The Man’s Birthing Kit
When it comes to loading up our necessities for labour, many basic essentials should spring to mind;
Baby car seat? Check.
Baby clothes? Check.
Mum and her bags? One second, be right back. Check.
Great! But hold on just one minute. Is that really all you need? Shouldn’t there be one or two essentials that father-to-be ought bring as well. At first I thought not. I considered it fair to say that, as long as there is petrol in the car, you have already avoided any potential calamities.
It seems I was wrong.
Luckily, however, I still have time for some last minute reparations. Time to get out the man-bag and go to work. And, with that in mind, I present to you, my very own labour inventory?
The Bag – A simple plastic carrier bag won’t do (I’ve been told), so a good, reliable bag is vital. I’ve planned ahead and got myself a bona fide baby daddy (horrible phrase, sorry) bag from BabyMoov. So, when baby arrives, I’ll have no excuses for not getting out and about, ready to slip any smelly nappies away into the bags’ cleverly designed ‘zip-lock’ add-on.
Lip Balm/ Sudocrem – No, not for you. Although silky, kissable lips are always a plus. This is for mum. Sure, you could put this into her bag. But do you really want to go trawling when lips are cracking? Avoid being called a half-looker and keep this in your man bag. When dehydration strikes, mum’s lips may get dry and this is one irritation she would be delighted to do without.
Birthing Plan – Don’t make this your only copy. Pack one in every bag you have available. But, just in case you need to be the knight in shining armour, your own copy of the birthing plan could be a perfect weapon of choice. After all, the pen is mightier than the sword.
A Literary Crutch – If, like me, you are incredibly neurotic when it comes to knowing every possible angle of the birthing process, you are sure to have read one of two books along the way. My go-to guide is The Expectant Dad’s Handbook by Dean Beaumont of DaddyNatal. So, just in case I need a bit of rational support during the downtimes of labour, I am happy to have a quick read to pick myself back up off of the floor (hopefully not literally).
A New Flannel – Whether for cooling or warming, a compressed flannel could be a godsend to an aching, labouring mother. Worst case scenario? It could be the affectation that at least provides others with the impression that you know what you are doing.
Energy Lozenges – Caffeine based lozenges will not be appropriate, but these little bursts of energy will be invaluable should mother nature decide to make time her companion during labour.
Food – Getting hungry? You don’t want to have munched your way through a pack of energy lozenges and find nothing but crumpled paper at the bottom of your bag. Having long-lasting energy and a full stomach is imperative to ensure that everyone is in tip-top shape to bring baby safely into the world. So, take 5 quiet minutes to get some sandwiches ready and into the bag before you head to the hospital.
Bendy Straws – Mum wants a drink? No problem, mum can have a drink, right? We do it every day. It’s easy. Not so! Nothing is easy during labour and, with a cavalcade of birthing positions available to mum, putting a glass up to her mouth may not be as straightforward as you might think. So, be a lord of lubrication and a defeater of dehydration and have a flexible straw or two in your bag.
Spare Underwear and T-shirt – You might not be allowed to stay the night like mum, but that doesn’t mean you aren’t in for the long haul. So, be prepared and fresh with a change of underwear. If you are planning a water birth, you may also want suitable clothing for this occasion, should you be eager to enter the water with mum. Sounds insane? Well it happens. If this insanity sounds up your street, it’s good to be geared up. No one wants to see you in your birthday suit, no matter how much pride you have in your appendage of consummation.
Something for a Special Moment – Once all of the madness of labour is over, you will be given a small amount of time that MUST be cherished. Just you, mum and newborn to enjoy your first moments alone together. In this time, I plan to read the same stories I have been reading throughout the pregnancy, only this time, to our son, rather than our bump. For me and my little boy, it’s the wondrous world of The World’s Worst Children by David Walliams. Only, here’s to hoping that my little bundle of joy doesn’t follow suit.
So, that’s your lot.
I’m scared, socially impaired, but have got one hell of a dad bag prepared.
Or have I?
Do you have any other items you consider a must? Absolute imperatives that father-to-be should bring along to the hospital? Have I made a huge mistake and missed something super obvious? Have you been in the labour ward desperately panicking about what should have been brought with you and wasn’t?
Let me know in the comments below, it could be a HUGE help. But please, ASAP, 4 weeks and it may be too late.
Bring on March 21st