You may be the one carrying the baby and doing the whole giving birth bit. But even if the birth goes smoothly, the hubs may be upset when he sees you in pain. So, prep him now so that you can both experience more together while welcoming baby.
1. Sign him up for an antenatal class
“Encourage him to read up on labour, so he understands what will happen,” suggests Elizabeth Duff, senior policy adviser at parents’ charity National Childbirth Trust in the UK. You could also do an antenatal class together. “Look for one that focuses on dads, as well as mums,” suggests clinical psychologist Mia Scotland
2. Do up a list
Let him know what’s most important to you in terms of your birth plan. The traffic light system works well — green is what you want to happen, amber is what you want to avoid as far as possible, and red is what you absolutely don't want, unless it's vital. Draw up a list, including pain relief preferences, and give it to him.
3. Make a stand
Where he stands when you deliver is an important decision. “Ask him to decide if he wants to see the baby coming out, or stand next to you and hold your hand,” says Scotland. “If his wishes are different to yours, try to reach a compromise.”
4. Keep him busy
There are lots your man can do to help you out on the Big Day, including having water and snacks ready when you need them. “My hubby and I created a ‘labour playlist’ together, detailing everything I might need on that day,” says Shelley Cheng, 34, mum to Dylan, 8 months.
5. Warn him of strange behaviours
During labour, you may go into a different mental zone, which can be unnerving for your man. “Warn him in advance that you could ignore him, shout or behave strangely,” Scotland notes.
6.Take a break
Let him know he can always take a break during the birthing process to regroup emotionally. Tell him this before the day, so you don't have to worry about having to look after him.