Every birth is different but planning ahead will help you feel more in control and ensure that you understand all the options available throughout your pregnancy.
Following a birth plan will help you understand what is happening to you and your baby at every stage throughout pregnancy and know that everything is progressing as it should. It will also help dads understand what you are going through and know how they can be of the most use help.
As well as information about the stages of childbirth you can think about the environment you might be most comfortable giving birth. Based on what’s best for mum and the baby’s health, and their availability in your area, there are likely to be a variety of options, including at home, in a midwifery unit or a birthing centre at a hospital. There are also options about the type of birth – you may be interested in having a water birth for example. Your midwife is there to consult and advise you about the pros and cons to every option.
One of the most important things to consider will be the different forms of pain relief, how they will affect the birth experience, which are medically suitable for you and what will be available depending on where and how you choose to give birth.
Midwives should also offer dads professional guidance on their important support role during childbirth and beyond – for example coaching you to be a really useful birth partner, and helping you play your part in getting breastfeeding established.
Whether you give birth in hospital or at home, midwives will guide and support you in the first few days afterwards, helping you to breastfeed as well as checking that you’re recovering properly.
- NHS birth plan
- Where to have your baby?
- Making birth choices – including statistics on maternity services in your area
- Netmums’ week by week pregnancy guide
- NCT information all about birth, including the stages of labour, where to give birth, types of birth and more
- Netmums on emergency childbirth, local info, managing labour course and real life stories
- More about labour and birth
- Dr Miriam Stoppard – your new baby
Information for dads