dad's role in labor and delivery

Labor and Delivery: The Dad’s Role

Dear Mr. Dad: My wife is due in about a month and I’m already in a panic. We took a childbirth prep class, but I’m convinced that I won’t know what to do—or, worse still, that I’ll do something wrong—when labor starts. I’m wondering whether I should just step away and let the doctors and nurses do what they do. Your thoughts?

A: Because childbirth is such a female-intensive thing, a lot of guys don’t really understand how important they are to the process. The reality is that you’re absolutely indispensable. Yes, there are doctors and nurses and midwives running around all over the place, but your partner is really counting on you most of all to help get her through this. Your being there—and being actively involved—can make a big, big difference. Women whose partners are supportive during labor and delivery tend to have shorter labors and report experiencing less pain. They also have a more positive attitude toward motherhood.

Here are a number of ways you can help your partner cope throughout the labor and delivery. Some of these are drawn from The Best Birth, which I wrote with childbirth educator Sarah McMoyler.

  • Remind her to slow her breathing down. Just taking in long, deep breaths—inhale for five seconds, exhale for five seconds—can be very calming.

Read the rest of this article on Armin’s blog.

Photo by César Abner Martínez Aguilar

Armin Brott

View posts by Armin Brott
Armin Brott is the proud father of three, a former U.S. Marine, a best-selling author, radio host, speaker, and one of the country’s leading experts on fatherhood. He writes frequently about fatherhood, families, and men's health. Read more about Armin or visit his website, You can also connect via social media: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest,  and Linkedin.

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