What Not To Do When Your Partner Is Having A Baby
Congratulations! You’re going to be a parent. You may be nervous about the upcoming birth and how you will support your partner in the birth and want to make sure you avoid making common blunders that many people do.
- Don’t go to the hospital too early (or they will send you home) and don’t speed on the way there.
- Don’t sleep unless she is sleeping.
- Don’t watch things you know will make you queasy or pass out. This is different for everyone but can include watching the epidural getting placed, blood being drawn, an IV going in, or baby coming out. You may also want to avoid looking at the sheets when she gets up to walk around or use the restroom.
- Don’t leave the ringer on your phone on and don’t spend a lot of time checking your phone. If you are checking your phone, don’t give her a play-by-play of every text message people are sending to check in on her.
- Don’t complain about your own aches or pains. They are valid. Surely you are uncomfortable too, but this is not the right time to bring it up.
- Don’t tell her what time it is, how far apart her contractions are, how strong the contractions are based on the monitor, or how long she has been pushing.
- Don’t repeatedly tell her to push or breathe. She is doing both. Instead of telling her to breathe, audibly mirror it for her and she will soon follow your lead. Instead of telling her to push, encourage her by telling her how great she is doing, how proud you are of her, how much you love her, or how beautiful she looks.
- Don’t tell her if she pooped. This is a very real possibility for any person pushing a human out of their body, as the exit for the bowels and uterus are located in close proximity.
- Don’t expect things to happen quickly. In the real world, labor and delivery take time, unlike what Hollywood would have you believe. It also isn’t nearly as traumatic as television would have it look, but what fun would that be to watch?
- Don’t tell her to get an epidural if she wants to go natural. She may think you don’t believe in her and lose her confidence.
- Don’t tell her you feel bad for her or say “Poor thing.” She is doing hard work. She is not weak. She can do it. Show her your confidence in her.
- Don’t be afraid to ask the nurses questions, but be careful it doesn’t make your partner think something is wrong.
- Don’t ignore her cues. There may be times where a comfort technique you are doing is no longer helpful for her but she can not verbally communicate with you to tell you so. Sometimes what feels good in one moment does not in the next. She may also be resting in one moment and searching for your hand in the next. Pay attention so you know what she needs when she needs it.
- Don’t take offense to what she does and says. It isn’t personal. She still loves you. It just is hard for her to express herself when she is experiencing so many different sensations at once.
- Don’t panic. You are going to do great!
- Don’t feel like you have to remember all this on your own. Hire a doula to help keep you calm, reassure you that things are unfolding as they should be, and encourage you to be the best support person for your loved one.
Is there anything you would add to this list? Tell us in the comments section.