Consider these normal delivery tips for dad in the delivery room that will get you a step closer to being prepared for the big day.
Most dads-to-be don’t really know what to expect when it comes to childbirth. If you’re thinking that it’s going to be your wife screaming for a couple of minutes and then a baby pops out, then you’re in for a pleasant shock. In reality, childbirth is a long process that can take multiple hours just for the baby to be ready to come out (which isn’t an easy sight either). This process gets further complex if labor is induced or if it’s a cesarean operation a.k.a C-section.
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Tips For Delivery Room
As the primary support person for your wife, being prepared is the prudent option to follow. I just went through my wife’s labor and am confident that these tips will make the experience a lot less stressful.
1. Pack Bags Ahead Of Time
The single biggest regret most new dads have is that they hadn’t packed adequately for the hospital trip. Pack light with the required essentials at least a month before the expected due date. In the weeks prior to the delivery date, check what you’ve packed a few times over to make sure nothing has been missed. The last thing you want to do is make last minute trips to the hospital gift shop or the nearest market to pick up some essential item, like a charger.
Resist the urge to pack multiple bags – in most cases the hospital stay is two days at max. Leave the work bag at home. Your focus should be on supporting your pregnant wife and not catch up on work emails while at the hospital.
2. Labor With Your Wife
Labor with your wife by providing her the necessary encouragement through the labor process. A baby isn’t ready to be pushed out until your wife’s water breaks and cervix is fully dilated. Until then, your wife is in active labor which can take multiple hours to get to the full dilation limit. If at home, make sure she’s sufficiently hydrated and help her time the contractions.
At the hospital, learn how she likes to be comforted and provide simple words of encouragement. Let her know that you recognize the pains she’s going through and to you she’s beautiful as the day you met her.
3. Don’t Complain You’re Tired
No matter how long the delivery takes, don’t give up and complain about being tired. You’ll be visited by care staff, doctors and nurses throughout your hospital stay. Although most of their interaction will be with your wife, you need to be prepared to chime in and assist her whenever possible. As the support person, you’ll need to stay informed on things like the birth plan, wife’s medical history and allergies.
4. Pack A Lot of Snacks
Save up on paying premium rates on snacks at the hospital cafeteria by bringing some snacks of your own. Snacks like granola bars, oatmeal cookies or protein bars are great options because they are generally healthy and easier to pack. This will also help you from stress-eating in those crucial few hours before the baby arrives.
Stay away from snacks with a strong smell because they can linger around the hospital room longer, not to mention throw your wife’s heightened sense of smell into a tizzy!
5. Hydrate Frequently
If you’re queasy around blood, poor hydration coupled with improper nutrition can make you feel light-headed during the baby’s delivery. Carry around a water bottle and refill from a water fountain to save money on buying bottled water from the hospital cafeteria.
6. Establish Communication Times
You don’t need to live text every update to close family members. Instead, establish communication times in advance so that you can prioritize resting and firming up other things like baby names or your wife’s birth plan.
If possible, create a messaging group with close family members. This saves you from typing the same piece of information across multiple threads of chat messages.
Related: 450 Baby Names That Signify Strength
7. Take Power Naps
Your sleeping setup isn’t going to be comfortable. In most cases, it will be a pull-out bed tucked into a corner of the room or worse, a chair in the waiting room. Try to take power naps AFTER your wife has gone to sleep.