This is part 2 in the Helpful Dads series!

(Read part 1 HERE!)

Now the time you’ve been anticipating is finally here. The baby is coming! It seemed to take forever, yet it came so fast! These tips will keep you cool as a cucumber and help you to be the best coach that Mom could ask for during labor and delivery.

10 Ways To Help Your Partner During Labor & Delivery

BE PREPARED: Educate yourself on what to expect about the symptoms of labor and the stages of labor from the childbirth classes you attended or by reading. Having an idea of what to expect eases fears you may both have. Know where you will be taking her to deliver, the route you will be traveling, where you will be parking. Any detail you can plan ahead you will be glad you did, and so will she!

  • BE PRESENT: Turn off or silence your cell phone. Give Mom your undivided attention. Enjoy this time of your baby’s birth. Be available for whatever she needs. Let her know she is the only person in the world at this moment
  • HELP HER TO BE AS RELAXED AND COMFORTABLE AS POSSIBLE: In the early stages, help her to do anything that helps her relax, like watching TV, napping, showering, listening to relaxing music. As labor progresses, keeping her as comfortable as possible will be important. You can use guided imagery, massage, or calming touch. Be aware that some moms like to be touched and held during labor, but some do not. Follow her cues.
  • HELP TIME CONTRACTIONS: Time the contractions in seconds, starting from the beginning of one contraction to the beginning of the next one. Follow the guidelines her provider has given her for when to report to the hospital or birthing center, as far as how close the contractions are coming. It may depend on whether this is her first baby or not. 
  • TRANSPORT HER SAFELY TO THE HOSPITAL: When that time has come, get her safely to the hospital. Allow for the transport time. Remain as calm as possible. This is precious cargo, after all!  
  • BE HER ADVOCATE: Know what she wants and stand up for her. Does she wish for no one else to attend the birth? If so, you need to be able to enforce her wishes. Are people calling her or distracting  her? You need to take over for her. Help her wishes to be known to friends and family and also the hospital staff, as permitted.
  • KEEP HER HYDRATED: Get her water and ice chips as needed and permitted. Check with the hospital staff regarding what she is allowed to eat or drink. Usually fluids are okay, but depending on how imminent delivery is expected, food is usually not permitted, in the case of an emergency C-section.
  • HELP HER WITH BREATHING EXERCISES: Now is the time to practice what you have learned in childbirth classes. If you have not attended classes, the nurses will tell her how to breathe and stay focused. Your job is to coach her, breathe with her, help her stay focused on that one contraction and getting through it, one at a time. Then help her relax in between contractions.
  • BE HER CHEERLEADER: The support, encouragement, and praise you give her are so important! She will never forget how you were there for her! This is a team effort. She is doing the work, but having a great coach/cheerleader is the saving grace that gets her through this scary and painful, yet beautiful and exciting, experience.
  • BE TOUGH: Do not let yourself get offended! Do not take anything personal! Expect that you may wonder “who is this person”? It happens. Childbirth can be frightening and painful and you need to understand that everyone reacts differently to this type of stress. This is not the time to get mad at her! If she says something hurtful or yells at you, just let that roll right off and hang in there. She will probably be thanking you later for being there for her and being a great coach!

Congratulations! Your beautiful baby is here!

Life will never be the same from this moment on. But it will be more beautiful and more full of a love that you can never imagine until you hold your precious child in your arms.


Other posts in this series:

10 Ways to Help Your Partner During Pregnancy (Helpful Dads Series, Part 1)


Take advantage of these additional resources available to you:

Strong Families Program

Education & Support (

Courageous Dads Program

Father’s supporting father’s (

Article by:

Lisa Zartman RN, RNC-MNN


How to Support a Woman in Labor: A Childbirth Cheat Sheet For Partners

Birthing partner 101: Advice for partners and dads during labor | BabyCenter

Tips and Advice For New Dads During Labor and Delivery

Tips and advice for new dads during labor and delivery | Novant Health | Healthy Headlines


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