Are you spending hours researching all facets of having a beautiful birth, but to your partner the idea of water births, epidurals or massage during labor is a big yawn? Unless they plan to be visiting Mars on baby arrival day, they’re going to be a pretty essential part of labor and delivery. So how do you involve your partner in birth planning?
Dads/Partners need attention, too
One typical dad/partner role is that of getting lost in the midst of the baby-building shuffle. After all, their body is still the same, they don’t have to wonder about pain management, no one is asking if they’re sleeping enough. Nobody’s talking about the dad/partner-to-be.
Even if the nausea, back pain, or ravenous hunger aren’t rocking his/her world, they could be (probably are) going through their own changes. They may need to talk about their upcoming role as the sole breadwinner, what a C-section is, or who he/she can go to for help.
They may feel insecure, incompetent, or unnecessary.
They may need you to ask about his/her feelings, fears, or desires. Who knows? Maybe they’re dying to catch baby as she’s born or maybe they only want to hold your hand and watch the docs or midwives do their thing.
Tips for Mom-to-Be
- Check in – You know your partner’s communication style, so find the way to ask regularly how they’re feeling about baby. If your partner isn’t the sharing type and just says, “It’s OK,” when you ask directly, try a sideways approach. When you see a baby or watch a program that relates to your situation, use it as a conversation starter. “Do you think about that when our baby is here?”
- Date night – Whether it’s every week for dinner and a movie, or a sex-date at home, regular time together not talking about problems goes miles to relieve stress or keep it at bay.
- Childbirth classes – These are designed for moms and partners, or single mothers-to-be. Your partner’s attendance will help answer a lot of questions and fears, not to mention giving partners some great skills for labor. Can you do something special before class, like stopping off at the food trucks or having your fav at-home dinner together?
- Birth Plan – Talking about your birth preferences helps you develop a common vision. If your partner isn’t the type to revel in research with you, bring your research to them and ask questions. They may not be able to get as excited as you, but they may feel involved if you get their opinion and some of their choices (that you agree with) are listed on your final birth plan that’ll be listed on your hospital bag checklist.
- Prenatal appointments – Can you make your appointments match your partner’s schedule? Most care providers like to see the couple involved in watching baby’s progress and talk about concerns or hopes. Being there for those check-ups makes baby more real, and your partner realize that their role more important than it seems.
Some partners feel like the pregnancy is happening to them, and some feel like there’s no place for them. Reaching out and actively getting their input helps to make baby more real, even before she’s here.
To learn more about birth planning tips, download our free Birth Plan eBook now. After three years of research, collaboration with more than 100 childbirth experts and resource centers from Healthy Child Healthy World to the American Association of Neonatal Nurses, the Best Ever Baby Birth Plan Guide is available for a free download.
This new resource for pregnant families is a compilation of top tips and advice from more than 20 nationally-recognized experts in the field including renowned pediatrician, Dr. Alan Greene and GraceFull Birthing founder, midwife Elizabeth Bachner. These trusted experts offer thoughtful guidance for whatever type of birthing experience parents want, in whichever setting they choose.
Published: March 15, 2018 | By SP Turgon, Certified Labor Doula | Reviewed by: The Best Ever Baby Expert Team | Last reviewed: March, 2018