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Maybe you've been involved from the moment the pregnancy test came back positive, attending prenatal appointments and childbirth classes. But as you get closer to labor and delivery, you may start feeling nervous about your role during the birth. Here are some ways you can be prepared. And remember, for most partners, seeing their child born is one of life's great moments.
How to prepare for your partner's labor and delivery
- Take a childbirth class. You'll feel more confident after learning what to expect during labor and childbirth and by gathering ideas to help your wife or partner through the experience.
- Learn how to be a good labor coach. Find out what you need to know if you're planning to be your partner's coach and advocate.
- Consider hiring a doula. If you still feel anxious about your role, a birth assistant, or doula, can help during labor, not only coaching your partner but also encouraging you to relax and participate comfortably. If that sounds intriguing, talk it over with your partner.
- Tour the hospital or birth center. Make sure you know how to get to the hospital where you plan to deliver. Take a tour of the facility, and make sure that partners can be present throughout labor, birth, and in the hours and days after your baby is born. Most hospitals welcome the partner's involvement, but some have restrictions about who can be present at certain times, like during a c-section.
- Just be there for your partner. This is one of those events for which showing up is the most important thing. Even if you want to – or have to – leave most of the hands-on stuff to the pros, your presence matters. Stay calm and be encouraging.