Gentlemen, please don’t just stand there in a stupor. Step up and take an active role during birthing time! When push comes to shove (pun intended) you should be there for your wife, focusing on her breathing, rubbing her back, and serving as supporter while you both make informed decisions with confidence. You have all the tools to make this day a success. Be a man with a (birth) plan!
Your wife will likely already have a birth plan. Make sure you know what is in it. Better yet, talk about the plan with her to make sure you fully understand it and don’t look like an idiot during the birth. What is a birth plan? In short, a birth plan is a written list of preferences that should be used as a guide during the birth. Since labor can be unpredictable, you may need to alter some part of your plan. There are vast resources and some great birth plan templates on the web.
Dads, you don’t need a complicated birth plan for yourself, but I do have a few basic suggestions to help things go a bit smoother before, during, and after the birth.
Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance
Don’t wait until the last minute to get things ready. Hire someone to help deep clean your entire home in the weeks leading up to the birth. Your wife thinks you are a crappy cleaner. Maintain the work by tidying up every other day. By 35 weeks, your wife won’t be able to do much so you’ll need do more around the house. Don’t complain. Get the nursery ready by 35 weeks at the latest, have your bags packed (or set aside if you’re doing a home birth) and easily accessible. Pack a small bag for yourself as well. Pull together your insurance cards, paperwork, and cash for parking. Put the hospital address on in your car’s GPS system. Do the hospital tour with your pregnant wife and pay attention.
The palest ink is better than the best memory
Write things down! With so much going on, you’re going to forget about that work project due next week or the list of chores you needed to knock out before the baby comes. You will not be thinking clearly in the weeks and especially the days leading up to the big day. Life will be easier when you have it all written down.
Stay flexible, and you won’t get bent out of shape
Even with the best birth plan and superior planning, things still may go wrong. Don’t let a setback throw things off. Never underestimate the power of prayer. Stay strong – your role is crucial. You are the practical, emotional and physical support for her.
Get a hobby
I can tell you from personal experience that you will NOT get any lovin’ from your wife in the final week leading up to the baby and at least 3 months after the birth. Get a hobby to keep your mind off it. That’s why I am now training for a triathlon and writing this blog.