Dear all those soon to be dads out there,
Well congratulations! You have a little bundle of joy on the way! What you are about to experience is going to be the most amazing and memorable part of your life.
Let’s be honest, up until this point you have done very little to bring this tiny human into the world. Mom has suffered in countless ways for months. So now the time has come for the big moment…labor and delivery.
This is a very stressful, exhausting, and painful time for mom. Please, please, please, do not screw this moment up. Do not be the dad that causes her to have bad memories about her labor and delivery. Do your research and prepare for everything that is about to come your way.
Here are labor and delivery tips for dad.
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1. Be Prepared
Help mom plan for this moment. Help her pack hospital bags, and know where everything is located, so you can be as helpful as possible. If you haven’t packed hospital bags yet, check out this Hospital Bag Checklist.
Do your research and know when it is GO time. Whether you are heading to a hospital or calling your midwife to your home, be prepared to know when the time is right.
If mom is delivering in a hospital, know the quickest route to the hospital. It may sound silly, but take practice drives. Know where you are going to park. If mom needs to get to the hospital NOW, this responsibility is in your hands.
2. Ask Questions
Ask your nurse or midwife every question you can possibly think of. Educate yourself. You might think up questions that mom hasn’t even thought about. Labor is overwhelming in every sense, mom might not be thinking straight. There are no dumb questions here. Seriously, it’s better to ask than assume you know.
3. Do Not Eat In Front Of Her!!
This one might sound extreme, but hear me out. Telling a pregnant woman she can’t eat is like telling a toddler it’s nap time. There is probably going to be a huge meltdown to follow.
Labor can take a very long time, days even, and she cannot eat anything solid!! If you want to keep mom on your good side, do not taunt her with food. Just go for a short walk, eat fast, and come right back.
4. Do Not Complain!!
Like I said labor can take a very long time. It’s probably going to very boring. It’s going to be uncomfortable and to be honest, probably pretty frustrating for you, but don’t you dare complain…about ANYTHING!
Whatever you are feeling, I promise you, it’s a million times worse for mom. Don’t express your boredom. Don’t complain about the pull out couch you are sleeping on (trust me the beds that break down for delivery are much more uncomfortable).
Just remember you have it easy (for this part anyways). Be thankful and keep smiling.
5. Don’t Hold Anything Mom Says Against Her
Painful does not even begin to describe what labor feels like. Moms can blackout and freak out. Her hormones are raging, she is most likely sleep deprived, and has a human trying to escape her body.
At some point she might snap, and say something she doesn’t mean. Just don’t hold it against her. She doesn’t mean it. Or well, she might, but this is not the time open that can of worms.
6. Be Affectionate
Contractions are no joke! It feels like a ninja is going to town all over your insides. It feels like every organ is ripping out of your body piece by piece. Hold her hand through these.
Contractions are also very exhausting on the whole body. After just a few hours, it’s feels like you have been intensely working out for 48 hours straight. It feels like your tailbone is breaking, and hips are constantly popping out of place. Rub her back. Trust me, this helps A LOT!
A big part of labor is all mental. Having someone there to remind you that this isn’t going to last forever, changes the game. Remind mom why she is going through all of this, and what she is going to get out of it.
7. Do Not Freak Out
Let’s just cut to it, labor is disgusting. There are so many fluids and smells. Labor literally consists of blood, sweat, and tears…and vomit and sometimes poop. Make sure to read 50+ Shocking, Gross, and Weird Things About Labor And Delivery.
Mom already probably feels terrible about herself. She really has no choice but to be vulnerable to a room full of people, during probably the most embarrassing time of a woman’s life. Do not embarrass her. Labor may be disgusting, but it’s also beautiful.
8. Do Not Leave
This is important! Would you ever forgive yourself if you missed the birth of your child? More importantly, would mom ever forgive you?
Take breaks…sure. Walk around, explore the stores, get some air, but never leave the hospital! Get a house sitter, get a dog sitter, get a baby sitter, but never leave.
Now I’ve said it a few times so I’m sure you are sick of hearing, but I’m going to say it again, labor can take a long time. However, labor can also go very fast. Once things get going, they can speed up pretty quickly towards the end. If you remember one thing from reading this, remember this- NEVER LEAVE!!
9. Be Involved During The Delivery
I understand this is not for everybody. Blood and guts can make some people very uncomfortable and even sick. But do what you can to be involved.
Pushing a baby out is so physically exhausting. Just like labor, pushing can take a very long time, hours even. Some moms even fall asleep immediately following because it is so exhausting. Hold mom’s leg to make things easier for her. Offer her water in between pushes. Shout words of encouragement.
So, I’m just going to say it… WATCH. You might only be able to experience this moment a couple of times in your lifetime. If there is one way to understand what mom is going through, it’s this- you have to see it to believe it.
Dads have very few chances to be involved in labor and delivery. Take what is offered to you; cut the cord. You will regret it if you don’t.
10. Bond With The Baby
Whenever mom is done holding the baby for the first time. Take that baby, and soak in all of the crazy emotions. Having a dad bond with the baby is just as important as mom bonding with the baby.
On the plus side, there is nothing more attractive than a man being a good daddy. You will earn major brownie points from both the baby and mom for this one.
11. Do Everything For The Baby
Mom just went through days of torture. Give her a break to sleep and heal physically, mentally, and emotionally.
If the baby is being bottle fed, do as many feeding as possible. Change all the diapers, change all the clothes, and get up every time the baby cries.
If the baby is breastfed, you can still help mom. Bring the baby to her, get her a pillow or drink if she needs it, burp the baby, and change the baby afterwards.
If mom has any questions about breastfeeding she can enroll in this awesome breastfeeding course online at Milkology, to learn different techniques to make sure she succeeds at breastfeeding.
Milkology also offers a back to work pumping class to learn about breast pumps and how to be able to pump breast milk at work, if mom plans on returning to work.
12. Shout Your Appreciation From The Mountain Tops
You are now a dad! Congratulations again. This would not have been possible without mom. Show and tell her how much you care. Let mom know how much you appreciate everything she had to go through for this to be possible.
Do you agree with these tips for dad? Do you know any soon to be dads? Share this with them so they can prepare for the big day!
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