When the big day arrives and all signs point to early stages of labor, it might seem like there's not much for a dad to help with. Contractions are still fairly far apart and lack intensity. Mom may appear to be going about things as she would normally. As with any stage of labor, there's plenty you can do to help in this stage by providing service to a laboring mom. Be sure to be helpful and not annoying in your approach to helping with early labor, but in talking to several birth professionals, here are some of the top recommended early labor tips for dads.
Walk with her. A number of studies and observations by birth professionals indicate walking reduces the length of labor and often reduces the physical pain that goes with later stages of labor. Walking alongside the mother of your child allows the two of you to share the birth day and keeps you on hand if any other needs arise.
Offer liquids frequently Staying hydrated throughout labor is important. Dads have the opportunity to be helpful here in refilling a glass or offering different beverage options.
Provide back rub and massage services Women vary greatly in their sensitivity during labor, so be sure to ask before initiating a back rub or massaging shoulders or legs, but in many cases massage is a great way to relax during early labor. Your hands can provide comfort and relaxation through the early stages of labor.
Encourage her to change positions When mom-to-be is finding it more comfortable to relax through the early stages of labor, encourage her to change her position, for sitting, to reclining, to kneeling, to standing, or from one side to the other, so that she's not remaining in one position for longer than 30 minutes. This change of position will help with labor progression.