How to Include Your Husband in Childbirth
Having a baby is a life-changing event for you and for your husband. As you anticipate the birth of your baby, however, you may both have concerns and anxiety about childbirth along with the excitement and enthusiasm.
Keeping your husband involved throughout your pregnancy keeps him aware of what to expect during labor and delivery so he will be prepared to support you and feel a part of the childbirth process.
10 Steps to Include your Husband in Childbirth
1. Discuss your expectations, fears and birthing options with your husband.
Decide ahead of time what your preferences are. Help your husband prepare for the childbirth process and for the emotional roller coaster you will be on during labor.
2. Share books with your husband about pregnancy and childbirth.
If he is reluctant to read the books in their entirety, underline passages you feel are important. Involve him in everything to do with the baby, including choosing names, nursery furniture and equipment.
3. Invite your husband to go to doctor visits with you, especially to hear the heartbeat or when you have an ultrasound.
Don’t insist, however, that he attend every visit if it makes him uncomfortable. If he is unable to attend, keep him up-to-date on what the doctor has to say.
4. Attend childbirth classes together.
These classes generally cover all aspects of pregnancy, labor and delivery. His involvement in the classes will keep him involved and prepare him for his role in the birth of his baby.
5. Make your preferences for labor and delivery clear to your husband so he can advocate for you.
You will be preoccupied and may have difficulty making decisions in the heat of the moment, and it is helpful to have your spouse, who knows your preferences, to be there to anticipate some of your needs and desires and communicate them to the medical staff.
6. Pack your bag for the hospital ahead of time.
Be sure your husband also has a bag to take along with a change of clothes, reading material and a few snacks so he won‘t need to leave if you have a long labor.
7. Visit the hospital or birthing center together to familiarize yourselves with the facility, staff, accommodations and procedures.
8. Spend time together during the early stages of labor.
Take a walk, watch TV or spend quiet time together in preparation for the labor that lies ahead.
9. Entrust your husband with responsibilities during your labor and delivery.
Ask him to communicate with the nursing staff. Give him the responsibility of calling family members.
10. Tell him what you need and what you don‘t want.
Let him give you ice chips, wipe your face with a cool cloth and massage your back — whatever you prefer. He is ready and willing to help but may not know what to do for you if you don’t ask or communicate your preferences to him.
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