When you think about the impending birth, you’re probably worrying about how you’ll cope on the day, what will happen and whether it will all go to plan. With all that on your mind, it’s no wonder you’ve forgotten to consider how your partner will cope. Preparing your partner for childbirth is almost as important as packing your hospital bag, and it certainly isn’t something you should overlook.
There are plenty of horror stories about dads-to-be fainting in the delivery room and missing the birth, or infuriating the mums-to-be by asking how long is left. The birth of your child is one of those life changing moments, so make sure your partner is prepared for what’s going to happen, and how he can help on the day.
Give him homework
If he has any chance of being useful, he’s going to need to know what to expect in the delivery room. From bodily fluids to labour noises, he needs to be ready for whatever you’re about to throw at him. There are plenty of great books designed to coach dads-to-be in preparation for labour, so why not pick one out for him? There’s loads of information online, too; he could even watch some birth videos. Prenatal classes are the best place to pick up information about the birth. Your prenatal teacher will explain the labour process in detail, and answer any questions he might have. If you’ve enjoyed using this app, you could also ask him to download our new Baby+ App. It has hundreds of interesting articles, tools and great features.
Talk to friends and family
The best way to learn about childbirth, is to speak to people who’ve been through it. The best people to speak to are those who have recently experienced it, because the information will still be fresh in their minds. Ask questions, and tell them you want all the gory details. Ask the dad what it felt like for him, and what he had to do. This will give your partner ideas and prepare him for the big day.
Let him know any expectations you have, so that he knows what you want on the day. If you’re expecting a back massage during labour, make sure he knows in advance so he can learn some massage techniques. If he can often be found playing games on his phone, let him know that he shouldn’t do this in the delivery suite.
Taking care of himself too
One rookie mistake that lots of first time dads make, is that they forget to look after themselves on the day. The don’t eat, they don’t sleep, they don’t even stop for toilet breaks, and as a result they end up an exhausted, shivering, weak mess by the end of it all, utterly unable to offer you the support you need. Make sure he packs energy drinks and snacks for himself, and makes sure that he’s in the best state to be able to support you to deliver the baby.
Talk it through
Keep communication lines open at all times. You might be scared of impending parenthood and the birth, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t. In fact, you might find he shares all of your fears and has a few of his own too. Encourage him to talk to you about his feelings, so that you can work through any issues and prepare for any potential problems together.
Do you have any tips on how to prepare to be a birth partner?
Do you enjoy this App? Good news! You can now also download our new Baby App (iOS only, but Android will follow soon!). Click here to install the new ‘Baby+’ App, and prepare for the arrival of your little one(s).
Written by Fiona, proud owner of a toddler, @fiona_peacock
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a trained medical doctor. Health & Parenting Ltd disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information, which is provided to you on a general information basis only and not as a substitute for personalized medical advice. All contents copyright © Health & Parenting Ltd 2017. All rights reserved.