The moment I became pregnant, my husband was bursting with joy that there was never a doubt in my mind that he wouldn’t be present during the delivery. My husband was by my side every step of the way and the birth of our son is a beautiful memory we share. We’ve encountered fathers-to-be that hesitate. Let me say this to all fathers-to-be: suck it up, get your butt in that delivery room, be actively involved in the labor and support the mommy-to-be. All dads! No exceptions!
As we anticipated the arrival of our son, I signed us up for a birthing class
My husband wasn’t please because it wasn’t cheap but he humored me and gave up his Saturday and Sunday (8 hours each day with a 30 min break). It turned out to be a great idea; it was very informative and beneficial for new parents. They explained the process of arriving at the hospital and gave us a detailed hospital tour. The instructor provided the paper work and was helpful in preparing it beforehand. She showed us videos, taught us breathing exercises, she re-enacted different scenarios and demonstrated how the partner can physical support the pregnant mommy. We met other couples and we all shared common fears and questions about the process. Out of ten couples, two fathers said they would not be present during the labor. One father said the thought of the baby coming out of his wife, grossed him out. The other father simply had no interest in seeing his baby be born via c-section.
Let me repeat this: all fathers MUST be present during childbirth
I don’t care what circumstance it is but mommies, do not give your partner the option to opt out. And if your a father-to-be, don’t you dare tell your partner you don’t want to be there. Nothing can 100% prepare you for what will actually happen during labor. It is scary and our bodies go through such a drastic transformation that it seems like an out of body experience. Of course there’s going to be blood and bodily fluids. Of course it’s graphic and not like they paint it in the movies. But it takes two to tango. It took two people to make that baby and it will take two to deliver and raise that baby. If you think you won’t handle the graphic images, drink water, take a deep breath and suck it up.
The most important thing is to provide love and support.
You can bring her ice cubes, hold her hand and feet, prepare the room setting, give her body massages and help her focus on her breathing. But what she needs the most is your appreciation for what her body is doing. Give her words of encouragement and positivity. Tell her she is doing great and remind her how close you are to meeting your baby. Wipe away her tears and kiss her to give her energy to keep going. Thank her for being strong and tell her how much you admire her. Reinforce your love and tell her not to be scared because you will be by her side.
This is the beginning of your next chapter in life
Mommies, be direct with the father and lay out what you expect and want from him the day you give birth. Yes, you are strong but do not say you don’t need him that day. You need him. He needs to be by your side and if he refuses, that another conversation that will need to be dealt with later. This is the beginning of your next chapter in life and this moment will change both of you. Dads, I’ll say it one last time: you must be present during childbirth. It will be one of the most memorable moments of your life.
If you’re nervous, talk to someone that’s already lived it. Don’t argue with your pregnant partner and don’t make the wrong decision because this is the crucial moment that will affect how you start parenthood.