Hearing your voice as well as its mother’s is part of the bonding process. Your unborn child hears its mother’s voice every time she says anything while it is developing inside her, but it is also important that your child hears your voice as often as possible as well. Your baby also needs to feel your touch as you caress her through her mother’s tummy. The amazing journey of fatherhood begins now.
It takes two to make a baby and it definitely takes two to bring one up. The easy part is making it, the hardest and also the most rewarding part, is bringing it up. Getting to the end of the road, if there ever really is an end of the road, is an incredible achievement and a truly satisfying and wonderful experience.
So when it’s time for your baby to be born, you should do your utmost to be present at the birth if at all possible. The three most moving and profound moments of my life were the births of my own children and I am sure it will be the same for you. I can remember each one as if they occurred, as if it was just yesterday. I know very occasionally circumstances can be out of your control and therefore it isn’t possible, but with good planning, you can try to minimise the chance of you missing it.
If you can do this, you will feel you are an integral part of the arrival of your child into this world and that you aren’t a peripheral figure to everything that is going on. Try to hold your baby before the umbilical cord is cut. She will see your face before she sees her mothers. Of course it is not a competition to see who is loved the most, but it is important that the bonding between you and your child is cemented the moment she comes into this world.
It will be the natural progression of the bond which you started developing with her before she was born and it will be one of the foundations of the relationship you will develop with her throughout her entire life.
You may think that once the labour process starts, everyone else will know what they are doing, and you can get wrapped totally up in the whole process of childbirth and leave it all to the Professionals in the room. Although this is very true, you also have to remain calm at all times, after all it is your baby who is about to arrive into this world and you are the person your partner trusts the most.
The pain of childbirth is so intense for your partner, that sometimes she will say and want to do things that, very possibly, you have never heard her do before. At this moment, reason goes completely out the window for her, but it mustn’t for you. Your job is to reassure her and encourage her all the time, listening to what she is saying, but ignoring it if she says something silly or offensive. You need to stay calm and if you do, you will keep the stress levels down for everyone in the room.
Of course her behaviour will depend on what type of pain relief she has opted for in her Birth Plan, so you need to ensure she receives the relief that she decided upon before she went into labour. Once your new baby arrives, hold her in your arms as soon as possible. It will be one of the most magical moments of your entire life. Then place your little baby in her mothers’ arms. This will reinforce the sense of bonding between you, as you pass your baby to her mum, as well as demonstrating the fact that you are all in it together.
Once you are all left alone, take time to tell your partner how well she has done throughout the whole labour and childbirth. She will be feeling absolutely exhausted and at the same time elated, yet possibly a bit melancholic. By calmly reassuring her, it will help her feel good about the whole experience despite the pain and physical trauma her body has just been through.
You may find that you also will have a ‘let down’ moment and suddenly find you have no energy as you feel both elated and exhausted as well. You have just ridden the ’emotional rollercoaster’ with your partner, but you have managed as you stayed calm throughout and got through it together.