The big day is finally here. You're having regular contractions or you have gone to the hospital to be admitted for an induction or you're ready for your scheduled c-section. Your partner is running around, panicking, pacing the room, or worse: is completely bored out of their mind. What should they be doing? Here are some ideas for things you should ask your partner when you're in labor; things they can do, say, or know to make your life a little easier on the big day.
My first husband was absolutely worthless when I was in labor. He actually told me to be quiet, complained about the uncomfortable sofa, and, worst of all, ate in front of me after they told me I couldn't have anything to eat. I wanted to pelt him with ice chips.
Now that I am pregnant again (third time's a charm, I hope) and have a new husband, we've had a ton of conversations about how everything will go down when our baby decides to join us. We've packed our hospital bag, know where to go (thanks to a frantic early morning trip to the hospital for preterm labor), and he knows my plans for pain management (all of the drugs) and feeding baby (we will breastfeed and supplement with formula).
I have also thought a lot about what I will need to make it through. There will definitely be moments when I need some physical touch and reassurance. I may not be able to express my needs or advocate for myself, and I may need a partner in crime to watch the door while I down a granola bar or latte. Fortunately, my husband is on my team, and knows that I will cut him if he complains about what's on TV while I am doing the work of pushing our child out of my vagina (kidding).
Here are some other questions I am likely to ask, and I hope he'll willingly answer. Consider this your birth support cheat sheet for ways partners can help make labor a little less laborious.