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Husband rubbing wife's belly.

Delivery-day tips for expectant dads

Learn how to support your partner through every stage of childbirth.


Useful advice for soon-to-be fathers

After months of pregnancy and getting ready for life with your new baby, delivery day is your time to support the new mom-to-be. From getting her to the hospital to supporting her through childbirth, your involvement can go a long way to showing her how much you care.

You can expect to be at the hospital for two to three days — she could be in labor for up to 20 hours or longer — so follow her and her doctors’ or nurses’ instructions.

Also, do not hesitate to ask for help from your family or friends if you forgot something at home or need support. This is your special day as well, and your focus should be on being at the hospital.

Above all else, this day will be a memory both of you will share for a lifetime. Here are some sensible tips to keep in mind when delivery day arrives:

  • Be encouraging. She could feel vulnerable during childbirth, and might need your reassurance that she is doing a good job — especially when labor is at its peak.
  • Be humble. You have no idea what she is experiencing; do not attempt to lessen the pain of delivery by understating her discomfort.
  • Be patient. She might yell and scream at you or say things that hurt your feelings, so take it in stride and try to focus your energy in a positive way.
  • Be supportive. She might poke fun at herself during delivery if she feels awkward. Tell her she looks beautiful and you are proud of her. Encourage her.
  • Be respectful. If you choose to document the delivery, remember that you will watch this moment again. Choose your words — and what to record — carefully.
  • Be comfortable. You might have to stay overnight, so bring pajamas, a change of clothes, toiletries (toothbrush, toothpaste, razor, shaving cream, deodorant, etc.), and books or magazines. Make a list of family and friends’ phone numbers and email addresses so you can share the good news.

For more suggestions of what else you might need to pack, and other preparations, visit the Interactive Hospital Bag Checklist.

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