Some guys seriously can’t handle the delivery room (the sight of blood makes them pass out cold – not so helpful) and that’s OK… but if you’re not too keen on being bedside when your little one arrives, consider the following. Don’t say no without making an informed decision. Sure, this whole birthing thing is scary, but you can be a lot more supportive than you may think.
Attend prenatal care appointments with your partner. Talk with her provider and nurses to understand a typical birthing routine within their practice. Ask who will be present, what will happen and who will be in charge of your partner and the baby after delivery.
Take childbirth classes and learn more about the process and how you can be supportive during labor. Make a list of questions and ask them all. You’ll learn a lot and meet other soon-to-be dads.
Take a tour of the hospital maternity ward so that you’ll be somewhat familiar with the layout once you arrive and, again, ask questions.
Ask yourself what you want out of the birth experience. Do you want to “catch” the baby? Cut the cord? Or just do your best to stay upright?
Talk with your partner about how she would like the delivery to go, what she sees as your role in it and what she needs and wants you to do. Make a birth plan together, one that works for both of you. Be sure to discuss different scenarios in case things don’t go as planned.
Don’t get your feathers ruffled or take it personally if she gets a little snippy on the day of… it isn’t you.
If you’d love to support her but really don’t think you can take a ringside seat, talk with her about getting a doula or coach involved for that part. We’re all different and we can only do what we can do and, truly, that’s OK. But let her know that one way or another you’ll do all you can to see to it that she has what she needs when the time comes.