How do you Support Your Wife During a Pregnancy?

So a lot of you guys have maybe a delivery, your wife might be pregnant, about to get pregnant, or you might actually know around the date you might end up in the hospital trying to support your wife. And the question is, what do you do? How do you support your wife really well through a delivery process? Whether that be in the hospital or in a birthing center or at home in a home delivery, what are some of the best ways to do that? And I have a friend Kyle Ranson who wrote this amazing article. It has like 10 points. I’ll put it in the Facebook group, so you guys can read all the points. But three of them really stood out to me as like, “Oh my gosh, this is so important.”

Okay. The first thing he says is, “Learn. Okay. Know the basic nuts and bolts of labor. Terms like dilation and effacing.” This is true.

It’s important that you know, what’s going on, figure out what’s going on. There are a lot of things that need to happen that decisions that might need to be made in a moment. This happened in a couple of our deliveries where suddenly, like I found myself having to make the sort of deciding vote. And because I had learned a lot of these things, it was possible. There’s actually one case in which I went against what the doctor wanted and it turned out, not that it was, it was a monitoring situation that could have really created some problems for us later. And so I just said, “Hey, is there a way we can do it differently?” I just, I knew enough about it, that I was able to help redirect in that situation.

Another one is be an advocate, be the chief advocate for your wife. Don’t rely on doctors and nurses to take care of her. You do it. Consider that the nurses and doctors are just there to help you take care of her. I love this point. So it’s your job to be the primary advocate for your wife. A lot of things are happening in the hospital. Nobody is directly thinking about your wife and your baby as much as you are, right? Nurses might have five different people they’re caring for, doctors might be running around between 10 different patients. You need to be the advocate. That’s another reason why you want to be educated.

And the last one he said is direct traffic. Once labor starts, your wife will be busy. So it’s up to you to manage the traffic. This also applies to family and friends coming to visit all of you in the hospital after the baby’s born, take on that responsibility in the first few weeks. Understand where your wife’s energy level is, how to protect her, how to protect your baby, how to make sure that you’re introducing family and friends in a way that’s really good for everyone. Don’t be passive guys. You need to be sort of that traffic director and making decisions and make sure that this is an experience where you want your wife to have a conversation with you a month after the delivery and say, “Wow, my trust for you went up a few notches because of what I experienced you do for me and for our family through that delivery”, that is a huge win. And each one of you guys can really get to that win if you really think through this well and take on the responsibility.

But Jeff, you guys have been through this three times recently.

Yeah, last couple of years. Totally. I think exactly. These three are huge and what they, they all have the same theme of it’s so much better of a process if the dad takes some ownership. I think sometimes in our culture and our culture actually doesn’t want you to. So sometimes it will be a little against the grain for the dad to take ownership. Sometimes you’re kind of just pushed aside, like just sit there and watch, or I think back in the day they actually had to hang out in the waiting room, which is fascinating.

Right. Smoking a cigar.

Yeah, exactly. Take ownership. Right. And what that is, take ownership of learning. You have to know the things. I mean, yeah. Now at this point and in the season, I don’t feel like I’ve, I probably have heard how far are you dilated or how far were you dilated a hundred million times between all the stories of the moms that come over and Alyssa and in the hospital, it’s just like, that’s, you know what that means and how that ties to the narrative, which is fascinating.

And then, yeah, advocate. I think that’s another one as well, too. Especially if you, sometimes you’ll have a wife that, I’d say one out of 20 maybe are like, they almost want to be the one that’s kind of like saying all the details and all that, and that’s fine. But I think in general, yeah, the father can really help relieve a lot of that stress by saying, “Hey, let’s do this.” If you know what your wife wants, because it’s not you either. It’s not what you think is the best idea saying no, what she wants speaking up for it. And then the direct traffic one is huge, I think. Whether you’re more of an introverted, extroverted, passive, active type of personality, I still think it’s incumbent on you, especially in those early stages to make sure you’re the one sensing your wife’s kind of bandwidth and how she’s feeling and then protecting and guarding against that with how you’re letting people in the home.

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