You are well into pregnancy and it is growing on you that getting baby things bought and deciding on the name are not so important factors as being properly prepared for childbirth. And that goes for your partner, too. Your husband ought to be very knowledgeable about what you will be going through when in labor. Ask him to accompany you to pregnancy classes, read books and articles on pregnancy, watch videos with you. This way you will be sure he understands the full implications of childbirth and is ready to define his role in the process. Here are a few pieces of advice on how to secure his assistance, support and empathy.
Have your husband learn more about delivery
Your caregiver or your pregnancy class lecturer can recommend you any number of materials on pregnancy and delivery, including books, videos, websites and forums. Choose the most suitable sources and, as you begin educating yourself, tell your husband that you would like him to participate. If it’s impossible for any reason, recount or read out the most important bits of information for him to remember.
Take your husband to childbirth courses or classes that you are attending. They impart highly useful knowledge about the processes that your body will be going through during pregnancy, delivery and afterwards. This information is aimed to get both of you prepared for what is going to happen so you will know what to do when labor starts. Also, your partner will be prepared for the natural changes in your reactions that will manifest themselves during labor.
Of the videos recommended to you by your teacher, obstetrician, or caregiver, choose one that you will watch together. You may have some trouble urging your partner to share the experience with you, for men can be loath to watch this kind of videos, yet it goes a long way to give them to understand that mothers will need their help and support.
Talk over your expectations for the birth. You must be clear about each other’s feelings and viewpoints on the childbirth. Discuss all the issues in advance, so that, when the time comes, both of you will be in the same mind about the delivery procedure.
Have your husband talk to your caregiver so he is able to ask all the questions he may have freely and receive independent and professional opinions about the possible issues. Let him voice his worries and misgivings and listen to expert comments.
Think out a birth plan together – it will enable you to agree on your preferences for the delivery and get you totally prepared for the time labor begins.
As you are talking over your birth plan, consider possible digressions and alternatives should something unexpected arise or you will have to face unforeseen factors. It may not be the easiest of discussions, but you have to be open with one another and take into account any unpleasant complications that may occur and invalidate your plan. You should be ready for all sorts of developments.
Bear in mind that birth involves traditional values which you should respect
All along you partner may be unsure about labor and cherish misgivings that he is concealing. As you begin to experience the pains, it may get your partner down more than he admits. Let him know that you are aware about his feeling helpless and frustrated in this situation, and that there’s nothing you can do about it but get over it.
You husband may be averse to staying near your bed or in the delivery room during the childbirth due to his personal attitude, feelings, religious views or other reasons. If they are strong enough, they ought to be respected. Let him agree to the level of involvement that he will find comfortable and acceptable. His presence may result in his getting sick, stressed or upset in a way that will cause unnecessary complications. He should take on a role that ensures his normal functioning as a supportive participant.
Broach the possibility of an alternative birth partner or a doula. Both of you may come to the conclusion that your husband can fail to offer comfort and support in the process; then you should be ready to discuss other alternatives. A doula, a relative of yours or a staunch friend can be the answer to the problem. Arrange for a reliable birth participant beforehand in case they may come in useful.