10 don'ts for dads in the delivery room (yes and you Robbie!)
From wolfing down a cheeseburger to treating the midwives to his best banter, here’s our list of 10 delivery room faux pas that many well-meaning dads may find themselves guilty of.
Over 90% of British dads attend the birth of their babies and many do a fantastic job supporting their partners in labour and welcoming their newborns into the world! But sometimes, just sometimes, they can take their big size 12 feet and stick them right in it.
Robbie Williams live tweets Ayda Field's labour
Robbie Williams is a prime example of this. In this modern age, the sharing of what was once a private moment is now the norm, and Mr Williams took it to the extreme when he live tweeted (with videos) his wife Ayda as she prepared to give birth to their second child.
And lets just say he didn't look like he was the most helpful birth partner.
Here's Robbie 'entertaining' Ayda with a little dance rountine
And singing Frozen...
While most women would have sent Robbie packing, his wife Ayda calmly starred in all the videos and played along - they're perfect for each other!
But how many of these cardinal rules of child birth do you think Robbie broke? Or do you like his social media display?
10 don'ts for dads in the delivery room
Delivery room faux pas are more common than you might think - just ask a midwife. Fortunately, most are quickly forgiven and forgotten once baby makes a safe arrival.
Hands off the gas and air
'I literally had to prize the thing back off of him. He was like a kid sucking on a helium balloon.'
Plenty of expectant dads look forward to a sneaky go on the gas and air; but you won't want your partner floating around the ceiling while you're suffering the agonies of childbirth. The gas and air is there to take the edge off your pain, not to give him a legal high.
Food faux pas
'He disappeared for ages and came back with a smelly meat pasty from the canteen. I think he got the message when I threw up over his new trainers.'
Despite what the adverts would have you believe, there's no way you're going to take kindly to him popping out for a Maccy D even if he brings you back a 99p cheeseburger! Discrete snacks are fine but sitting there stuffing his face and filling the delivery room with fast food odours is likely to make you want to heave and annoy the midwives no end.
'When he started complaining that he'd got tooth ache I threw a metal kidney dish at him.'
Sadly some men open their mouths before they engage their brains. But any man who dares moan in the delivery room either has a death wish or needs his head testing. So what if he's got a numb bum from spending half the night perched on a hospital chair, or he's struggling to keep his eyes open. This is definitely not the time to complain...about anything.
'He didn't make it to the antenatal classes but I swear he'd Googled midwife jokes before the big day. You should have heard my groans when he tried this one out on my midwife:
"Doctor, I keep having recurring nightmares where I'm surrounded by loads of pregnant women. Could I be having a midwife crisis?"
I think it was more painful than a contraction.'
He may have more banter than John Bishop and treat mischief making like an Olympic sport, but jokes in the delivery room are likely to go down like a lead balloon. Even if you usually love your funny man, this is one occasion when you're probably hoping to see his more serious side.
Unfortunately, some expectant dads just can't help themselves, especially if they're feeling nervous or restless. For a prime example of a long suffering wife with a joker hubby, check out the clip of the rapping hehehoohoo delivery room dad below but don't let your partner see or he might get a few ideas about becoming a YouTube sensation himself.
Step away from the pregnant lady
'I know he was trying to help but he literally drove me insane. He developed verbal diarrhoea, kept force feeding me ice cubes and must have asked me a 100 times whether I wanted a back rub.'
Ok, so he attended the antenatal classes, he read the magazines, even dared to sit through the odd episode of One Born Every Minute. There he is with his mood music, his scented candles and his hands poised ready to give the best back rub of your life but then, when the going gets tough you don't want to speak, don't want to be touched and couldn't give a stuff about Take That on the Ipod. Every time he moves close, you move to the other side of the room. You want to be left alone so that you can focus on coping with the contractions, but will he get the message. Sadly no. If this is the case then being brutally frank may be the only option.
Don't take it personally
'My husband was appalled by some of the things I called him during labour. He said I was like a woman possessed. At one point I actually threatened to castrate him!'
Pregnancy can bring out the best in a woman, but childbirth often brings out the worst. In fact hospitals the nation over echo with the sound of effing and blinding as women turn the air blue with the sort of expletives more suited to a football terrace than a delivery suite.
It's a partner's job to suck up everything you've got to throw at him. Even so, it might be worth apologising in advance for any abuse you might hurl his way during labour. Tell him it's a scientific fact that swearing in labour is in fact a form of pain relief. This is actually true. A study by Keele University found that volunteers who cursed at will were able to withstand pain nearly 50% longer than their civil-tongued peers.
Mother knows best
'Now honey, are you SURE you want an epidural, remember we wanted a natural delivery?' Not cool. Really not cool. One of the important roles a dad can play in the delivery room is to be your advocate and to make sure that your wishes are understood and respected. But even though you will have made and discussed a birth plan together, he needs to understand that you are entitled to change your mind. You are the one experiencing the pain of childbirth and the decisions are now yours to make, not his.
Don't act bored
'I couldn't believe it when he started making a work call.'
Labour can have a slow build up and the early stages can be a bit of a waiting game. That said, it's no excuse for fiddling with his phone, flicking through the TV channels, or playing Temple Run or Words With Friends.
'He was like a little league football coach shouting at me from the touch lines.'
When the midwife finally says that you're fully dilated and the time has come to push, excitement may suddenly get the better of him. It's at this point that he may start shouting 'PUSH' like a drill sergeant demanding 20 press ups! Either that or he may simply repeat the same phrase over and over: 'Keep going, you're doing really well.' Either is bound to drive you nuts.
Filter those thoughts
'When the placenta was delivered my husband said: "Oh my God, it' like you've given birth to a cow's stomach."'
Some things are best not said. If your husband does venture down the business end be warned, he may decide to regale you with a running commentary on what your body is doing, or simply come out with unhelpful comments like 'Is that normal?' Of course there's always a chance that your other half may be amongst the small group of delivery room dads who commit the ultimate delivery room faux pas and pass out. If he is at all squeamish it's probably best he knows his limits and stays head end at all time.
Was your partner at your birth? How did he fare? Let us know in the comments section below.
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