The journey of 10 cm through birth canal is the toughest journey that a human would undertake in its entire life.
It involves hard labor for all, may it be birthing mother, expectant father, waiting family or attending doctor/ midwife. The entire process of birthing is full of pain and uncertainty. The mother is in physical pain due to uterine contractions and cervical dilation, father in emotional pain after witnessing agony of his wife and birth attendant in mental pain due to fear of performance and outcome.And that is why, the entire process of birthing is popularly known as Labor Pains.
In fact, God has bestowed females the uterus to procure and give rise to progeny as they are physically, mentally and emotionally more stronger than males.
As, the incentive of self-fulfillment, fame and money can drive a mountaineer climb the Himalayas, likewise, the eternal happiness of giving birth to a life, tender touch of newborn, melodious cry and satisfaction of nurturing the baby can help the parturient undertake this toughest journey with patience, perseverance and calmness.
In the delivery room, it’s up to Mom to do all the pushing, but Dad plays a big role in the birthing process too. Time and over it has been proved beyond doubt that the presence of her husband may further help her to win over this unpleasant situation with a smile and confidence.
The presence of husband during birthing –
Hence, now world over, the presence of husband is encouraged in the labor room. They may even be allowed to cut the umbilical cord and receive their baby.
Few tips to help husbands undertake their journey in labor room with success –
1- Preparation starts during pregnancy before labor pains!
A- Discuss birth plans with your wife and her Doctor.
B- Pack your Emergency bag in anticipation to avoid last moment rush.
• Emergency fund, insurance policy, contacts details etc.
• Keep Snacks, Oral rehydration solution, water bottle etc to avoid starving long when you are waiting in labor room. (Do not offer anything to eat/ drink to your wife without the permission of the birth attendant. In case of emergency caesarean delivery, at least 4 to 6 hours fast is recommended.)
• Books, magazines, laptops etc. – Childbirth may take a long time. So, these can help you spend your time and keep yourself calm.
• Additional bed sheet or blanket for yourself and wife.
• Discuss the availability of baby cloths, toiletries and diapers in hospital with your caretaker or keep them ready in your emergency bag.
• Camera- The smile of newborn is a blessing. Don’t forget to capture this beautiful moment in your camera. However, do not disrupt her privacy or interfere in the management of labor.
C- Stem cell banking:
In case you have opted to preserve the stem cells or cord of your baby, do not forget to carry the kit to labor room and inform the collection personnel about the admission of your wife in labor room.
2- During birth – She needs her life partner most in this crucial time!
She is about to deliver your progeny. Be her partner not just on papers, but truly in her life at this crucial time. She needs you most.
Support your wife in all ways- physically, mentally, emotionally and psychologically, as she goes through a nerve-racking process of birthing. Don’t panic and neither allow her to?
However, if you are a type ‘A’ personality who panics at little stimuli, do not enter the labor room; else, you may worsen the situation more. There should not be any guilt if you cannot stay in labor room. Your moral support and your presence outside may also be a great help!
a- Be a Bridge-
When the labor pains begin; due to agony, your wife may become non-receptive to the advice and instructions from the birth attendants. You can play a crucial role by bridging this communication gap.
If required, discuss with the doctor about labor analgesia to relieve her pain. But, do not press the panic button that may unnecessarily lead to caesarean delivery. However, if the labor isn’t going smoothly, your wife might need an intervention that she hadn’t signed up for, such as pain medication or even a cesarean section. So, be prepared for changes in plan.
b- Be a Cheer leader –
c- Be a Support –
d- Be patient –
“Women in labor can be more sharp-tongued than usual, so try not to take it personally.”
e- Be a Father –
You would probably get the opportunity to cut the umbilical cord and thus officially bring your baby into this world as a separate human being. Enjoy this proud moment as a Father, for which you and your wife has desperately waited so long.
3- After Birth!
Heartiest congratulation to you for becoming father! But remember –
The information is shared to create awareness towards Pregnancy and Childcare to reduce maternal and child deaths. Atmost care has been taken by the author to include the verified information from authentic sources. However, kindly discuss the same with your health care provider before implementation.