It seems that modern dads are more involved than ever in all aspects of pregnancy, childbirth, and parenting. Although, you might be wondering how a dad can be involved and assist in the actual birth experience. Here are a few ways how dads-to-be can assist their partners, and also achieve their own meaningful experience during labor:
1. One important way that a dad can assist his partner during labor is to act as an advocate for mom. Dad should sit down with his partner prior to delivery to truly get an idea of what is important to her during her labor experience. For example, dad should be familiar with moms birth plan and be prepared to help make sure that everyone on the birth team is supporting mom’s plan. Dad will also be the person who knows how mom experiences pain, stress, and joy and can guide her through all of these moments during delivery.
2. If mom and dad have taken birth classes, dad can gently remind mom of the different techniques they’ve practiced. Dad can assist mom with guided breathing, taking a stroll around the room, practicing meditation, or simply just being there to wipe her forehead with a cool cloth while she bounces on a birthing ball. Some dads might even create a playlist of mom’s favorite songs to help her through labor.
We know that moms birth experience is extremely important, but we want to remind dad to make sure he is taking some time to think about what ways he wants to be involved in labor too. Some examples of ways that dad can be physically involved is by catching the baby, cutting the cord, his positioning while mom is pushing, and of course getting skin-to-skin contact at some point after mom has had time with baby. Dad should talk this over with mom and make sure that everyone is on the same page, that way he gets the experience he is looking for too!
What did your partner do (or not do!) during labor that was extremely helpful for you? Were there any tips from your birth class at The Nest that your partner helped you implement? Dads, don’t forget that we have a Birth Partner Prep class at The Nest that will teach you how to physically support and emotionally connect with your partner before, during, and after the birth.