Fathers – How you can help during birth

by pew

Giving Birth

Whether it’s your first or fifth (birth), being in that delivery room with your wife and watching her give birth, never gets easier. It’s said that nature ensures that mothers forget the birth process so that they’ll want to go through it again. I think it’s true for fathers too! However, there is a lot you can actually do to help during birth. In fact it is vitally important that you do so, both for your wife and your child.

Preparation is the key and you should make sure you are well aware of what your wife wants once she goes into labor. This is something you should both discuss well in advance and review regularly throughout the nine months.  Cover what kind of birth you want, the use of drugs and what to do if things don’t go to plan.

Aside from the practical things (bags packed, car full of petrol, emergency phone numbers, stopwatch), you need to prepare for taking charge and making decisions once labor starts. Your wife does not want to deal with anything else apart from concentrating solely on giving birth.

I’m in labor!

Once your wife tells you she thinks she is in labor start timing those contractions. For this get a stopwatch that gives you split timing. This will mean you’ll see instantly how long the last contraction was, as it gives you a list of all the timings you’ve done. I used this for our second daughter and it was great. For our first, I used a normal watch and tried to write down the times, don’t do it!

Talk to your wife as much as she lets you. It’s hard as she is in a zone where she’ll start to ‘go inside’ but you need to know where you’re at. You have to make the decision at some point to talk to your midwife  to determine whether labor has actually started.

For our first baby we spent four hours at home as my wife considered the contractions ‘mild’ and wasn’t sure whether they were real contractions at all. Once we contacted our midwife and headed for the maternity unit we discovered that labor was actually well on the way, we just made it to the maternity unit on time!  

For our second we left as soon as a regular contraction had started, my wife was already 8cm dilated when we arrived!  I made the decision to go on this occasion as I remembered what happened the first time and was aware that my wife obviously had a high tolerance to pain. I suggested we leave straight away as I couldn’t stand the stress of another Formula 1 drive.

Make sure you listen to your wife and watch her to see how she is reacting to the contractions. Most of all, talk to her, ask her how she is feeling and what she is feeling.

Breathing Techniques

Ensure that she is breathing properly. Sounds strange, but proper breathing is crucial for her. Tensing up and not breathing properly will not help her or the baby. You should have practiced techniques for this already.

Practice any positions that may help your wife and the baby too. She will feel very awkward as the baby begins the movement down and depending on many factors you can ease the passage down.

Once you’re in the birthing room then things get exciting and you have to move along pretty quickly. We chose for a water birth and my job was to hold my wife from behind and talk into her ear. I constantly reminded her to breathe through the pain, relax and suggested she be aware of her position. In the pool she was easily able to adjust her position when she felt the need. I also kept her hydrated with water and applied ice cold cloths to her forehead.

I could tell when she was getting “close” and persisted with talking into her ear with words of encouragement and telling her that our little baby was almost out. Your wife needs to hear you at this stage, even if you think she’s not listening, continue to talk, encourage and advise.

Be Prepared

There are a lot of things for you to think about during this whole process and that’s why preparation is so important.

I was fortunate that my wife was using The Pink Kit to help HER prepare for birth. It’s a Book/DVD/CD information pack. It’s an amazing kit which is not only for the mother. It has a wealth of information for the father too. We used this kit and I learnt everything from positions that your partner can use to breathing techniques. 

The Pink Kit shows the mother how to assess what type and shape of pelvis she has. This is really important as it will determine exactly how the baby will birth. Everyone’s pelvis is not the same and hence every mother needs a different birth position in order to help the baby down and out easily. I found this section fascinating as it was something I had never heard of before but it made perfect sense.

If you use The Pink Kit you will be aware what you’re wife is going through at every stage of labor. Plus, you’ll both practice some of the exercises which will enable your wife to ease the pain and help the baby move down.

As I said already, breathing is a crucial part of the process and The Pink Kit gives you guidance on breathing techniques. Techniques which you practice with your wife and then you can guide her during the birth.

I can safely say that I felt I contributed hugely to both births of our children and that was purely down to having prepared through The Pink Kit. So, check it out and most of all cherish that moment of birth, it is such a special moment and experience, one you won’t remember completely but will be touched by forever.

Visit The Pink Kit website via the banner  below and you’ll find specific CD’s for fathers. If your wife has not heard of The Pink Kit then maybe suggest she check it out. Would also be a great present to give her.

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