7 Things Dads Shouldn't Do in the Delivery Room

LOL 91

Delivery roomLast month, a 24-year-old Muslim man was arrested after assaulting a nurse trying to deliver the baby his wife was working hard to push out. It seems that, in an effort to make her more comfortable and help her prepare for the final countdown before the newborn debuted, the poor nurse tried to take off the laboring woman’s burqa. Her husband spotted the scene unfolding through a window, broke down a locked door, and punched the nurse dead in the face.

Now, that’s an extreme example of what shouldn’t happen when a gal is huffing and puffing her way through the process of bringing forth new life. And suffice it to say that abusing the medical professionals is generally foolish since they guarantee all ends well in the birthing room. But physical altercations aside, there are other things that men shouldn’t say or do in interest of keeping the peace in the delivery room.

Don’t ask the mother-to-be for status updates. There’s an assortment of surefire ways to get laid out, cussed out, or put out. Asking, even ever-so-gently, “how’s it coming along?” or “how much longer do you think it’s going to be?” ranks right up there at the top of the list. You don’t rush a cake in the bakery and you don’t rush a bun in the oven.

More from The Stir: Why Dads Belong at Baby Showers

Don’t get sleepy or act like you’re bored.
Look sir, chances are pretty good you managed to stay up during the process of conceiving the child, so you can surely stay alert while your better half produces the finished product. If she can’t get any rest with contractions squeezing her woman parts every few seconds, guess what? Neither should you. Tough it out.

Don’t treat her body like a visual aide from 6th grade health class. That means squelching the urge to shriek “ewww! What’s that?!” or “oh my gosh! I didn’t know it would stretch that wide!” Not helping. Not helping one bit.

Don’t complain about anything. For God’s sake man! Do you have a death wish? That woman is doing more work in this little window of time than you’ll do in a six-month stretch, maybe even six years. If you’re feeling restless, tired, or otherwise unengaged, just imagine what it’s like for her. That’s right. Empathy.

Don’t hype up the contractions. Don’t enthusiastically announce when the fetal monitor shows one’s on the way. Don’t relish in the magnitude of it once it (finally, slowly, achingly) passes. She was there. She felt it when it was coming on and she felt it the whole live long way through.

More from The Stir: 5 Ways Dads Can Bond With Baby

Don’t amuse yourself. If there was ever a time to be completely and totally focused on her, this would be it. Every few minutes, her insides are being squeezed and wrung out like a dollar store sponge. It’s OK to send the occasional text to keep family and friends in the loop but beyond that, Words With Friends or the Steelers game is just going to have to wait.

Did someone you love contribute to a delivery room horror story?

Image via footloosiety/Flickr

birth stories, delivery, labor, labor & delivery


To add a comment, please log in with

Use Your CafeMom Profile

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Comment As a Guest

Guest comments are moderated and will not appear immediately.

Freela Freela

I would add don't pass out!  My friend's hubby got faint and had all the nurses gathered around him during her delivery... then he got nauseous and ended up waiting out in the hall (luckily a good friend was also there to support her so she wasn't left all alone!)  For their next two kids, he stayed at home to provide childcare while her parents supported her in the delivery room!

My dh was pretty good in the delivery room, though I would say that when your wife is nine months pregnant it's a good idea not to let the gas tank get completely empty, and it's advisable to push past the teens getting carded buying cigarettes if you are waiting to pay for gas while your wife labours in the car!

SicTr... SicTransitGlori

Thankfully I don't (I told my boyfriend to remain as quiet as possible because I don't want to have to hurt him). My friend was telling me about her husband in the delivery room. He kept looking at the emerging baby's head and exclaiming "Is this normal?!". LOL

momma... mommaluvto5

During my hospital birth I didn't mind the hyping of contractions.  It made me feel like he was amazed how I could handle something so intense.  It was a confidence booster.  "Whoa babe!  That contraction was huge!  You did great!!"  But during the contraction he still rubbed my arm and other things to help out... if he ignored me to stare at the moniter I would have been upset.

One thing I'd add to the list is do not make jokes during contractions and pushing.  Laughing during a contraction hurts... and the jokes take away the mom's concentration.  Go ahead and joke in between if the mom seems up to it... but let her focus the rest of the time. (Speaking from experience).

Waltz... WaltzingMtilda

I should give fair warning by saying I am bitter to this day about how things went down during my labor with my first (10 years ago!). My DH, mother, and two sisters were in the room with me. I went in without any kind of plan but as labor progressed my mother and sisters sat AT THE FOOT OF THE BED and stared at my crotch the whole time. I was in pain and out of it and couldn't tell them to get the eff out. It wasn't until a while later that I realized how upset and violated I felt about it and I still walk out of the room anytime one of them brings it up. My little sister is due in March and is adamant that no one but her boyfriend be there, specifically because she doesn't want anyone seeing her the way she saw me. This makes me want to punch her. Not that I would even want to be there, but how the three of them lacked the common sense to not get up and leave is beyond me.

My second baby was a planned C (first baby ended up as an emergency C) but if I were ever to attempt vaginal birth again no one who is not a medical proffessional would be allowed in the room.


momto... momtolittleg

Great advice for men (and anyone, really)!  They should teach this stuff in childbirth class!

My hubby was great in the delivery room.  I had a fantastic epidural so I couldn't tell when I was having a contraction- he had to watch the monitor.  He kept me up to speed on the baby's heartbeat, too, which was great.

NatAndCo NatAndCo

My boyfriend was great, but the doctor needed a swift kick to the butt. Is like to add that you should never say "Now push with the next contraction, but this time without all the screaming," to a woman in labor. It's a little annoying.

Disney17 Disney17

It really depends on the couple and the length of labor. I don't think it's right to treat the husband like a school boy in trouble. He should be able to get a snack, use the restroom, and even take a little nap if he needs to. Oh, and he will say something stupid, but most likely, he didn't mean to sound like an idiot; men really are amazed by childbirth, so take it as a compliment.

nonmember avatar Tonya

I allowed my aunt in form the birth of my first child. She had read that women's lips get dry during childbirth, so she must have offered me chapstick fifty times. And she was all perky, like, "CHAPSTICK?!" Seventeen hours into it, I wanted to punch her and tell her to shove that chapstick up her butt. Then when the time came to push, she was all, "Push! Push! Pushpushpushpush......" As I WAS PUSHING. Needless to say, she was not invited in the second time around.

tifferie tifferie

Don't fall asleep! My sisters husband slept through most of her labor. He only woke once when my nieces monitor went off. Needless to say, he was escorted out of the room.

nonmember avatar Alexis

I agree with Disney17. My hubby is more than welcome to do what he needs while waaaaaiting for something to happen. That being said: He brought a GameBoy to the hospital and played it while I was in labor with our firstborn. (I didn't use pain meds for the fact that I had never been in labor before and was curious to see what it felt like and how I handled it!) He irritated the heck out of me by saying "Good job honey" WHILE STARING AT THE GAMEBOY SCREEN! Then, since he loved the 'Price is Right', he said "Push hard so she's born during this show! Wouldn't that be cool?" :S He's since learned how I would like him to support me while I labor. ;)

1-10 of 91 comments 12345 Last