Congratulations, you are going to be a new dad and you have a baby on the way. Hopefully, you have already watched some of our pregnancy-related videos. If you haven’t, be sure to check them out after you are done with this one. We have listeners from all over the world, but in the US, the majority of births are done in hospitals, delivery a baby outside a hospital is becoming more popular. We recognize that are other types of delivery room scenarios in addition to labor and delivery rooms in a hospital. There are birthing centers, you may be delivering at home, or other scenarios. These tips will hopefully be helpful regardless of where the birth may be taking place.
I was pretty lucky. My wife was a labor and delivery nurse for many years before we had our first child. While she said it was a lot different going through it herself, she was very familiar with everything. You have already made the decision that you are going to be in the room when your child is born. If you only get one thing from this video, understand that your main purpose as a new dad and being in the delivery room is to support her. Yes, it is your child, you want to experience the birth of your child, and you want to share that experience with your wife. But’s let’s be honest, she carried the baby for 9 months inside her and is the one going through the physical process of labor. You got the easy job on this one.
Tip #1: Find Out What She Expects From You – You don’t want to find out afterward that she really wanted you to be holding her hand during labor and you were an excited new dad busy taking videos. Have a conversation beforehand and listen to her. What would she like you to do or what expectations does she have? You’ll get some points just for asking those questions.
#2 – Know Your Limits – Birth, in general, is a pretty messy process. If you are squeamish by the sight of blood, then know you don’t want to see that. That’s ok. You shouldn’t feel obligated to do anything you are not comfortable with. Various birthing situations usually provide options. You may be able to stay near her head and not see all of the details. Keep in mind you may have to balance this is she has any expectations about this. Which is why you have to have the discussion beforehand.
#3- Be Her Advocate – Does she need something from the doctor? Is she uncomfortable? Is the staff not providing the level of attention that she may need? You need to step up and be her advocate when you are in the delivery room. Be her voice so she doesn’t have to deal with that and can focus on the birth.
#4 – Stay Calm – This is sometimes a tough one for new dads in the delivery room. In addition to her, you possibly have a family to deal with. There is stress, excitement, and labor can often take a long time. The important thing is to remain calm the best you can. You remaining calm will hopefully help her remain a little calmer.
#5 Expect the Unexpected – Be flexible. You can have the most detailed birth plan in the world and think everything is going to happen a certain way, but there are no guarantees. There are so many variables when it comes to birth, you have to be ready to expect the unexpected. Roll with it. Something comes up, you adjust.
As a new dad in the delivery room, you do have a big responsibility. Supporting your wife is a big deal and it’s important. This is an experience you get to share together. Work as a team and be there for her.