With the first child, pregnancy represents the transition from couple to family. With each new addition, the parents have an opportunity to renew their commitment to each other, and bathe in the love that flows like a fountain of energy throughout the birth process.
But like all of life’s gifts, to receive this insight and benefit from the potential for growth that exists, each person must pay attention, honor the moment at hand, and in the case of the one not carrying the baby, be ready to serve.
Natural childbirth, which allows the mother to be fully present, and the father or partner to be an active participant, the moment of birth has the ability to multiply this effect 10 fold, altering all lives forever. Witnessing a miracle…it can make all the difference.
What can Dad’s do during the birth?
We are often asked by the Dad’s during our prenatal visits together, “What can I do during the birth to be helpful?
Begin by recognizing that you are in a supporting role. Relish it.
Your active support should be evident and active throughout the pregnancy.
Here are a few real things you can do through the months leading up to the birth:
- Nurture her
Clean the house. Open doors. Bring her flowers. Cherish this time of your lives together. It is very special and goes by fast and may not repeat itself again.
- Relive her Stress
Foot massages are a great way to express physical contact in a sensual but non-sexual way.
- Learn to Cook
Develop this skill early in your relationship, and you will use it for the rest of your life.
- Care for the kid(s)
If this not your first pregnancy, there may be other children who need attention now more than ever. Give it to them. Take this load off mom as much as you can.
- Create a Playlist
Music can be a pleasant part of the birth process, especially during the hours of early labor. Put together a list of songs she chooses or you decide on together. Years later, you’ll have a new point of reference for “They’re playing our song.”
- Install the Car Seat
Don’t wait until after the birth to figure out how to install your baby’s car seat. Sometimes they can be a little complicated and you don’t want to be about to get in the car for the first time out with your baby and realize the car seat is not ready.Some couples will even visit their local police station to verify or get assistance installing their car seat. It is a service many police stations will provide.
Here is a list of suggestions and things to remember during the birth:
- Be Present
The most important thing you can do during the birth is to simply be in the moment, fully participating. Ultimately, you may not need to do anything other than put out a lot love.Men often feel they need to be doing something, especially if they are caught up in nervous energy. Drop the feeling that you need to be busy in order to be doing something. There is no task that is more important than focusing on her.Put down your phone. Do not send emails, texts, and even taking pictures should be lower in priority compared to fully being there for the mother of your child. Look in her eyes. Breath together. Take the bond of your love to a new level.
- Be Supportive
Hold her hand. Offer her water. Tell her how great she’s doing. Tell her how beautiful she is. Don’t talk a lot. Feed her spoonfuls of ice cream. Play the music she likes or has on hand for the birth. Nurture and take care of her.
- Ease her Pain.
It is quite common for a woman to experience pain in her lower back over the last weeks of pregnancy and during labor. She may get some relief from a gentle back rub, but be sure to ask first if this is something she would like. It may be she does not want to be touched. Every person is different.
- Have a Sense of Humor
If you know how to make your partner laugh, that can help her have an easier labor.
- Stay Clearheaded
There may be situations where you will need to be an advocate for your partner.
There may actually BE things for you to do!
Be responsive to your partner’s needs and ways you can assist the care providers. They will let you know.
- Going for walks
Sunlight and fresh air. A change of scene. Gravity also can work its magic, pulling the baby down.
- Help set up the birth tub.
If your care provider is using a portable birth tub that must be set up and filled, you may be asked to take this on, freeing them up for other things.The tub itself is a bit bulky and heavy.
There are hoses to be connected and routed.
You’ll want to monitor the tub as it fills, keeping an eye on temperature while making sure it fills properly and there are no spills.
- Rebozo Partner
A Rebozo is a piece of fabric used in Latin cultures as a shawl, baby carrier and as a comfort and positioning tool during labor and childbirth that is now used by midwives and birth attendants around the world. If your partner or care provider utilizes a birth rebozo, you may be asked to lend your strength to the task.