Through my 11 years experience teaching families how to prepare for their birth experience I have carefully created a top 10 list for dads (or support partners) to help them successfully navigate the waters of childbirth and be the rock star when it is all said and done.
So here it is…..
1.Be There — be emotionally conncected & Supportive
Being emotionally connected and supportive for her creates a space of calm and relaxation which is the key to inviting the magical hormone called endorphines natures beautiful and powerful pain killer, making birth faster and easier.
2. Encouraging/Empowering Words
Endorphines baby! And who doesn’t like hearing nice things.
3. Massage/Touch — remember Hands and Feet
Now this one needs to be approached with caution. It is true that some women will actually utter the words “don’t touch me!” while in labour. So respect that. But for those that don’t mind, touch is magical also and is just another way to create the power of hormones.
4. Creating an environment of CALM
Chaos breeds chaos and calm breeds calm. Make her space a sanctuary. Your at the hospital, so what, dim those lights, play some music, bring her own pillow and her favorite fuzzy socks. Make it as peaceful as possible and you will notice a difference in how relaxed she feels.
5. Helping with positions (keeping in mind Pelvis Puzzle)
Don’t know what the pelvis puzzle is? Well you better take my class! Hehe. Kidding aside, position are vital for speed and ease of labour. So get researching and get up and moving.
6. Breathing — guiding and/or reminding
Can your mind think stress and anxiety while you are yoga breathing? NO! Your brain will not interpret stress while actively doing deep relaxation breathing it can’t that is not the message you are sending it. So practice those breathing techniques they really do make all the difference. Help her practice, help her remember and do it with her (it’s good for your stress too).
7. Reminding to pee every 2 hrs & HYDRATE!
Full bladder = slow progress. So get her on the toilet (and if you did your research you would know this is also a very effective pelvis puzzle solving position to assume). Dehydration also creates slow progress and low energy. Make her DRINK! (water of course :))
8. Being an Advocate!!
She needs you on her side. This is the only time she will birth this baby. So make her needs and wishes and questions heard. She is busy birthing this baby, so her voice is now your voice. This also means you need to have the discussion before labour to know what it is she wants and wishes, how to make tough decisions in difficult circumstances and what she wants protected. TALK
9. Remain calm & Positive
Fake it till you make it is especially true here. If you are freaking out so will she. So you are her rock. Create an all star support team for you and her before labour so if things get stressful (haha when things get stressful) you have a team to fall back on and ask the questions and get your inspiration, second wind and calm back). GO TEAM!
10. Protecting the space after baby is born.
This is a sacred time. Protect it and enjoy it, take it in and be.