The time spent in the delivery room isn't easy on either partner, though it's definitely more painful for one than the other. But for any men who are by their partner's side as she labors, there are certain things that he should be aware of before entering the birthing suite.
Emma Lou Harris sums up exactly how guys can make the experience better or worse for moms during potentially the most painful experience of their lives, and lays down the law in a viral post to Facebook with this list of 11 rules.
- Get yourself together; stay calm, when labor starts there's no going back buddy.
- Humor, IS welcome. Make her laugh. She may threaten to kill you stone dead, but inside she's peeing her little pantaloons and appreciating how funny you are. Nobody wants father stone sitting at their bedside while they pass a human.
- NO, you don't have time to "pop out for a quick smoke" mid pushing.
- Take the photos. Mommy and baby asleep? Lap it up and snap it up.
- FORGET IMMEDIATELY about, you know, the labor poo. We know it happened. We know that you know it happened . . . so just stop using it as some sort of proof of love. "I watched you sh*t on a table and I'm still around" kind of thing.
- Do not ask if you can have a go at milking us . . . it's actually not as funny as you find it.
- You bring food! You bring it [after the baby is born]. Day or night. You do not dare leave that hospital and return empty handed.
- When she sends you to get her clothes to wear home, be realistic. . . . This perception of women floating out of the maternity with a curly blow dry and a golden tan, complimented by a floral Laura Ashley summer dress and gladiator sandals is B.S. my friend. We're talking leggings here, boys! Lord, we might even stretch to jeggings if we're a hero. But LOOSE is the keyword here.
- You better compliment those [baggy clothes]. WE KNOW we're dressed like we're preparing to paint our living room ceilings, but all the same, if you could just dig it, that would be great. A simple "Dayyyym girl, you rockin' that Fruit of the Loom" would be sufficient.
- Do NOT, I repeat, DO not keep mentioning how tired you are. You're not the hero here. If there are no awards being handed out to us, there sure as hell isn't a trophy being engraved especially for you to congratulate you on your 22 hours of waiting! Just be grateful you're going home with your genitals still intact.
- Enjoy it. Enjoy baby and enjoy the mother of your child. She may not admit it, but your lady is at her most vulnerable. Probably the most vulnerable she'll ever be. So be there. And she'll be there for you.