What Does Dad Need For the Birth?
You've got your partner organised for going into labour and packed her bags of necessities, but as dad, what do you need for the birth?
When the time comes for your partner to give birth, things can get incredibly hectic. You may have to drive her to the hospital, grab her ready-packed bags of gear and, perhaps, sort out other siblings. Whatever your situation, there's usually not much time to stop and think about what you'll need, but you of course have needs to!
There's no set time limit for labour (although many women wish there was!), so you'll have no idea how long you'll have to wait around at the hospital. Due to this, it's a good idea to have a few essentials with you, so you're not left out on a limb and wishing you'd brought X or Y, but feeling unable to leave your partner to nip off and get them.
Practical NeedsSo, to avoid any instances of, "I wish I'd brought…" or "I wish I'd thought of…." wistful musings, here are some ideas of practical items that you might like to pack in a bag and take with you when your partner goes into labour.
- Clothing, such as a jumper or t-shirt. Labour wards can be notoriously hot, so it's best to wear layers that can easily be removed or added. Keep a jumper or t-shirt packed ready, in case you're not dressed for the occasion when it occurs.
- Snacks and bottled water. Labour can be long and tiring and you'll need refreshments. If you're not keen to visit the hospital restaurant or don't want to leave your partner for too long, having snacks ready to nibble on and bottled water to drink is a good alternative.
- Phone numbers of people to call. This is an absolute essential, so you can phone your nearest and dearest to let them know how the birth has gone. Listing them in order of priority also helps.
- Spare change. Most hospitals won't allow use of mobile phones and although you can go outside, there are usually pay phones close by that you can use to call people.
- Spongebag. If you're at the hospital for hours, you may be glad of a flannel, toothbrush and toothpaste so you can freshen yourself up.
- A book to read.
- Magazines or newspapers to read.
- An ipod, MP3 player or CD player to listen to, with music or talking books. If you take a portable player in, you may be able to play your choice of music during the labour, to help your partner through it.
- Games to play together.
- A camera, so you can record the birth and take photos of your newborn as soon as they arrive!
Emotional SupportAs well as taking these practical things to help you both through the birth, it's good to be equipped with plenty of emotional support too. Your partner will be going through a major life event and labour can be exhausting. So try and be mentally prepared for the event, as well as physically fit and rested, so you can offer as much support as required. The little things will be most appreciated, like mopping her brow or massaging her back, so be prepared to have them in plentiful supply.
Witnessing labour and seeing your baby come into the world is one of the most memorable events you'll experience, so prepare well and enjoy the it.