Listen up, daddies-to-be: When it comes to delivery room etiquette, the mama gets to make the rules. (You don’t have to agree with them. Just accept them.) Take a few hints from these real new-dad blunders and you’ll be on the right track.
DON’T: Go to sleep.
My husband took a NAP…and to make matters worse, SNORED!!! —annam829
DO: Push through it.
Yep, labor is likely to be exhausting to you too. But, hey — you stayed up 48 hours straight in college, and you can do it again now.
DON’T: Forget the camera.
He left both cameras in the car. Our daughter’s first moments are recorded on his iPhone. —nark
DO: Use it wisely.
Discuss paparazzi privileges with your partner in advance. Some women are cool with being photographed in labor, and others want only “after” pics. Either way, you’ll probably want to capture at least a good first family photo and some shots of the fresh, new kiddo.
DON’T: Lose it.
He turned white and the nurse had to stop helping me to get him get to a chair, and she took the oxygen off of me and gave it to him! —mel41g
Go to childbirth class, and keep your eyes open during the videos. Read up on delivery. Learn about the stages of labor, and get informed on the different forms of goo, needles, and medical equipment you might encounter. If you can seriously prepare, you’ll be far less likely to require smelling salts come D-Day.
DON’T: Leave your ringer on.
He was taking calls from work while I was pushing!!! —goillini823
DO: Forget the phone.
If your partner agrees, go ahead and send out a general update or two to the fam, but keep it to a minimum. And once pushing begins, turn that sucker off.
During pushing, he put my leg down and stretched, saying his arms were getting sore. Are you kidding me?! —Soter1
DO: Zip it.
This is one time where your lady has every right to any pity that’s going around. Whether you’ve got a paper cut, a sprained ankle, or a dislocated hip…the one pushing out a baby wins. Suck it up for just a little while longer.
DON’T: Stare at the flat-screen.
Before I started pushing, he was watching basketball on the TV in the labor room. When we had to switch rooms mid-labor, he freaked out because our new room was missing a remote. I was not amused. —AmyCC1980
*DO: Help her focus.
* Childbirth educators stress the importance of support and touch in labor — it can even help things progress more quickly and smoothly! Pull up a chair, touch her hand, tell her how great she’s doing (say it a thousand times if you need to), and keep eye contact with her — not the TV.