Dads spend 9 months worrying and fretting about their beloved other half & the child they are carrying, feeling left out and almost useless for the majority of it so it isn’t surprising lots of Dad’s want to be pro-active in labour.
I have collected 6 tips from my friends who are Mums for Dads to be in labour:
1. Just be There
No matter what’s going down in the labour room, your job is to be a supportive presence.
You were there when the birth plans were made and swore you’d do your part to uphold them. Do that, but know that labour is never goes exactly as planned and your number 1 job is not to be the birth plan police, but to be the one person as invested in your child’s well-being as Mom is.
You’re also the one who knows Mom best and the one who has promised to support her through thick and thin. Support comes in many forms and sometimes it’s passive, not active. Just be there.
2. Don’t be Bossy
Remember you aren’t coaching the gym class at a school 😉
No matter what you were taught in your prenatal education class or how often you remind her, Mom won’t forget to breathe. She knows what she needs better than you, so even if she’s miserable and you disagree, when she says, “I don’t need an epidural right now,” it’s her call, not yours. And even if she swore she’d never get one, if she changes her mind and says, “get that epidural NOW!” it’s up to her. Don’t tell her what to do, but support her to make the best decisions for herself, she knows her body better than anyone else in the world.
3. Use Your Muscles
Remember those muscles that first attracted your other half, those sensual massages that maybe got you where you are today? Use them 😉
Nobody gives a better back rub than a dad who knows his wife’s body. One of the all-time best ways to relieve back labour (In addition to getting on your hands-and-knees) is for dad to apply counter pressure at the spot where it hurts the most. Make a fist and apply the flat part between your knuckles to her back using continuous pressure. Another good way to support Mom is to literally support her body weight. When she’s in a squat or leaning on the bed or on all fours, wrap your arms around her and help her maintain that position comfortably.
4. Don’t Hog his Spotlight
Ladies, remember Dad is important too. He helped create baby, he knows his other half – move aside!
All the ladies in Mom’s life are so eager to be the ultimate support provider & they tend to steal that role. I get it. Women understand what women need and if they’ve been through labour, they know what worked for them.
BUT – he’s the dad, it’s his baby and he deserves to be “the one,” unless he and Mom have decided otherwise. When dad is supported, he does a better job than anybody else of supporting Mom and welcoming his own child. I guess it is an extension of the intimacy that created that baby in the first place.
5. He Has Physical Needs, Too
Mums try out your packed lunch skills & pre pack snacks and drinks for Dad, freeze up meals if you can so if he needs to go home he can throw something in the microwave or leave out all the takeaway menus somewhere simple so that in a time of tiredness & excitement he can relax about something – he’ll appreciate it!
Also don’t forget if labour is taking a long time Dad’s get hungry, thirsty and tired (they also need to pee 😉 ) It’s good to have “spot” for Dad who Mom feels cmfortable with so Dad can take a break and refuel so he can be strong for his woman.
6. He’s Totally Stressed Out
No-one likes to see someone they love in pain & certainly no-one likes to feel useless in this situation either.
So imagine for a moment the 2 most important people to you going through something you cant physically ease – gotta be hard right?
Dad’s can easily get stressed out and not know how to react, stress can causes some guys to check out or be clueless about how to be supportive. Sometimes, all dad needs is someone to provide them a little reassurance that everything’s OK.