Another piece of the “Dr. Tooni” women’s health project: some different kinds of FOBs – the term used for “Father of the Baby” for a pregnant patient, since you can’t assume their relationship.
Some are married, some are coupled, and others are just co-parenting. And now there are surrogates, donors, and all other situations.
We try to be mindful of not making assumptions and using inclusive, neutral, and non-judgmental language.
In 2016 in America, married couples make up 68% of all families with children under age 18, compared to 93 percent in 1950!
Labor is incredibly strenuous and painful. There are been some attempts at simulating labor contractions in experiments so others could better understand and sympathize with labor pains.
As the Father of the Baby, you have an important role and can make a big difference in the experience of the Mother!
Studies have shown that even simply holding hands with a supportive partner can significantly reduce pain.
“Despite […] restrictions, the study provided evidence that the presence of a romantic partner is effective in reducing acute pain even without his or her active feedback, and that this effect increases with partner empathy.”
Hold a hand, hold a leg, bring her ice chips or a cool cloth for her forehead, offer a smile and words of support. There is so much you can do!
If you feel queasy, you can still sit down by her side and hold her hand. You don’t need to look, but it helps if you are engaged.
I remembering feeling so sad for the patients I cared for in labor, when they had little or no support during what was one of the most challenging times of their lives.
Please do what you can! It really will make a HUGE difference!!
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