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Giving birth

Expectant Dad Takes to Twitter for Labor Advice

"Expecting dad hoping to support his wife in the best ways possible here ready to take notes."

By Courtney Leiva
Expectant Dad Takes to Twitter for Labor Advice

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Who knew Twitter could be a goldmine of parenting wisdom? Case in point: @dave__whiteside's thread that's bursting with 15 fantastic tips for soon-to-be moms and dads.

Whether you need advice on handling overexcited in-laws or ensuring mom stays hydrated, this thread has got you covered. Don't miss out on these little gems of advice!

Give Some Love To Hospital Staff

It's no secret that hospital staff work tirelessly to keep us healthy, and labor and delivery staff are no exception. So, if you want to give them a little pick-me-up, why not take a cue from @jhubermd and at least offer them some coffee or snacks? It's a simple way to show your appreciation for all they do.

"You can support your partner by supporting the healthcare personnel responsible for her. Bring coffee and snacks, especially for the nurses and learners, especially if you're there overnight. Sometimes they're even too busy to pee, let alone grab a coffee."

Keep Your In-Laws In Check

We all know how excited your parents are to become grandparents, but let's be real, too many cooks in the kitchen can leave any new mom feeling overwhelmed. So, don't be afraid to set some boundaries and politely remind them that you both need the space.

"Kept my MIL out of the room."

Pack A Bag

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Don't be caught unprepared when you go into labor. Make your life easier by packing a bag with all the necessities, like extra clothes, snacks, and toiletries. Our hospital bag checklist has all the essentials you'll need. @Jessegenet is spot on!

"I'm gonna go basic on this: Bring tiny luxuries like gum, tic-tacs, her favorite juice or sparkling water, her favorite chapstick and lotion. These little things can make you feel human in the hospital and really take the edge off."

woman in pain in labour holding the hand of someone else iStock

Bring The Right Baby Home

Here's a little hilarious tip for you: Make sure you bring the right baby home from the nursery! As @JMargui points out, you don't want to be that dad! So give your little one a good once-over before you leave the hospital to avoid any mixups.

"As a father in the delivery room, you have one key job - memorize the face of your baby to make sure you bring the right one home. Beyond that, be a good father, understand that kids are not property but a sacred trust and also there’s no such thing as too much Vaseline!"

Keep Her Awake

Labor is a long and tiring journey, so be her rock, her emotional support system, and her chapstick bearer all in one. She'll thank you for all of it...trust!

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"Bring extra chapstick. And if she has a c-section help her stay awake during the procedure." (from @megannlively)

Be Present

@joyfaithstreng is right: Even if you aren't the one pushing, you can still be present in every way possible. Hold her hand, look her in the eyes, and let her know you're there for her from start to finish. It'll make all the difference.

"Hold her hand and be there to help her focus. I had to look into my husband’s eyes to focus. Don’t be alarmed if she grabs your shirt. It's part of the process. For some reason that seemed to help."

Communication Is Key

Don't underestimate the power of a simple question. Just ask her what she needs from you before and after birth, so you know exactly what to expect and can be the best partner you can be.

"Just ask her what she really needs/ expects from you."

Don't Be Afraid To Send The Baby To The Nursery

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When your little bundle of joy is brought home, be prepared for some serious sleep deprivation. So, until then, don't be afraid to send the baby to the nursery (if your hospital or birthing center has one available) after bonding and catch some z's...you both are going to need it.

"After the initial bonding, send the baby to the nursery! You’ll have enough sleepless nights awaiting you at home, and there’s a fully-trained staff to give you your last full night of sleep (for a while). And enjoy every moment! (from @kaylatausche)

woman in labour with a support person behind her and a nurse iStock

Kick Vistors Out

Here's a tip from @IraGilligan: Embrace your inner bad guy when it comes to visitors. New moms may be overwhelmed after giving birth, so if she is not feeling up to having visitors, make sure to communicate that to friends and family.

"Also, you need to be the bad guy. Kick visitors out when it gets to be too much. She shouldn't have to."

Don't Eat During The Delivery

That footlong sub may be delicious, but trust us, you don't want to cross mom when she's hangry. So, try to hold off on the sandwich until after the birth. It'll be a nice reward for you both.

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"Don’t eat in front of her. I was HUNGRY when I was in labor but couldn’t eat. My husband knew better than to chow down in front of me. "

Give Her Lots Of Water

Mom's probably going to be hungry during the delivery, but what she needs more than anything is water. And we're not just talking about a small cup or a water bottle. We're talking about a Stanley-sized jug of ice-cold water to quench her thirst and keep her hydrated. Great idea, @IraGilligan!

"When your wife asks you to bring her some water, she doesn't mean fill a Dixie cup by the sink. She means to fill up that gallon jug they gave her at the birthing center and make sure it's ice cold."

Wear Comfortable Shoes

We're not going to sugarcoat it: When you're a birthing partner, you better come prepared. That means wearing your comfiest clothes, dressing in layers, and most importantly wearing your comfiest pair of shoes. You'll be standing for hours anyway, and @jayhawk96 has a point: hospital floors aren't exactly plush.

"Wear comfortable shoes. Apparently, it's very uncomfortable to stand on those hard floors for hours."

woman in labour sitting on a birthing ball with a support person with her iStock

Be Responsible For Her After Care

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Once mom gives birth, she isn't going to be on her feet for a while, so it's up to you to make sure she has everything she needs (medicines, postpartum undies, toiletries, clothes, etc.) until she can finally go home. And, by the way, @inlauraswords is totally correct: hospital food is..uh...hospital food, so you'll definitely want to add 'delivery man' to your list of duties. But don't worry Dad, you got this!

"Be responsible for her aftercare. If a doctor comes in and says “this medicine every x hours,” write it down, give her the medicine, remember to ask the nurse for it if shifts change. Also, go out for takeout. There is no law that she has to eat hospital food."

Be Supportive During Her Recovery

Speaking of aftercare, have you heard that patience is a virtue? It's especially true for new moms who just went through a body-changing experience. So, as  @alexandrajacobs says, don't expect her to be up and running just yet because her body needs time to heal and adjust.

If she winds up with a C-section, which can be a truly harrowing Operation (as in the game)-like experience, don’t yell at her in the days afterward that she’s “not an invalid” and “needs to walk.”

Prepare For All Outcomes

Now, we're not saying anything crazy will happen during your delivery, but @Latorres is right: you'll want to be ready for just about anything. So, if you've already planned for all possible delivery outcomes, you'll also want to think about making some lactation plans too. Besides, your baby is going to need to be fed even in the midst of chaos. And last time we checked, being safe is always better than being sorry.

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"In case something unexpected happens: my husband had to be the one to get all the instructions from the lactation consultant - how to assemble the pump, clean it, etc. - because I was on magnesium and barely coherent, yet I still had to pump for my NICU babies."

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