Labour can be an overwhelming and scary experience for first-time moms. Having dad in the delivery room can be very comforting and encouraging.
Registered professional nurse and midwife, Pippa Hime from My Midwife has these five tips for dads-to-be to support their partners during labour.
- Know the plan. Be aware of your partner’s birth plan. Find out how she feels about episiotomies, whether she wants any medication for pain relief, and what her expectations from the doctor are. You’ll need to speak up for her at some stage during the labour process, so make a point to be familiar with what she wants.
- Don’t disappear. You’ll need to be present throughout labour and this can be a lengthy process. Women can become panicky during labour, so your partner will need you to get her back on track with her breathing. She’ll also need your physical support to help her get comfortable.
- Man the phones. Friends and family will be messaging or phoning to track the progress. Keep them informed.
- Be the entertainer. Although exciting, labour can also be tedious. You may spend hours doing nothing more than waiting. An element of distraction, whether it’s singing her favourite song or playing a game of backgammon, will help to pass the time and keep her mind off the contractions for a while.
- Prepare yourself. Pack a bag with clean clothes, toiletries and some snacks to keep you going. Labour is long and you too will feel exhausted.
Pippa is a Registered Professional Nurse and trained as a Registered Midwife at Chris Hani Baragwanth Hospital. She has extensive experience in all things baby related with a special interest in preparing couples for the exciting journey of parenthood as well as supporting them in the weeks that follow the birth. She and her husband Richard are the proud parents of Becca age 6 and Tom age 4. Pippa has a comprehensive private clinic service that includes Childbirth Education classes, a Well Baby Clinic including Immunization as well as Post Natal and Lactation support. With over 5 years of running a private clinic facility and raising 2 children Pippa comes with a wealth of knowledge and first-hand experience of parenthood.