Delivery Room Dos and Don’ts for Dads

Must-read advice from dads who’ve been there and are ready to share wisdom from the frontlines.
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Updated July 12, 2017
Delivery room scene from the movie Knocked Up.
Image: Everett Digital

Congratulations, you’re about to be a dad! Contrary to popular belief, there are actually tons of guidebooks for how to parent. Seriously, you should have read one by now. But one thing they often skip over is what you should be doing in the delivery room. Whether you’re a first time father or a seasoned vet, here is a primer for every papa once everyone starts screaming. And there will be a lot of screaming.

DON’T: Forget the overnight bag. But also don’t forget to pack at least five day’s worth of clothing, emergency batteries of at least four sizes, a sturdy multi-tool, and a good tarp. It always pays to be prepared!
DO: Take a nap until things get going. At least one of you should be well rested when the kid comes out, right?

DON’T: Leave to grab a drink across the street. Yes, I know it’s the finals. Get a DVR. Your kid’s going to want a DVR.
DO: Encourage your partner by telling her exactly what she wants to hear! Maybe get this in writing beforehand.

DON’T: Take a selfie. Since you’ve got your phone out, why not just play some soothing music, you ding-dong.
DO: All you can to capture the magic of the day!

DON’T: Make a sandwich there. If you’re going to, bring some gloves. I’m not a doctor, but…germs?
DO: Bring a sandwich. You never know how long these things are going to go.

DON’T: Yell “ewwwwww” as soon as the baby comes out, even though you are totally justified because oh boy that is a lot of blood. But, you know, just try to keep it together.
DO: Some prep work before the big day by watching The Miracle of Life on YouTube.

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DON’T: Forget that you are your partner’s advocate to the hospital staff. She might be too busy to fight for what she wants.
DO: Practice your freshest jokes on the doctors. Those folks have a tough job, and I bet they haven’t heard the one about the hypochondriac horse!

Jaya Saxena and Matt Lubchansky are the creators of Dad Magazine, and their dad-centric satire will be available in book form in April 2016. Their work has appeared throughout the Internet on the Toast, The Daily Dot, Entertainment Weekly, Men’s Journal, The Guardian, The Nib, and WNYC’s TLDR podcast, among others. They live in New York.

Please note: The Bump and the materials and information it contains are not intended to, and do not constitute, medical or other health advice or diagnosis and should not be used as such. You should always consult with a qualified physician or health professional about your specific circumstances.

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