Labor—and the pain that comes with it—can last for a couple of hours to a couple of days. Your job as a new dad is to help your partner get through the worst of it by helping to take her mind off the discomfort. Look at photos together, listen to her favorite music, or offer to massage her legs, feet and lower back when she’s turned over on her side.
Little things, like wiping her forehead with a cool cloth and offering ice chips make a difference too, says Ghozland. And if you’ve gone to a birthing class, encourage her to use the breathing techniques you learned—or best of all, breathe along with her.