Early on in pregnancy, you start to pick up and learn about new things as a dad-to-be; you pick up the jargon and start talking about things you didn’t know existed – it’s a busy time and sometimes it’s hard to take it all in. As the due date approaches, there are some things you definitely need to make sure you’ve taken on board!
When your partner goes into labour, the proverbial baby poo may hit the fan. You’ve got to keep it together. Whilst in a huge amount of pain, it’s not particularly helpful if you’re asking where the bags are. It’ll earn you a minus birth-partner point…what this translates to varies but it won’t be good. Make sure you know what you need to do. Don’t forget the little things like petrol in the car. Stopping at BP on the way to the hospital isn’t going to be ideal.
What to pack
In everyday life, I forget pretty much everything I’m asked (told) to do. If there’s one time you shouldn’t forget something, it’s when your partner is giving birth! Make a list of all of the things you’ve been given responsibility for. It might not seem like a big deal you’ve forgotten the cereal bars, but if you’re a few hours into labour and she finds out you forgot them, it’s not going to go down well.
Every possible eventuality
After missing the antenatal class on c-sections because we were so sure we wouldn’t need it, I would, in hindsight, advise to be prepared. You’re not going to be able to do a lot to help, but knowing what’s going on can be a calming factor if plans change. The medical professionals are there and they know their stuff, it’s just having some idea of why they may be advising certain processes and it allows you to make informed choices. When your partner is in a world of labour pain, you might have to be the intermediary between her and the medical staff. Know what you’re actually saying helps. Trust me.
How to use the washing machine
It’s not just the washing machine. It’s the oven and all the other stuff too. Most men (I like to hope) are pretty domesticated in this day and age, but if you don’t know how to use any of the everyday appliances in the house, get learning. You’re going to have to help out after your partner has pushed out a baby – it takes a huge physical toll so make sure you’re ready to step up.
Everyone is going to tell you about “the magic moments” they had when they first saw their baby. Don’t over pressurise yourself to feel a certain way. There might be tears, there might not – it’s an emotional and exhausting time. Set aside your manly macho ways (if you’re that way inclined) a baby is only born once and the midwives have seen it all! I was more emotional than I’d ever been and I’ll proudly say it.
Dads, don’t get caught short – make sure you’ve thought about these little things before the baby arrives!