When the time comes for that precious baby to make its way into the world, it's all systems go. Mama is rushed to the hospital where the day becomes a whirlwind of nurses, doctors, deep breathing, contraction-timing, and, soon enough, labor.
Once the parents see their little baby's face, all the stress and pain become background noise. However, mom and dad may have two completely different birthing experiences. Mom may be focusing on getting her baby out in a safe manner, while dad may be focusing on coaching his partner through the art of labor. There are times, however, when the man feels helpless. In terms of giving birth, there's not much he can do, but that doesn't mean he can't be helpful. Below we have 10 easy ways a dad can be helpful in the labor and delivery room!
10 TAKE CHILDBIRTH EDUCATION CLASSES AS A COUPLE
So, these classes take place before the actual labor, but it's the techniques dad will learn that can totally help him when the day comes. There are oodles of classes a soon-to-be-mom-and-dad can take to better understand labor and delivery.
There are education classes where both mom and dad can learn about what's happening to the female body and what needs to happen for a safe delivery. Dad can also learn different terms so that when his partner is in labor, he's not a sitting duck with no clue of what's happening. He's educated and well-informed, which can take a lot off a new mom's shoulders.
9 HE CAN BE YOUR CONTRACTION TIMER
When a woman begins having contractions, she's supposed to count how far apart they are, which can dictate how soon she'll be giving birth. But she doesn't need to do this alone.
Her partner can be the person in charge of counting the contractions and keeping note of how far apart they are. According to Bloom Life, your partner needs to time the start of the contraction, when it ends, and when the next one starts, and so on. When a woman is in that amount of pain, the last thing she'll want to focus on is grabbing her timer.
8 WRITE OUT THE BIRTH PLAN TOGETHER
With the commotion that labor and delivery brings, it's smart to have a birth plan for those hectic moments. A birth plan is simply listing the needs and desires of the parents throughout the delivery.
In case mom is in too much pain or is napping, the birth plan can better assist the medical professionals if they need an answer. Instead of mama making a list herself, she should plan it out with her partner so that everyone is on the same page.
7 THE MIDDLEMAN BETWEEN YOU AND THE DOCTORS
We don't want to say the father is the messenger between the doctor and his partner, but he sure can make communication easier. In the middle of preparing for labor, it can be hard for a woman to voice her concerns, fears, or wants.
Having a closer relationship with her partner, he can relay all of his partner's concerns to the health professionals, so she doesn't need to focus on getting their attention. Doing this can also fill a father in and give him purpose.
6 HE CAN BECOME YOUR DOULA
Depending on the hospital or facility you're giving birth at, doulas can (at times) be pricey, and they're not always covered by insurance. A doula is, essentially, a birthing coach. Someone who can ease the woman through labor in a holistic and calming way.
If hiring a doula is not in the cards for your labor, learning what a doula does and the techniques they use can really help a woman through labor and deepen the connection between mom and dad.
5 AND A BREATHING INSTRUCTOR
Knowing how to breathe with intention through labor and delivery can make all the difference in the world. However, once those contractions hit, those Lamaze class techniques go right out the window.
If the baby daddy takes Lamaze classes with mom, he can learn how to assist her through breathing and remind her of what to do when she needs it.
4 YOUR OWN PERSONAL Documentarian
Depending on how social media savvy you are or how much you want to be documented, most parents want pictures and videos of the day their baby was born.
While some couples hire a professional photographer to capture the raw moments, dad can do the same thing. Whether he's using his cellphone, a professional camera, or a GoPro, he can totally be the official documentarian if you want those memories captured.
3 Be A MASSEUSER
A woman in labor feels an unbelievable amount of pressure and pain during birth — even if she takes an epidural. However, the art of touch is quite powerful, and dad can help ease mom's pain throughout the process by massaging her shoulders, head, and lower back.
If giving a massage doesn't come naturally, take a short masseuse class where you can learn about pressure points and different methods to use.
2 THE ULTIMATE DISTRACTION
While a mom in labor may have her eyes on the prize (getting through labor and delivery), sometimes having a brief distraction can make the process a little more pleasurable. Dad can tell jokes or stories about their life before the pregnancy.
He can ask her questions or hypothetically talk about what their new baby is thinking at that current moment. Dad can also make the delivery room as 'fun' as possible. Grabbing the iPad and putting on a funny show while waiting around can definitely ease the tension.
1 HELP HER POST-BIRTH
Congratulations! You made it through the delivery! Your baby is here and they are safe and as precious as you envisioned. Now it's time to rest and recuperate. Your baby is as tired as mama is and both need an incredible amount of rest.
Instead of the hospital's food, run out and grab mama's favorite food. Bring mom's favorite pillows from home so she can rest comfortably. Grab the nurses or doctor for your partner if she has any concerns or questions. You've all been through a lot, but helping out in these tender moments can make all the difference.