Perhaps you scoffed at the title of this article, but the truth is, if you can have your husband or partner feeling more comfortable and confident, you've got a better support system. Think of it like on the air plane when they tell you to place your own oxygen mask on first before helping others. It's the same way with those you've asked to help you give birth. They have to know what to do and to have the skills to do it.
Knowing what to expect from the birth process can be a really big step at helping dads feel more comfortable at birth. This can happen through childbirth education and even reading books or watching birth videos.
- Knowing what you expect from him.
Your birth plan first and foremost is a communication tool with your partner. It helps you both understand what is likely to be helpful to you and what it is you want out of the birth experience.
- How to cope with the pain of labor - his.
Watching someone he loves in pain is difficult. This is true, even if he knows that the end result is a beautiful baby. Some man feel more comfortable when they do not see you in pain at all, like with an epidural. This is where good communication skills come in.
- Treated respectfully.
Having your medical team treat you with respect will help him feel better about the situation. The jokes about him doing this to you? They all feel pretty real to him while you're in labor and he feels helpless to stop the machine that can be birth.
- Give him practical tools.
Something as simple as tools to know what to say, how to act or even a support system just for him in the way of a doula can go a long way towards helping him feel more comfortable in birth.