Watching the birth of your baby ranks right up there in the awesome stakes- it is certainly an unforgettable experience! Although dad’s can’t physically endure the birth itself, they can still be very active participants! So how can you ensure you can offer the best support to your partner?
She knows best! Make sure you have a clear understanding of what your partner wants and expects during labour. It is really important to talk about this beforehand, for example, what level of pain relief would she feel comfortable with, does she want music playing ( i.e read the birth plan!) However, remember birth plans are only guides and might well have to be deviated from, but it helps to know what your partner would like as the best possible outcome.
Keep your own strength up! You could well be at the hospital for several hours, so make sure you have packed some snacks and drinks for yourself too. After all your mind should not be full of the munchies, but the mum-to-be, so it helps if you are not hungry!
Read up on birth! Make sure you do your own research so you know what to expect during the birth. Attending antenatal classes with your partner is not only a valuable source of information for you both, but is also a great way of making friends with other parents to be.
Become a focal point! During the birth, it is your job to help remind your partner about breathing techniques and to help her through contractions. If this is not needed just talking and keeping her mind off things can help- especially if the labour is long. Offer lots of encouragement!
Number 1 supporter! You are your partners number 1 source of support during the birth. Just by being there will be reassuring for her ( of course, it’s great you can run around if need be, getting snacks, wiping brows, changing the music, plumping pillows etc!) You are also able to act as her mouthpiece and convey her wishes to the midwife if your partner is not up to it.
Word of advice! Do not fall asleep. get hooked on the TV or take work calls- all your attention needs to be on one person!
Snap it! Make sure you bring your camera and or video recorder to capture those all important precious first moments.
What kind of birthing partner were you? Will you be doing it differently next time? Any tips you can share?