Sunday, August 7, 2011

Labor Tips for Dads

Most guys come to my childbirth class totally wondering how they got dragged there in the first place. Not for lack of love and caring for their wife and new baby, but because they are out of their comfort zone. I reassure them that they are already the best labor support for their partner. After all, she chose him to be her partner in life. For better or worse. Having a baby is about as much "life" as it gets, and encompasses both the "better and the worse."

Here's a few tips for guys who find their palms sweaty at the thought of supporting their beloved during the most intense and wonderful day of their lives together:

  •  Go ahead.....attend childbirth classes and learn along with your expectant wife/partner.
  •  Be as involved in her care as you are comfortable, such as going to some of the appointments, helping her make healthy food choices and offering to take walks with her.
  • Make plans ahead of time for how your place of employment will handle your sudden absence for the birth. Anything that can be done ahead of time should be taken care of well in advance of her due date.
  • Take the guess work out of helping her in labor. Ask her what helps her relax, exactly how she likes to be massaged, etc. Open communication is essential.
  • Talk to the belly. Your interest in her growing belly is another way for you to bond as a growing family.
  • Take the time to read some of the things she is learning, and ask questions about things you don't understand. Respect her feelings and her wishes on certain subjects, but don't be afraid to engage conversations about sensitive issues. 
Above all, be open, receptive and interested. Your baby's birth is a big event for both of you.

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