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One Dad Asked How to Support His Wife in Labor: the Internet Delivered

From post-delivery snacks to labor playlists and being an advocate, over 1,800 people shared their best advice for supporting a partner during childbirth. What advice would you add?
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By Wyndi Kappes, Associate Editor
Published January 19, 2023
mother and father holding newborn baby in hospital room after delivery
Image: Hanna Hill Photography | Shutterstock

For first-time parents, there’s nothing quite as nerve-wracking as preparing for labor and delivery. From making a birth plan to packing the perfect “go-bag,” there’s plenty that you can do to prep, but all the resources in the world can still leave you wondering—what more can I do? One dad-to-be took to the internet to ask just that.

Dave Whiteside, who is expecting a baby with his partner on March 27, recently asked Twitter a big question: “What is one thing that your partner did, said or brought to the hospital that really helped you through your birth experience?”

Whiteside added that he and his wife had already done plenty of research as to what to expect and talked about what he could do for her specifically. But the couple still wanted to know more, specifically from “moms who knew their partner nailed it” rather than dads who confidently assumed they got it all right.

It turns out the internet was more than happy to help. Over 792,000 people viewed Whiteside’s post, and more than 1,800 commented their best advice on how he can earn a husband gold star in the delivery room.

Many experienced moms, dads and doulas espoused the major need for the partner to be a firm advocate during the process—especially when things don’t feel right.

While some parents and health professionals shared physical must-haves like a labor playlist, after-delivery snacks and little luxuries like chapstick, lotion and gum.

Some commenters also noted the importance of working with healthcare professionals and taking their after-care recommendations to ensure mom gets the best care possible.

Finally, others noted how dads can show up with acts of service in the hours, days and months following childbirth.

After thousands of responses, Whiteside thanked commenters for their tokens of advice. “When I made this tweet, I was definitely not expecting 1,400+ comments and for this to literally become newsworthy. The support has meant a lot and I’ve added SO many notes,” he wrote.

If you are looking for even more resources on preparing for baby’s birthday check out these labor tips from mom’s who’ve been there.

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