If you are a first-time dad-to-be waiting for baby this Father’s Day, here are some Tips to prep you for baby.
1) Take a childbirth education class with your partner. The benefits of a good childbirth education class can often be overlooked. A class can help dads, and other support people, learn about the different options and interventions, and get the tools and knowledge to push for the best care during pregnancy, labor and birth. It can also spark the conversation between and among couples, so you can learn from one another and interact with other expectant parents in your shoes.
2) Work with mom to plan. Talk things through with one another and with your care provider. Chances are greater for a positive birth outcome if support begins early on in pregnancy. Discuss the different options for a safe and healthy birth, and map a pathway to get there. Labor and birth can be a dynamic process so it’s vital to work with mom to create Plan A, Plan B and Plan C.
3) Learn how to be an advocate for mom. Birth is an intense process, emotionally and physically. It’s important for dads to be informed and know how to advocate for her wishes. She may come under pressure from family members or healthcare providers and the father’s voice is important in pushing for the safest, healthiest care.
4) Find out about techniques to help minimize the pain. There are many natural ways, such as relaxation, to find greater comfort in childbirth and help labor progress. Every woman is unique and has her own ways of feeling safe, comfortable and relaxed. Whether she uses a hot shower or bath, hip squeezes and pressure points, or birth ball exercises, dads can help mom identify the pain-relief tools that are best suited for her individual needs.
5) Be prepared to welcome baby into the world (and help mom recover). Birth can be exhausting for both mom and baby, and dad can help to support both after birth. He can help mom by managing visitor times, rocking baby to sleep after feeding, and making sure mom is fed and gets enough rest.