I can only advise you from the mothers point of view. Give her lots of encourgement, tell her how well she is doing, lots of praise, tell her when you can see the head (as I did not believe the midwife when she said it). Good luck to you both.
Joined: 26 Mar 2009 18:25 Posts: 4779 Location: East Kilbride
my advice - again from a mum's view is just be there. I had really painfull contractions early on, and was really upset on the way to the hospital - Neil was a huge help encouraging me to do things to take my mind off the pain - texting folk saying where I was going etc. During the labour Neil was essential - 25 hours is a long exhausting time. I just really needed him to hold my hand and comfort me as much as possible - not laugh when I got totally high on Gas and Air But afterwards was when he really became useful. I had a forcep delivery and was sticthed for almost 2 hours after delivering Ella. He got to do the first feed - which he loved, but then I needed lots of re-assurance, and love while they stitched me with almost no pain relief. As for what to expect - Neil describes my labour as a day which proved to be the best and the WORST in his life. He was devestated by the pain I was in and says himself he wishes he could have done much more to take it all awy for me. Also gave the best day - with the arrival of Ella. He freely admits being totally torn emotionally. - go look after his newborn daughter, or support his wife while she was stitched for almost 2 hours. Good luck with the day xx
Joined: 03 Feb 2009 00:24 Posts: 6074 Location: Windsor, Berkshire
If you can't find much information from a male's perspective, try looking at as much info as you can from a female's perspective and look at it as empathetically as you can. Put yourself in her place and ask yourself what you think she would need from you at specific stages during the labour. I would also look into what happens after the birth, especially anything on Post Natal Depression and Baby Blues.
Above all else, just be there for her, don't leave her side, support her, encourage her and reassure her. Needless to say, that statement goes for before AND after the birth.
My partner was fantastic during the whole ordeal and I could never have done it without him. It's something about him that I will always remember and could never take for granted.
Do all of the above and all will be well. Just remember not to say anything stupid that may aggrevate her! For instance, I can't stand it when someone tells a pregnant woman to breathe when she is in labour. Breathing is something she has been doing since the day she was born so why would she forget at that particular point in her life?!