A Dad's Guide to Giving Birth

By Stacy Whitman

Okay, guys: Suffice it to say that most of you will never know what it’s like to have your belly stretch to the size of a large watermelon.

You will never know what it’s like to be karate chopped by a tiny being that’s living inside of you. And you will likely never be faced with the incomprehensible task of pushing a football-sized object through your nether region.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t play the important role of wingman in the birth of your baby. Several decades ago, the typical American father-tobe sat in a waiting room, reading, pacing or smoking cigarettes, until the doctor announced, “It’s a boy!” or “It’s a girl!” Today, the vast majority of dads are present in the delivery room, not only to witness the birth but also to provide encouragement, comfort and hands-on support to their partner.

Sound like a big job? It is—and one that can be intimidating to even the most confident first-time fathers. But with a little training and a level head, you can take on the challenge and perform like a pro. Don’t worry, we’re not about to throw you into the game without any coaching. To help ease your nerves and ensure that all goes as smoothly as possible, we have assembled a team of experts—including a top childbirth educator and a bunch of experienced dads— and presented their insight and advice for you here.