As you and your partner await the arrival of your little one, it’s common for some nervousness to build up. Making labor plans and prep will be vital tools to ease your worries. At the end of the day, the person who’s sharing the most with your baby is you, so make her arrival a shared experience with your partner. Involve him and make him a part of the big day!

Dad’s labor prep
• Read a little bit about childbirth. You’ll feel more empowered if you know the signs and symptoms of labor, what to do when mom starts getting contractions and what can be expected in the delivery room. All of this information may help you make fast decisions and be a helping hand throughout the process.
• Most likely you’re the designated driver, which means you should map the fastest route to the hospital (taking into account changes in traffic) and call ahead to learn about the hospital’s policy on parking.
• Get the car seat ready. Although seemingly simple, it’s harder than it looks! Plan ahead and take your time reading through the instructions to ensure maximum safety for your newborn.
• Pack your bags! You can help your partner pack hers or simply get yours ready. If you’re planning on staying with her in the hospital, think ahead and be ready to leave in the blink of an eye!

Dad’s role during the actual labor
• Distract your partner during the first stages of labor. Know that it can be a frustrating and long process, so be there for her every step of the way.
• Take shorts walks with her around the hospital (unless advised otherwise by your doctor).
• Help her time her contractions.
• Massage her shoulders, back, feet and basically anywhere she may feel discomfort.
• Try different relaxation techniques together (quick tip: an easy one is to focus your attention on your breath for a minute, rest and repeat).

Labor will be hard work for both of you. Anxiety and nerves may get the best of you, so take that into account at all times and support one another. Most importantly, enjoy the ride, your little baby girl will arrive sooner than you think!