Suggest distractions. Labor can take a long time, and much of it might be boring for both of you. That may be especially true if you've had an epidural and your partner doesn't need to support you physically the way he might during a more active, medication-free birth. Let him know what you'd like to do during breaks. Want him to read you a trashy novel? Play cards with you? Bring along your favorite CDs? A portable DVD player? Ideally most of the less active time will be spent in the luxury of your own home.
Drop hints about your post-baby celebration. Whether you want him to bring you roses or fudge, let him know or you'll set yourself up for disappointment. Tell him what would make you feel extra special when it's time to celebrate.
Have him pack a bag for the hospital. You're not the only one who's going to spend hours in the hospital. Your partner may want to pack a few things for himself:
- Bottled water
- Call list of relatives and friends
- Books or magazines
- Toothbrush, deodorant and comb
- Comfy footwear
- Change of clothes
- Portable music player
- Pictures of labor positions
- A notebook and pen (questions for providers, notes from partner)
Originally published in You & Your Baby: Pregnancy.
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