sure to remind the doctor about it minutes after your child was born.
Don’t feel shy or ignorant if you are confused about some things regarding labor and childbirth. Ask the doctors, the nurses, and even your partner questions.