Let’s not be misinformed. Fathers in the birth room are an integral piece to many birth stories. While the majority of IAPBP blogs are continuing education, tips, and advice for photographers as well as the same for mothers, we know that fathers can play a pivotal role throughout labor and delivery. Fathers can contribute to the smooth transition from pregnant woman to mothering woman and we’re here to help empower you. We see you and we recognize just how important you are.
A father’s strength can be present within the birth room as well as outside of it. The masculine energy is needed, in fact. That energy can be molded to ensure that feelings of serenity, security, and safety are readily available to the woman entering an extremely vulnerable moment in time. All of this is within you reach, Dad, and with a little preparation, you can and will be successful in supporting your child’s mother in the birth of BOTH of your dreams.
Here are some tips to help fathers in the birth room create a psychologically sound environment for the woman they revere through labor and delivery.
Tips for Fathers in the Birth Room:
- Know your/her birth plan.
Advocate for the desires that have been agreed upon by you both. Having a strong voice and someone that isn’t afraid to ask for clarification and a moment to think about different options as they may or may not present themselves will mean everything to her.
- Remain present and in the moment.
Turn the TV off. Turn your cell phone on silent and tuck it away for the time being. You won’t need to take photos with your birth photographer present.
- Give her verbal encouragement.
You see her working hard and we know you’re proud of her – tell her. These words of affirmation go a long way.
- Give her physical comfort.
You can apply counter pressure by giving her massages to help ease the pain she may be experiencing. Be a mighty oak that she can lean into, physically and emotionally, during hard moments. Help her transition from one position to another.
- Prepare snacks and beverages that are easy for her to access.
She may be laboring for hours and she will need to keep her strength up.
- Plan for other children present if necessary.
If there are other children present, be mindful of them and ensure you have someone present to be with them completely. Set aside their favorite games, movies, and snacks so that way you can be as present with her as possible.
- Help time contractions.
Contractions are times in seconds from the beginning of one contraction to the beginning of the next. You can then count the frequency of contractions by minutes.
- Flexibility and patience.
As you know, or will know, labor and delivery can be a hard, long, arduous process that will likely take a lot of the laboring mother. Try not to take offense to irritabilities that may arise.
- Make sure that YOU take care of YOU while also taking care of her.
It is wise to pack a hospital bag for yourself that includes comfortable clothes, products to ensure proper hygiene, and food for yourself.
At IAPBP, we know the importance of maintaining that intentional presence within the entire process of labor and delivery; from fathers in the birth room to providers sharing the same space to others invited to this sacred space. We recommend hiring a birth photographer to take care of all of your photography needs. You can find the best birth photographer for you here.
Feature Image: Brianne Sanders