The days of Dad sitting outside the labour ward waiting to hear the cries of their newborn are long gone. Happily, the dads of today understand that they have a big job to do (it’s usually exactly what they are told!)
My own husband passed out at our 8-week scan, so needless to say I was not overly excited about his birthing partner abilities! I even considered leaving him outside, or at least having my Mum on standby for when he did hit the floor! He proved me wrong though and was actually brilliant, he never left my side even when I squeezed the life out of his poor hands.
So Dads here’s a few little tips which might be useful in the Labour Ward:
1. Do exactly what you are told. This is very important. There is no time for debate in the labour ward. If she says it’s right then it is, if she says it’s wrong then it’s wrong. If she tells you to do something, do it...fast.
2. Pack a little bag of your own. Your partner will have their hospital bag long packed. Do one for yourself with some snacks, toothbrush, lots of change, chargers etc.
3. Pay attention in the antenatal class. Know the medical terms used in the Labour Ward. This will help you to know what to expect so you, in turn, can be calm and in control and there for your partner.
4. Be patient, this labour business can take many hours, so be prepared for lots of walking up and down hospital corridors (or stairs if your partner is eager). You may have to rub a back, a neck or any other body part for an endless amount of time, just remember, you are helping your partner who will be experiencing (rather painful) contractions.
5. Praise praise praise. Tell her she’s wonderful and doing a great job, encourage her to push when the time comes and encourage her some more when she’s reaching her limit. Be supportive and calm if there is an unplanned c-section and remember to listen to everything your partner has to say at this time as she will feel very vulnerable and often nervous.
6. Finally, enjoy every minute, the Labour Ward is a place where, believe it or not, you will experience some wonderful moments, the excitement, the nervous feelings, the hard work; It’s all worth it when you hold your precious newborn for the first time and those feelings and memories will stay with you forever.