9 Labour Tips (for Dads)
If you’re a first-time dad, you may be confused about what to do. Here are ways to help you be a good support for your wife
1. Know what to expect. Accompany your wife to her antenatal class and learn about the phases of labour or read up about childbirth beforehand.
2. Time her contractions. Use a timer to time your partner’s contractions in seconds from the beginning of one contraction to the beginning of the next. Count the frequency of contractions in minutes. As a general rule, if the contractions are five minutes apart or less, last more than 30 seconds, and continue in that pattern for an hour, it’s time to go to the hospital.
3. Don’t rush to the hospital. If you show up too early, you’ll be sent home. Go for a walk, watch TV or go shopping to take her mind off the contractions.
4. Be ready to wait. Don’t expect labour to be just a few hours, especially if your wife is a first-time mum.
5. Participate actively. Make sure both you and your wife are packed for the hospital. If your wife has a birth plan, you need to let the labour and delivery nurses know about it. Remind your wife to drink plenty of liquids.
6. Show your support. She may want to have a back rub or her hair stroked during labour. Or she may not want to be touched. Take your cue from her.
7. Be her advocate. Communicate your wife’s wishes to the doctors and nurses and make sure her needs are met.
8. Plan the best shot. Discuss with your wife beforehand what kind of shots to take. Also check with the doctor ahead of time about recording the birth.
9. The Big Moment. Once your baby arrives, his umbilical cord will need to be cut. Let the doctor know if you want to do it. If you’d rather leave it to the professionals, simply decline.