The world showers its attention on mums-to-be. This totally makes sense as she’s the one who does all the hard work to bring that bundle of joy into this world. But have you ever thought about what the dad-to-be is going through? Just like expectant moms, dads too go through a new experience during pregnancy. This is true, especially for first-time fathers who are yet to come to acknowledge this role transition and the added responsibility in their lives. Sometimes, they are not even able to come to terms with their own feelings of apprehension, anticipation, and nervousness.
Listening during pregnancy comes naturally to women. However, dads too need to do their groundwork, be supportive and constantly interact with their partners. This preparedness and knowledge helps dads to be able to adequately encourage their partners during labour and the birthing process.
So this is what you can do as an expectant dad:
Do the groundwork
Now is the time to work on knowledge during the childbirth education classes. Get to know how your partner’s body is changing and the circumstances in which she may need a C-section. Being aware of this will make the labour and delivery experience less frightening. Being composed will allow you to focus on your partner’s needs during this time.
Labour is time-consuming
It may be several hours before your partner is ready to be rolled into the delivery room. Until such time, she may be asked to walk around and you should be able to assist her in moving around as much as possible. Bring along the iPod or even a deck of cards that will help distract her.
Worrying is not your best friend
You may see tons of action in the delivery and believe you me; you will not understand half of what’s happening around you. Ask the nurse, if there’s something that you don’t understand. If your partner is given an epidural, you may be asked to step outside the room. Don’t be afraid, as this is standard procedure in most birthing centres.
Understand your partner’s needs
Once your partner is almost on the verge, the breathing exercises and massage techniques may just fly out of the window. Try and understand what your partner requires at this time; for some, it could just be a back rub, or possibly help to breathe and relax. Some partners may be downright hostile. Judge the situation as best as you can and act accordingly.
Be Prepared: Things can get a wee bit messy!
The birthing experience can be unpleasant. You may hear noises from your partner that you’ve probably never imagined in your wildest dreams. It’s your responsibility to remain calm and keep encouraging her to do her best. Whilst she may not even pay attention to what you are saying, your familiar voice will keep reassuring her to push.
Enjoy Your First Meeting
The first sight of your very own baby makes all the other stuff worth it. You’d even do it again.