Take these steps to involve, support and prepare your partner for labour.When a woman is pregnant most of the outside world’s attention is on the mother to be. On the one hand, this makes sense because it is the mother who bears the physical appearance of pregnancy and birth and the special connection to a child who was once part of her body.
But what about the Dad? Fathers do go through an experience during pregnancy and birth. First time dads in particular must come to terms with a transition in family roles and responsibility. They also need to deal with their own feelings of fear, excitement and anxiety. When a couple is expecting all the fuss centres on the mother but Dads need preparation, understanding and communication during pregnancy too.
Many men don’t attend antenatal appointments, and are less likely to read the literature or start up a conversation with their friends. That does not mean they are not interested or don’t need support.
The secret is: the more prepared and informed Dad is the better equipped he will be to support and encourage you during pregnancy and birth. The following are simple but key steps you can take to involve, support and prepare your partner, helping to improve the experience for both of you.
It may be difficult to get time off work, but try to attend some of your antenatal appointments together. This will allow Dads to understand more about your antenatal care, experiencing exciting time like hearing your baby’s heart beat or seeing your baby on ultrasound scan. It is also an opportunity for him to ask the midwife or doctor any questions he may have or concerns he may have.
Antenatal classes are for both of you. Not all men like to attend classes for many reasons, therefore online classes are the solution try www.antenatalonline.ie
for classes on signs of labour, labour, pain relief, position for labour, breathing with contractions and breathing for the second stage when delivering your baby, relaxation bathing you baby and breast feeding. Hear it from experts in the field: specialist midwife, chartered physiotherapist and consultant obstetrician.
Create Your Own Birth Preferences Together
Write your birth preferences together so as you both know what your wishes and concerns are for your special day. If Dad knows for example that you wish to remain up and about as much as possible in labour and not strapped to a continuous fetal heart rate monitor he will support you in this wish during labour. He will be able to discuss your wishes with the midwife while you concentrate on you breathing and relaxation.
Support in Labour
Practice relaxation and breathing so Dad is aware of how to support you during labour. Learn what parts of your body you like massaged so Dad can massage you during labour, for example back massage is excellent if you have most of your contractions are in your back.
Keep open chats with Dad while you may express what concerns you it is important that you ask him what is it that worries him about labour, birth or becoming a Dad.