We all have that dilemma as new father’s to be. how can we help during the actual labour? I for one tried giving my wife support by encouraging her (which didn’t go that well 😂) helping her get up, distracting her and helping the midwife with Sophia’s delivery, but could I do more? Who knows?. So basically I had to turn to the expert midwives and lucky for me Lara accepted giving me a detailed interview how can a Dad make himself useful during labour.
MalteseDaddy. Lara thank you for last weeks interview, it seems to have your input puts all dads at ease, but obviously I am here with another topic, how can dads help their wife/partner during labour?
Lara. You are welcome and I hope I can see more dads being involved during the whole pregnancy, so jumping to your question… This, in my opinion, is one of the most crucial parts of the early stages were the Dad needs to be prepared for as it may be a bit overwhelming, but the end result of it all is having your child into your arms. To start off is to relax, so you can be focused and everything will be fine:
- Although the mother is the centre of attention, you will also be spending the days and nights thus, prepare comfortable clothing, any blankets, food and drink, etc.
- It is normal for the dad, not to know what to expect. Trust in the midwife: Ask anything that might be of concern
- Know your limits: If you think this experience will be a bit too much, do not look during pushing, look at the mother and provide support.
MalteseDaddy. Yes, unfortunately, you are right the hospital does put the mother at the centre stage and the father is just there for support… I hope I can change this mentality and give both individuals the same treatment especially a more comfortable chair when staying the night 😂 So moving on the dad is focused and ready, what next what can he do?
Lara. Support her and be yourself, some things you can do that will make your wife/partner more at ease are:
- Be a distraction: Put on some music/ watch some tv together
- Massage: Rub her feet or her neck/ run a bath for her
- Encourage her to mobilize: she might need a hand walking about, encourage her to keep her bladder empty
- Give her a sense of control: talk to her during the pain; tell her to take deep breaths and remain calm, but don’t overdo it
- Praise her: “you’re doing well”, “one less contraction”, “we are a contraction closer to our baby”. This keeps her reassured. Unfortunately, the couple won’t know the midwife before the delivery; so your wife/partner will need a person she can trust to encourage her
- Keep her concentrated on coping with pain
- Keep eye contact when speaking to her
- Wipe her face between contractions with a face cloth
MalteseDaddy. Interesting, but I think the most overwhelming part in my situation was the pain my wife was in, how can we mentally cope with that?
Lara. The dad needs a tough skin for this phase as you will be the one giving her courage and if she sees you upset or scared, she won’t have the drive to push forward so make sure to:
- Not to get upset should she start yelling at you on what you are doing
- Try to keep your tears till the end
- Know the birth plan (and the hospital bag) : you might need to take control of her needs during labour
- Support her in any pain relief she chooses even if it was not on the birth plan.
MalteseDaddy. I know what you mean as I was so focused helping my wife out that I overstepped my boundaries when trying to motivate her to push and I ended up getting the ‘eye’ from my wife which that look eventually went into my soul hahaha… When the baby’s out what next?
Lara. Yes this is very important and please dads take note…
When the baby is born please Do not start phoning relatives immediately upon admission to labour ward: Focus on the delivery: No need for relatives to know every step of the way
- Help her in the birthing position; bring her head forwards when pushing
- Help her drink especially during labour and give her something to nibble on, to keep energy levels high
- Help her put the baby skin to skin
- Have time together as a family: Take photos and then put the camera away and stay with your newborn baby
- Phone relatives after everything is settled and mother can speak to relatives
MalteseDaddy. I think that sums up everything, I think if I knew about these tips before I would’ve been more aware what to expect 👌😊 Do you have any last words of advice to our new dads to be?
Lara. Yes, this is one of the main reasons I am happy passing on this message on your blog so I can make sure that all dads are aware of what to expect and how to react… To all dads out there good luck and we are ready to help you anytime, just ask 😊
Thank you, Lara, and as always looking forward to our next interview today week.
PS: All dads please share your experiences on facebook so we can all give courage to all those dads who are not sure what to expect.