How to Prepare Dads for Labor & Delivery
Take these steps to involve, support and prepare your partner for childbirth.
2. Make childbirth classes mandatory
Childbirth education classes are designed for moms and dads. For dads who don’t always read up on birth (and for moms who read too much), an in-person, interactive class that teaches the ins and outs of birth, including coping techniques and strategies, is invaluable. Lamaze class educators, for example, are trained to engage with fathers and partners through targeted questions and hands-on practice.
3. Create your birth plan together
Wouldn’t it be great to have your own personal advocate to make sure labor and birth is as healthy and safe as possible? You can! Creating a birth plan with your significant other ensures that both of you are on the same page during the big day. If dad knows ahead of time that you wish to remain mobile in labor or avoid continuous monitoring, for example, he will be better prepared to support you and speak to your care providers if necessary. For ideas on what to include in your birth plan, check out the Six Lamaze Healthy Birth Practices.
4. Check in with dad
Keep the lines of communication open! If you don’t have a regular date night, make it a new habit that continues after birth and throughout parenthood. When you make the time to connect with each other, be sure to ask about his thoughts regarding pregnancy and birth in addition to expressing your own. Ask open-ended questions like, “Tell me what you think about our birth plan.” or “How do you feel about our care provider?” or “What worries you the most about birth?”
Lamaze International, www.lamaze.org, promotes a natural, healthy and safe approach to pregnancy, childbirth and early parenting practices. Lamaze serves as a resource for information, based on the most current medical advice, about what to expect and what choices are available during the childbearing years. Giving Birth with Confidence is the Lamaze blog written for and by real women and men on topics related to pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding, and parenting. The Lamaze Push for Your Baby campaign provides expectant parents with the support and information needed to spot good maternity care and push for the safest, healthiest birth possible.