The father during childbirth

The exciting moment is getting closer: the birth, the moment of becoming a father and fatherhood. Make sure that you are available at all times during the days just before the due date, as the time may come when you least expect it. Many fathers think that they are quite useless during the delivery of the baby. However, this is not true at all, your presence alone is highly appreciated and you can also fulfill a practical role. Childbirth is divided into three separate stages. During the first stage, the uterine wall opens to allow the baby to pass through. In the second stage the baby is born and in the third stage the placenta arrives.

The contractions

The contractions are seen as the beginning of labor . Contractions are (painful) contractions of the cervix with the aim of obtaining enough dilation to allow the baby to come out. The contractions will initially come every 5 to 20 minutes and last 30-60 seconds. Finally, the contractions come every 2 to 4 minutes and last about 60-90 seconds.
The contractions can be very painful for the woman. Your presence alone will be a huge support to your wife. Be kind to your partner and support her, encourage her. Offer her practical help if she needs it, such as a hot water bottle for back problems and cold washcloths when she is hot. Offer her a drink, possibly through a straw, and talk to her in a soothing manner. Your partner may have
changing moods during contractions due to the intensity of the contractions . Let this wash over you calmly and try to think about what your wife has to endure.


For the father, the actual birth is a strange sensation. Just like that, a child is born from your wife’s womb, your child! Although your wife has a lot of work to do during the birth, you can support her.

Practical help

When the moment is almost there, your wife will want to sit or lie down in a certain position . Support her and help her, even though it may not be the attitude she indicated in advance. Maintain physical contact with her, for example by holding her hand, and encourage her.

The birth

This moment is extremely exciting for both of you! When you see your baby’s head emerge, tell your wife what the baby looks like and encourage her. If she wants, show her the baby’s head using a mirror. Once the baby is born, tell her whether the baby is a boy or a girl, even if you already knew this beforehand. In consultation with the midwife, clamp and cut the umbilical cord .

The first minutes

When the baby is born, experience your first moments together as a family in peace and quiet. This is one of the most emotional and special events in a person’s life and you do not have to be ashamed of your feelings about it.

When the birth does not go as planned

It may happen that something unexpectedly turns out differently than you expected. Be prepared that unexpected interventions may be necessary and talk about this with each other. Discuss what you would want in an emergency and make sure that all proposed interventions are well understood and ask questions if anything is unclear.

When the baby comes way too early

In some cases it happens that the baby wants to come out so badly that the birth has almost happened before you can call for medical help . In such a case, call the doctor or midwife and explain the situation.
Then quickly go back to your wife and help her adopt a pleasant position. Wash your hands and prepare a stack of clean towels for the birth itself and the baby.
Support your wife and encourage her while you monitor whether the baby’s head has emerged from the vaginal opening. If this is the case, ask your partner to stop pushing and just puff.
Feel around the baby’s neck to make sure the umbilical cord is not in the way. If this is the case, pull it out by placing your fingers under it and moving it over the baby’s head.
When the baby is born, hold the baby tightly and hand the baby to the mother immediately after delivery. Wrap the baby in the towel kept aside so that the baby does not catch a cold.
Do not touch the umbilical cord, but wait for medical help. If the placenta has already been expelled before the medics have arrived, collect it in a plastic bowl or something similar so that the doctor or midwife can examine it.

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