Dads: 10 ways to avoid being the worst birth partner ― ever!

Husbands, make sure you don’t utter these boo-boos to your labouring wife in the delivery suite.

It’s all systems go in the delivery suite. Your wife’s getting contractions at regular intervals, while the doctors and nurses are making sure things progress smoothly.

In the midst of all this bustle, you are trying your best to be a supportive spouse. Yet, many first-time dads have no idea just how long and tiring the labour process can be. As the hours go by, chances are, you might end up saying more than you should, or worse, saying stuff you really shouldn’t.

It’s great you want to be to welcome your baby into the world with your wife, but make sure first to check out our list of things that are best left unsaid in the labour ward, even if you have the best intentions!

No woman wants to be reminded that her hair is unkempt or she has prominent eye bags when she has way more important business to worry about.

#1 I just need to take this call.

She: No, you don’t!
Truth of the matter: Nothing in the office is more important than your wife huffing and puffing with all her might to deliver your offspring. Your clients and business deals can wait. Heck, your boss can wait, too.

#2 How long will this take?

She: Does it look like I’m taking my time?
Truth of the matter: Husbands, your wife is not deliberately keeping the baby in. So, it’s best that you refrain from checking the clock or plan any snooker sessions with your buds later. Oh, you’ll be wise to cancel all your appointments until the following week.

#3 You look exhausted!

She: I am entitled to look this way!
Truth of the matter: It’s a well-intentioned comment, but seriously, after hours of contractions, can anyone look like she’s ready to party? No woman wants to be reminded that her hair is unkempt or she has prominent eye bags when she has way more important business to worry about.

#4 I’m exhausted/hungry

She: How do you think I feel?
Truth of the matter: One husband I know told his wife that he was both hungry and exhausted and requested to go to the hospital cafeteria for a break. Meanwhile, she’s crunched on nothing but ice cubes for the past few hours. Don’t be surprised if your wife tells you not to bother coming back to the delivery suite after you’ve satisfying your hunger pangs.
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#5 Does it really hurt?

She: No, it doesn’t.
Truth of the matter: Duh.

#6 Just relax…

She: Sure, all that’s emerging from me is a baby the size of a football.
Truth of the matter: My own husband said this to me. Did he think I was lying on a chaise lounge sipping cocktails and enjoying a massage? I no longer recall what my reply was but according to him, my words aren’t fit to be printed in a family-friendly parenting website!

#7 You're hurting my arm!

She: Don’t move!
Truth of the matter: According to a former colleague, after he uttered those words, he swore is wife not only gripped his arm even harder, she even bit it! He now offers advice to men going into the labour ward ― make sure you wear the thickest long-sleeved shirt you own. If you don’t have one, go buy one. It will shield you from the cold hospital draught and more importantly, protect your arm from vice-like grips.

No two births are the same and even if the subsequent deliveries are faster, contractions are no less painful or intense.

#8 Many women have done it, so can you!

She: Do I get a gold membership card?
Truth of the matter: Maybe you think you’re encouraging your wife, but no woman experiencing labour needs to be reminded that she’s following in the footsteps of millions of others before her. It’s her own battle and she’s fighting it her way.

#9 I Can’t Look At This…

She: Why are you standing at the back of the bed?
Truth of the matter: Hurray, it’s almost the end of the journey! Everyone in the delivery suite is cheering your wife on. Your baby’s crowning. Alas, many a brave man has made it thus far only to utter these words and take a step back. Then again, maybe it’s for the better. Who hasn’t heard (or know personally) of some gung-ho dad with his video camera all ready to capture the scene, only to faint when the big moment came.

#10 It’ll be easier the second time

She: Have you given birth yourself?
Truth of the matter: Husbands, know this ― no two births are the same and even if the subsequent deliveries are faster, contractions are no less painful or intense. By the way, your wife has barely made it past the first baby and you are already thinking of your second?

Of course it doesn’t mean you have to stay completely silent when your wife’s in labour. Remember, being by her side is already your greatest gift. If all else fails and the only thing you can do is grin and bear it, by all means just do it.

Photos: iStock

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