Its not only the mum but also the dad-to-be who eagerly waits to feel the tiny feet, satin skin and cooing of the baby. Women are supported by their kin’s and partners during pregnancy dealing with untimely food cravings, relieving nausea and putting up with their mood swings. The journey doesn’t ends here, the day when fruit of labor will be delivered still looms. You must have watched husbands filming and encouraging their wives to “push” the baby out. Does this makes you wonder whether your husband would do the same during the D Day, and you welcome this thought or otherwise?
How Can A Husband Know His Wife Is In Labor?
Preparing yourself for the childbirth and helping your partner through it is not as difficult as most dads-to-be think. You can take childbirth classes held in hospitals for to-be-parents, and a little online research would go a long way. Here are some quick cheat sheet points for to-be-dads:
- Knowing true labour has started: You might have seen your partner groaning in pain and thinking ‘this is it’ but actually the pains ease after a few minutes. These are Braxton hicks contractions and stop after some time. Apart from sharp, painful contractions, you should look for the following signs-
- Some trickle of fluid, which indicates that your woman’s waters have broken
- Crampy feeling, persistent lower back pain
- Regular contractions that become stronger in intensity
- Timing the contractions: After you have concluded that your partner is in labour, you can start to time the contractions using a timer in seconds. Regular contractions lasting for atleast 30 seconds are an indication that early labour has begun. Sometimes, you may need to get to the hospital earlier, so keep your partner’s doctor informed about the same
- Know that it will take time: The movies and soaps that show women going into labour this second and the baby coming out the next second could set wrong expectations – so it would be wise not to rely on them. Labour is called labour for a reason, and it does not happen that fast. Though not easy, but stay away from the clock and be support your partner
- Read about labour: Labour essentially has three stages, the first stage comprising of early phase, active phase and the transition phase. The second stage of labour involves pushing and birthing, and this can last from minutes to hours. The delivery of the placenta forms the third and final stage of labour. Gaining some insight into them will ensure you are prepared for each stage of labour and can help your partner through
- Participate actively: Every woman’s dream is to have her husband involved in the process that is going to change their lives forever. Make sure you know what is there in the hospital bag, and carry your essentials. If your wife has a birth plan prepared, make sure you hand it over to the doctor. Drive safe and slow and ensure that you know the way to the hospital. Carry important contacts at all times in your phone. Be there for her, for the new baby and support and comfort her
10 Ways Husbands Can Help In Labor
After spending months together, crying and laughing, fighting and arguing – at a certain point wives look up to their husband for support. The times have changed and now you can see husbands trotting along their wifey’s to pregnancy yoga or Pilates classes. Truth is, as a husband, you can now further extend your help in labor too. Read below on how you can do this:
- Get your facts straight: Take measures to educate yourself about child birth and labor pain. Best is to join childbirth classes with your wife. They will tell you numerous techniques to ease labor pain. Knowing about the procedure before sometimes relieves anxiety!
- Be mindful of her: Your wife could be screaming and hurling things at anyone in so much pain. You need to arrange things keeping your wife in mind. If something annoys your wife such as the perfume of a nurse or the bed inclination, work out ways to sort that out. She is sensitive and in much, much pain!
- Become her voice: There is nothing more irritating and nerving than repeating yourself at the top of the voice during such a painful condition. You should discuss with your wife before what she likes and dislikes, what she wants and the like. If something occurs which your wife doesn’t like, be firm and do not let it happen. This is often the case with pain medications, wherein some ladies do not prefer to be given painkillers
- Keep her hydrated: Give her sips of water every now or then, preferably after each contraction. You don’t need to ask just hold it near her lips. Hydration will make things easier by giving energy
- Provide distraction: You need to distract your wife’s mind from labor pain to something else. Try to engage her in conversations, perhaps about something she adores, maybe the new baby clothes. Turn on her favorite music, TV programme or whatever that can help her concentrate elsewhere
- Be charged-up: Labour can continue for hours before the perfect time for delivery. So take care of your diet, feed yourself well and remain energetic. This is because you never know what may be expected of you. It may include shoulder or feet massage, demand for favorite food or candy or a hot cuppa! Be prepared and don’t let your spirits falter
- Devise a calming activity: The childbirth classes will teach both of you some techniques to calm down in the event of pain. You need to initiate the activity with your laboring wife. It may be as simple as coaching deep breathing, self-talk or singing a lullaby!
- Know everything about contractions: You cannot make the situation more uncomfortable for your wife by letting her wait in the labor room at hospital, home is way too better. This readiness is determined by the time between uterine contractions. If the time between contractions is less than 5 minutes and last for 30 seconds or more for about an hour, then most obstetricians consider this the right moment to dash to the hospital. Do wear a watch with seconds hand to keep note
- Brace yourself: Women are used to seeing blood down there, thanks to their monthly visitor, but some men may not be able to digest this. Also finding themselves in a helpless solution, they might give in to the situation. This is not going to help your partner who needs your support. You will be educated on how and what happens during labor and delivery so focus on that and remain firm
- Keep the bag ready: You definitely do not want to upset your wife more by asking her to wait whilst you rummage through your cabinet to pack your stuff for hospital stay. Idea is, once she is ready, you really need to get moving. Be more responsible, keep fuel filled in car, some snacks and drinks ready since the time required for delivery is unpredictable
Be around, let her hold your hand, let her squeeze it as much as she wants, listen to her and do what she says. It’s your presence that matters her the most. Some ladies just want their partner to be around when this life-changing event happens. So extend your love and support her through this difficult phase.
And All the best!