You know when you're trying to help, but you end up making things worse? Like when you take the initiative and tidy up the living room, all the while thinking about the brownie points you're racking up, and then your wife comes in and tells you you've done it all wrong?
Well, it seems that you should be used to making your partner's life a misery by now, because apparently you've been a pain in the ass from day one. You probably saw this in the news recently, but a recent study is claiming that the presence of partners in the delivery suite could actually make the mum feel worse, not better.
However, what they don't tell you in the headlines is that the mums who experienced this increased discomfort and pain already classed themselves as being in uncomfortable relationships in which they and their partner avoided closeness. (Always a good foundation upon which to bring a child into the world.)
Whether this study is accurate or not, there's no denying that it can be tricky for a new dad to know exactly how he can help out in the delivery suite. After all, it's not a nice sight to see your partner in so much pain and know there's nothing you can do about it. But, to get you started on the right foot, here are five things you should definitely avoid when your partner is in labour.
Oh, you think you're so funny, lightening the mood with your 1980s hip hop, singing 'Push It' because guess what, your partner is literally pushing it. The thing is, whilst you snicker away thinking you're the first person ever to make that musical joke, you're forgetting that what your partner is pushing is a REAL LIFE BIG FAT BABY out of a TINY HOLE. It's like watching an anaconda regurgitate a deer.
So please, don't rap. Your baby will not thank you for accompanying its entrance into this world by hissing through your teeth and growling "push it REAL GOOD", and neither will ANYONE ELSE IN THE ROOM.
Complain about...well, anything
Knowing that you're going to have to go through an excruciatingly painful childbirth must be like being back at school and knowing that at the end of a term of mind-numbing biology classes you're going to have to take an exam which is even worse. There's no getting away from it; that baby is coming out, and it's coming out of there. Or there, if you're having a caesarean.
And so, when your partner is lying on a gurney and writhing in agony with each contraction, it would possibly be the worst idea in the world for you to complain that you are tired, or hungry, or bored, because I'm almost certain that she would love to be any combination of those things. Instead, she's wincing, and gritting her teeth, and crying inside. And also, hating you. She's hating you right now, dad.
Fiddle with the TENS machine
I know it's tempting. The pads are on her back, buzzing away, and the little control box is just sitting there on the clinical mattress with its stiff bedsheet, just tempting you. But remember: giving in to temptation is what got you into this mess in the first place.
Do not, under any circumstances, twiddle the dials and electrocute your partner so much she spasms on the bed like a fish out of water. You are not Dr Frankenstein, and she is not your monster. Spend too long down the business endSome dads want to have a look, some don't. Some, like me, were clearly and in no uncertain terms absolutely 100;display:block;}