Labor and delivery. There are countless articles telling women what they can expect in that delivery room. There are birth stories from mom’s perspective that go into more detail than you could ever possibly want to know, and even helpful checklists to get you prepared.
But there aren’t as many tips and tricks for dads, especially not from another dad’s perspective (except for that one epic dad who live-tweeted his son’s birth).
You see, if I was to give advice to a dad-to-be about the labor/delivery room I’d tell him:
- Don’t eat food in front of your partner. Ever.
- After your darling wife BIRTHS AND ENTIRE HUMAN don’t complain that your feet hurt from standing next to her for the last four hours. (Just don’t do this, okay?)
- Don’t critique her breathing while she’s laboring
- In fact, don’t really say much of anything unless it’s to tell her how gorgeous, strong and amazing she is.
- Don’t complain of being bored if labor stalls
- Never say “shhh” if she’s screaming through a contraction
I could go on…but I won’t. Because I do want to share my husband’s top tip for other dads about to enter the labor/delivery room with their partners.
Let me set the scene for you. Me, in labor. Contractions that make me feel like I’m literally dying. Squeezing my husband’s hand while enduring said contractions for hours. Husband LETTING GO OF MY HAND because I’m “squeezing it too hard”.
Sure, I get that I totally almost broke his hand. Now that I’m not trying to maneuver a human outside of my body. But in the moment…let’s just say it’s the only time in our marriage I’ve ever wanted to punch my husband.
My OB/GYN gave him one piece of advice that he’s found a way to pass on to every pregnant couple we know since. She told him to offer me just two fingers to hold instead of his whole hand. You can squeeze them as hard as you want and it won’t hurt…or break his hand.
Most importantly he stopped cringing in pain as I pushed or trying to let go of my hand (let’s be honest, I was legitimately almost breaking his hand…oops!).
We were both super thankful to my Dr for telling us this trick. So if you are expecting a baby soon, make sure to pass this tip on to your partner! You’ll both be glad you did!
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