Mums on Dads Guest Post – Dads in Labour

I’ve got the best china out for today’s Mums on Dads guest poster. She’s a writer, blogger and mother of two. In her free time she writes a humorous and honest blog about the challenges of modern motherhood. Rumour has it she also drinks an alarming amount of tea. Yes, the Illiterate Infant is going a bit posh today (she even swears posh) with Catherine from Cup of tea and a blog with her (quite topical) view on Dads in Labour. If you haven’t already, get along and check out her blog. She’s also on Facebook and doesn’t mind the odd tweet.

Catherine CoTaaB

Dads in labour

Let’s face it, ‘giving birth’; the physical act of moving a baby from the uterus into the world (regardless of the path it takes) is more about the mother than the father. I don’t want to diminish the role of the dad here; it can’t be easy to see your partner enduring the agony of labour, and then there’s all that angst over the ‘business end’…. But if we’re being honest, it’s the woman that’s doing the hard bit…

So what can you men folk do to help? How can you support your partner? How can you make yourself useful in the delivery room? The answer is… there is no answer. Sorry about that. Women are all different and what works for some (“please rub my back”) doesn’t work for others (“Get your fucking hands off me!”).

But, whilst there are no standard ‘what to do’s’ there are some ‘absolutely-sure fire-100%-tested things not to do’. And here they are:

  • Don’t go for a lie down because “you’re so tired”.
  • Don’t go for a snack because “you’re so hungry”.
  • Don’t act like its teamwork. She’s in labour, you are not. Comments like “Come on, we’re nearly there” will not be appreciated.
  • Do not flirt with the midwife. Even if you think it’s funny, it’s not.
  • Don’t whinge when she squeezes your hand. However painful it is, it is not labour. Suck it up.
  • Don’t answer your phone. Even if it’s important. Even if it’s Matthew Clarke and he wants you to bat for Australia. Voice mail was invented for a reason.
  • Now is not the time for social media. Facebook updates and tweets should not include the words “10cm dilated and ready to push”… unless they are coming from the mother of course (in which case… wow).
  • However bored you may be, do not whip out the ol’ play-station (not a euphemism). Now is not the time.

Most importantly, remember that it’s not about you. I know it sounds harsh, I appreciate that your role is not an easy one, but however tired/hungry/bored you are, just remember that it’s only temporary. And soon… there will be a brand new little person in the world, and after that, it will never be about you again. But you know what? You won’t mind one tiny bit.

Have you experienced anything on Catherine’s list? Anything you’d like to add? A Dad labour fail or success? Let me and Catherine know. 

Think you can throw light on another pre-conception or mis-conception drop me a line – I’d love you have you over. 

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16 Responses to Mums on Dads Guest Post – Dads in Labour

  1. Mrs D says:

    With the birth of our second son my husband decided he’d lie on the bed & have some gas too…HE thought he was hilarious…me not so…. 🙂

  2. Don’t send a text message to your mother-in-law half an hour before bub arrives saying “Feel free to come up for a chat… Wife is a little uncomfortable, but doing fine…”
    I kid you not.

  3. robomum says:

    The admin lady in the hospital corridor told My Man to hit the ‘nurse button’ as bub was well and truly coming out. Instead he hit the ‘break glass in case of emergency’ button.

    Success in the end but I wouldn’t recommend it – unless you like an audience.

  4. Well said Catherine! So true…. My birth plan for my first involved my husband massaging me with almond oil- but whilst in labour, I couldn’t stand to be touched….. And why were people talking in the delivery room…… For my second, I had an epidural, and I didn’t mind who massaged me/ talked in the delivery room 🙂

  5. Poppy says:

    Excellent post 🙂 Wish my husband had read it some 4 years ago… When our first was born, and it took some time (well, 30 something hours in the hospital), he kept complaining all the time. He is hungry, he is bored, he is tired, he slept very uncomfortably on the extra bed provided to him by the very nice midwife, and now his back hurts!!! – not joiking 🙂 My answer: “You have no idea about pain!!!” When our second was born, he started complaining even before we got to the hospital: “hope it’s not gonna last that long as it did last time… have you packed the newspaper, the crackers and the soda for me?” like we were going on a picnic… Lucky for him I was too busy giving birth both time to strangle him 🙂

    • Kevin says:

      Sounds like you husband is incredibly brave or a little bit stupid 😉

      • Poppy says:

        Or just selfish as the third child I will never have 🙂 Well, he is not very good at labour, but he was great after the babies were born, taking care of all the practical things, organising family and friends visiting us in the first days, etc, like a proud daddy should do 🙂

  6. Belinda says:

    My husband made the very grave mistake of asking “so how much longer do you think it will take?”! He was extremely lucky I was so involved in concentrating on rocking through the contraction otherwise he would have had all manner of things (my vomit bucket was the closest thing at hand!) thrown at him. Definitely not a question to ask.

  7. Pingback: It’s “guess the baby stats” time | the illiterate infant

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