By Jennifer Chung, Kinsights.com
Expectant moms are filled with excitement throughout their pregnancy. Most first time moms don’t quite know what to ask during labor and delivery. They rely heavily on their birth coach or the new dad to be to get them through the experience. Here are a few ways that dads can support mom in the delivery room.
Provide distractions – labor and delivery can be a long tedious process for many moms to be. Having a plan to keep mom’s mind off the labor and delivery process can be most helpful. Bringing playing cards, crossword puzzles, books, and music can help occupy mom in between contractions. Whatever her hobbies are, be sure to include similar activities for the hospital bag.
Birth plan – many childbirth preparation classes talk about having a birth plan, but few couples actually write one out. It’s important to discuss pain management before the mom to be is in the throes of painful contractions. Discuss several alternatives with her doctor once you arrive at the hospital. It’s always wise to keep your options open when it comes time to making a decision if your birth plan does not go according to your wishes. Advocate for your significant other if you feel her pain could be managed more proactively.
Calm her – as labor progresses, the expectant mom to be can become panic stricken. Show your support by having a calm disposition and encourage her by telling her that she’s doing a great job. While many women don’t like to be touched late in the labor, rubbing her back or helping her find a more comfortable position is usually greatly appreciated. Putting a cool compress on her forehead or bringing ice chips can help increase her stamina as she’s looking for the finish line.
Be a photographer – during labor, the expectant mama will probably not focus on taking pictures for the baby book. However once your bundle of joy is here she will be grateful that you took the time to document the birthing process. Keep in mind that some shots are best saved to share just with the family, but many can be placed in the baby’s book to share with friends.
Touch her heart – once the baby has arrived and is tucked away safely in the nursery and your partner is resting peacefully, present her with a congratulatory gift like chocolates, flowers or another fun treat you know she’ll enjoy to congratulate her on the birth of your new baby. Be sure to include a hand written note expressing the sentiments of the day.
Being present in the moment is one of the best ways that a new dad can help mom through labor and delivery. Having thick skin and remaining calm during the last stage of labor will help ease anxiety and panic that mom may feel. Be her most enthusiastic cheerleader and reinforce her ability to deliver a beautiful healthy baby.
About Jennifer Chung & Kinsights:
Jennifer Chung is a parenting expert and co-founder of Kinsights.com: part parenting community, part online health record. Kinsights provides parents with a safe place to seek answers to their questions while also helping them track their child’s health information. Organize your child’s growth and developmental milestones, immunizations, medications, allergies, and more. Connect with Kinsights at https://kinsights.com to learn more and sign-up! You can also follow them on Facebook and Twitter (@kinsights).