11 Types of Dads You Meet on the Maternity Ward

new dadA trip to the maternity ward brings many things: unprecedented anticipation and excitement. Anxious grandparents, cautious older siblings, and capable midwives. Mesh underwear by the caseload. And, of course, the dads...


Here they are, the 11 dads you're bound to meet on the maternity ward:

The Sympathizer
He doesn't have a vagina, but he sure wants one! The Sympathizer feels the pain right alongside his partner. This dad matches Mom grunt for grunt. When she sweats, he sweats. When she cries, he cries. When she is in transition, he is in....who knows what, but it's loud and unattractive. Back slowly away from The Sympathizer.

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The "A" Student
The "A" Student has taken the birthing classes. He has read "What to Expect" and practiced a variety of breathing techniques alongside his partner. He knows how to time contractions. He could identify a rogue mucus plug from a mile away. Ask this guy what meconium is. Don't be shy.

The Spielberg
It's true, the miracle of birth is film-worthy. The Spielberg knows that and is bound and determined to capture the glory from every angle. He understands that certain moments can only be memorialized by pointing a camera directly into the great beyond of an undercarriage. The Spielberg doesn't notice that he's boxing out the doctor with his Handycam because he's so pleased with the fluorescent lighting he's found to accent the crowning.

The Pacer
The Pacer simply does not know what to do with himself. He forgot everything he learned in pre-natal classes the second the water broke. He's aware that it's frowned upon to play Candy Crush Saga, and he wants to look busy. The Pacer follows a predictable course, much like a mall walker, so just stay to the right and you should be able to avoid a collision.

The Cheerleader
Enthusiasm is this guy's middle name. Every contraction is a touchdown. "I see the head!!!!" is his rallying cry. The Cheerleader will create an upbeat and "can-do" vibe at first, but things will devolve. Quickly. Nobody wants a fist-pumping super-fan in the room during an episiotomy.

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The Sports Fan
The Sports Fan is so busy making changes to his fantasy football lineup that he briefly (but repeatedly!) forgets that his wife is in labor. This guy yells a lot, like The Cheerleader, but he does so at inappropriate times. Things would work out better for The Sports Fan if his wife could time her pushes to the ESPN highlight reel.

The Facebook Status Updater
This excited dad wants to make sure that his friends don't miss a thing. While others issue a post-birthing update with key details such as gender and name, the Facebook Status Updater wants to ensure that a live-stream of the whole blessed event is on your newsfeed. This will include rapid- fire updates ("The baby is crowning!"), video confessionals with the in-laws, and prodigious use of hashtags (#blessed).

The Fainter
The Fainter just cannot hold it together. He has a weak constitution; it's not his fault. If he's lucky, The Fainter will regain consciousness in time to cut the cord, at which point he will promptly lose consciousness again because that sh*t is gross.

The Web MD-er
He is unsure about the obstetrician's decision-making skills when it comes to labor and delivery. Sure that is the specialty of the obstetrician. No matter. Although The Web MD-er doesn't have an actual medical degree, what he does have is Wi-Fi and access to unlimited medical information via his cell phone. Let's hope nobody is breech, because the Web MD-er has his own thoughts on how to manage breech babies.

The Proud First Timer
This guy is bursting with enthusiasm for his offspring. He can be distinguished from the veteran dads by what he has brought along for the delivery: a dozen Cuban cigars, eight swaddles, a Diaper Genie, Baby Bjorn, swing, emergency supply kit (in case the hospital does not have emergency supplies) and matching father-son outfits that say "Big Slugger" and "Little Slugger."

The Been-There-Done-That
This isn't this guy's first rodeo. He knows that the cafeteria serves chicken parmesan on Wednesdays, and he'll tell you where the best vending machines are. He is of course pleased about the impending birth of his newest child, but don't expect The Been-There-Done-That dad to have a customized onesie ready. He'll be carrying a backpack filled with hand-me-downs. Pink onesie for a new boy? No problem. The Been-There-Done-That Dad knows that babies are babies are babies. This is the guy you want near you on the ward.

What type of delivery room dad was your partner? Be honest.


About the Author: Liz Faria spent much of the past decade as a social worker and photographer. Now a full-time mom and blogger, Liz writes about the joy and ridiculousness that is motherhood at A Mothership Down. You can also find her on Facebook.


Image via © iStock.com/BarnabyChambers

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