The situation when future parents go to the hospital together is no surprise to anyone today. Men go to give birth for a variety of reasons: from the desire to help his wife to the banal curiosity, and women expect from their husbands, above all, “shoulder sensations”, feelings of support and security.
Be that as it may, the presence of a spouse (and indeed any maternity partner – for example, a mother) is truly justified only if he can provide the woman with more than moral support, but real help.
Ideally, the “giving birth” father should have his own field of activity and know what to do at each stage of labor. And for this, he should study in advance not only the theoretical side of the issue (that is, to get at least a general idea of how children are born), but also to master some practical skills: the simplest methods of anesthetic massage, generic breathing, special positions and exercises, that will help the future mother.
Together, spouses will be able to go through the process of childbirth as naturally as possible, even without anesthesia and medications.
Great help in preparing for the birth of the baby to future parents can provide courses on the program “Partner labor”. They are focused on married couples and will help partners to master in practice the “pain” positions, exercises, breathing techniques.
The future dad should be present only at normally proceeding births. If the pregnancy was not easy and there is a risk of complications during the birth of the baby, the husband is better to wait for the news at home.
To a person who is far from medicine, besides loving and anxious, it will be difficult to adequately assess the situation, and his presence can excite a woman even more and interfere with doctors.
A man who is willing to participate in childbirth:
- sincerely wants to be useful to his wife;
- helps her during pregnancy
- together with his wife he attends ultrasound and childbirth preparation courses,
- well imagines the course of labor;
- not prone to panic or pressure on others,
- able to manage your emotions.
At the initial stage of labor, the cervix under the action of contractions gradually opens, preparing to release the baby out. The future father should be prepared for the fact that it will take a lot of time: up to 10-14 hours for women waiting for their first child, and 6-8 hours for mothers with “long standing”.
Usually, a part of this period is spent on fees and the way to the maternity hospital, and is fairly easy, because the first contractions last only 15-20 seconds with an interval of 15-20 minutes.
By the time when the expectant mother is available to doctors, uterine contractions occur more often and become more pronounced. To reduce discomfort, with the approval of doctors, you can use a variety of ways: walk, lie down or sit in any comfortable posture, walk along a rodblok or corridor, go to a bath or shower (if the possibilities of the maternity hospital allow it).
And the partner’s task is to help in this, sensitively following all the wishes of the woman.
Active behavior during childbirth not only reduces pain, but also helps the baby to pass through the pelvis more easily. Mom will intuitively choose the position in which the baby’s head will move away from the pelvic wall and put less pressure on her, reducing pain. Helping your spouse will be indispensable in the search for this optimal position.
A woman can hang around her husband’s neck, arched at the back; press your back to him and rotate her hips, as if dancing (at this time the husband gently strokes her belly in a clockwise direction); sit with your back on his divorced knees (or squat between knees); get on all fours, elbows on a bed, a window sill or a chair and letting the man massaging his back. If a woman wants to lie down, the partner can raise her legs (in the supine position) or one of them (in the pose on the side).
A large inflatable ball (fitball) helps many expectant mothers during contractions: sitting on it, you can slightly jump, rotate the pelvis, with the support of your partner, lie on it with your chest or upper back, relaxing the lower back.
Another effective method of pain relief is massage. A spouse may massage his wife’s back with palms or fingertips in a circular motion, starting from the shoulder area, and then descending along the spine to the lumbar region.
Another option is tapping with the tips of the fingers on painful points or pressing the area of the sacrum with fists (although some women may not touch the lower back). You can also massage the abdomen, gently stroking it with the tips of the fingers of both hands from the bottom up, starting from the middle and then smoothly and slowly moving up the sides.
And during the bouts, and during the attempts of the future mother, it is important to breathe correctly. In this process, the man plays the role of a conductor, ensuring that the “musician” does not go astray. Breathing exercises reduce discomfort, switch a woman’s attention, but the main thing is that they increase blood supply to oxygen.
The principle is simple: when you approach the contraction, you should take a deep breath, during the contraction of the uterus – breathe often and superficially, “like a dog”, when finished – take a deep breath and exhale, and then try to relax and rest until the next contraction. At this time, the future dad should actively breathe with his wife, supporting her by her example, but at the same time – do not insist if she intuitively chooses a different, more comfortable type of breathing for her.
By the way, in the breaks between contractions, the spouse should also take the opportunity and take a break to save her strength: the emotional and physical reserve should be enough for the most stressful period – the attempts.
By the end of period 1, the cervix gradually opens up to 10 cm. The contractions become more painful, repeat every 1-2 minutes, and last 60-90 seconds. With the approach of full disclosure, a woman may want to push, but it is still early to do so (the expectant mother will be indicated by the midwife).
In order to restrain the potugh, you need to breathe shallowly and briefly, and the husband can cool his wife’s face with a damp cloth or wet the lips with water. By this time, women usually get tired and begin to behave restlessly. It is very important that a man, on the contrary, maximally gathered, was calm – at least outwardly – and literally beamed with positive emotions (severity is the lot of obstetricians, but not a maternity partner).
Positive attitudes (“everything is going fine”, “you are doing great,” “we are together”) and, of course, words of love are what a woman needs at this difficult moment. Only a close person can give that feeling of warmth, sincerity, affection that no one, even the most professional doctor, can provide.
The second stage of labor, the needy one, begins after the fallopian pharynx is fully opened and the child begins to move through the birth canal. When his head turns completely and gets the back of his head under the bosom of his mother, it is time to push.
This period takes 30-60 minutes during the first birth and 15-30 minutes – with repeated. In most maternity hospitals at this time, a woman is placed on a special generic bed with a raised head end – this makes it easier for doctors to follow the process.
At the same time, in many modern clinics other options are allowed, and this is another situation where strong hands of men will be very useful. For example, when trying to squat, the contractions are intensified due to the influence of gravity, but the woman’s legs quickly get tired.
The load can be reduced by putting your hands on the shoulders of your partner and midwife – while supporting the woman, they will take on some of the weight.
Another task of the husband – together with the midwife to set the rhythm of the attempts. The future mother should take a full chest of air and in one fight push three times, directing the energy “to the bottom” to the crotch zone. If a woman gives birth lying on a bed, she clings to special arms and rises, trying to see her navel.
The husband supports his wife’s head so that she is tilted to her chest as much as possible, straining with her and gently stroking her temples, cheeks and forehead. As soon as the child’s head appears, the main work can be considered to be done.
Literally for a couple of attempts, the whole body comes out, and happy parents can breathe a sigh of relief and remember the time of the birth of their own crumbs.
The long-awaited appearance of the baby into the world is not the end of childbirth. Now, the placenta, the placenta, the umbilical cord and the fetal membranes, must be released. As a rule, this requires 1-2 attempts.
With the advent of the young mothers re-desire to pull, her husband again helps her, supporting his head. At this time, the neonatologist deals with the baby: the umbilical cord is cut (in some maternity hospitals the father is allowed to do this), the skin and nasal passages are cleaned, examined, height and weight are measured (the father can also take part in this), swaddle.
Then the newborn is applied to her mother’s breast and, as the spouses admit, one of the most touching moments in family life comes – the first feeding of the baby. Further developments depend again on the rules of the maternity hospital: the newly-made father either goes home, or with his family goes to the postpartum ward, taking care of the baby.