Hey Dads! Feeling a little nervous as the birth of your baby draws near? Wondering how to be a helpful and supportive partner during the labor and delivery? Well, what you DON’T do might be just as important as what you DO do! Even things you might not see as being an issue… let’s just say that women are even more sensitive during labor than they normally are!
As the experts at theCradle point out, “Something you wouldn’t think twice about doing under ordinary circumstances will be remembered as appalling if you do it during labor. No one wants to be the guy that’s remembered for taking a call from his stockbroker while his wife was in labor.”
Here are some tips from the authors of Don’t Just Stand There: How to Be Helpful, Clued-In, Supportive, Engaged & Relevant in the Delivery Room (via theCradle).
- Don’t chat on your cell phone with your friends.
- Don’t return work calls.
- No checking your stocks, surfing on the wireless, or checking your email.
- Blowing bubbles and chewing gum is generally not a great idea.
- You may have had a really long, hard day, but let her have the bed.
- Don’t fight her for control of the remote – make sure you TiVo all important ballgames at least 48 hours in advance as you come down the stratch to the due date.
- Reading a newspaper is a bad idea in general, even if you give her first choice of the sections.
- Don’t flirt with the nurses.
- Don’t take inappropriate photos – you’re not making a documentary for the National Geographic Channel. Remember, anything you shoot should have a “PG” rating.
- Don’t let your mother or other relatives into the room or within earshot, unless your partner is totally fine with it.
- Don’t socialize too much with the labor partner in the next delivery room.
- Don’t mention the success of other laboring women on the floor – that’s not going to inspire her.
- Don’t ask the doctor to bring you coffee.
- Cool as it is to watch, don’t pay more attention to the contraction monitor than to her.
- Avoid the subject of personal-injury law when conversing with the medical staff.
- Don’t pass out and need to be taken down to the emergency room to get stitches.
- Don’t scatter your stuff around the delivery room and then ask her if she’s seen your car keys.
- Don’t discuss real estate or golf with the doctor while she’s having contractions.
- Don’t eat onions, garlic, or other obnoxious food, like Doritos or Cheetos.
- Don’t tell her to go back to sleep if she wakes you up with contractions.
- Don’t tell her that you heard it doesn’t have to hurt.
- And finally, whatever you do, don’t do what I did – lie in her bed the morning after, eating her breakfast, while she packs the bags. Unfortunately [my wife] has the photo to prove it.