Estimated reading time: 6 minutes
As the expected date of childbirth gets nearer, it’s normal for expecting parents to feel anxious to some degree. I mean, driving your wife in labor? But believe it or not, it’s the new dad who usually freaks out most when the dreaded labor comes more than his wife.
If you’re a new dad, does that sound like you? Worry not. You can beat the overwhelm and focus on assisting and reassuring your wife. We’ve got safety tips for you to get through this exciting yet intimidating phase.
We’ll divide these into two segments: Days Leading Up to Childbirth and On the Way to the Hospital.
Days Leading Up to Childbirth
It takes months to prepare for childbirth. Tasks like shopping for essentials, packing the hospital bag, and preparing the car should be completed in advance. Here’s what else you need to do days before your wife gets into labor and preparing for driving your wife in labor.
Keep the Hospital Bag Near the Doorway
Think of your hospital bag as your go-bag. In times of emergency, you shouldn’t pace back and forth trying to scour every corner of your home for your go-bag. Likewise, your wife’s hospital bag should be within reach. Remember to pack a bag for you too. Ideally, place them near the doorway, ready to be picked up anytime. Also, check if it contains everything included in your must-bring checklist.
Check the Car’s Condition
The period leading up to your wife’s childbirth is the most crucial time to ensure the safety and reliability of your car. If you need to do some maintenance tasks like changing the car engine oil, do so in advance. It’s also better to have it checked by a professional mechanic. He can best determine whether the brakes are in good condition and if everything else is functioning smoothly. Finally, keep the fuel tank full.
Bring a Baby Car Seat
Wherever you are in the U.S., using a baby car seat is legally mandated. It is one of the best ways to protect your baby when traveling on the road. Note that this isn’t just any hospital stay. You’ll bring your newborn home with you after a few days! So purchase a brand-new sturdy baby car seat. Then, install it properly on the backseat. (Hint: have a certified Child Passenger Safety Technician check it out to make sure it’s installed correctly. Some hospitals offer this as a service.)
Set Aside Fund and Other Documents in a Separate Bag or Wallet
To make sure you won’t accidentally spend a chunk of your hospital fund, keep it in a separate bag instead of your daily wallet. This should also include other necessary documents like your insurance policy and identification cards. Don’t forget a copy of emergency contacts too. These include the phone numbers of your wife’s obstetrician and doula.
It’s also critical to know how to increase life insurance coverage. This is because not all accidents are the same, and some may require more coverage than others. If you’re ever in doubt, it’s always best to err on the side of caution and purchase more life insurance than you think you need.
Keep Your Wife’s Car Seat as Comfortable as Possible
Pregnant women experience indescribable pain and discomfort during labor. So it will be kind, loving, and thoughtful for you to keep her as cozy and comfortable as possible during the entire trip to the hospital. (Hint, hint: move that Tummy Shield to the passenger seat.) Travel and throw pillows will surely come in handy. Bring her favorite cozy blanket too, especially if she’s giving birth during the colder season. Place towels on her seat to keep it dry and secure from leaks, just in case her water breaks on the way to the hospital.
Plan Your Route
Choosing the shortest route seems to be the most practical option. But if that route has a lot of bumps and even a railroad track, it’s probably not. In this case, you need to consider other options. It may not be the shortest, but what’s important is that it’s not consistently flooded with heavy traffic and it should be the safest, most comfortable route possible for your wife. As much as possible, choose one to two alternative routes.
Additionally, visit the hospital or birthing center a couple of times to learn beforehand where to park and where to enter.
Buy your Tummy Shield for safer driving during pregnancy.
On the Way to the Hospital
Now that you’re all set, you should anticipate the childbirth date with utmost readiness and alertness. Keep on the watch as it might come earlier than expected. However, know when it’s the right time to go. To determine this, pay attention to the intensity and consistency of your wife’s contractions as well as how long these last.
If contractions occur every five minutes, lasting for 60 seconds, and become consistent for an hour, this gives you the green sign to leave immediately.
Gently Assist Your Wife
Tell her to relax and take a deep breath as you walk out the door. You can also ask supportive family members to assist. These can be her mom, your mom, her sister, or your sister. Her doula will be of tremendous help too. They can console your wife, give her gentle massages, or simply a back rub. Little things like these do matter.
Gently Driving Your Wife in Labor
This is not a time to forget about safety. Make sure your wife buckles up.
You think this is an emergency so it’s fine to go beyond the speed limit, right? Nope. Drive as gently as possible. Step on the brakes with greater care. Also, turn on the hazard signal if your wife asks you to pull over every few minutes. This will alert motorists behind you to keep some distance and avoid speeding up.
In addition to rechecking your preferred routes, remember to play some soothing music to relax your wife too.
What if She’s Having the Baby on the Road?
So the baby got too excited to see the outside world. But you’re not at the hospital yet. Uh-oh! We understand that this moment is panic-worthy. But gather yourself and call 911. Describe your emergency. Clearly state your location. Then pay attention to their life-saving instructions. Finally, wait for the emergency team to arrive.
Bring Baby Safely to the World
Although childbirth is an unexplored territory for you, your loving support will mean so much to your wife and your bundle of joy. And just like any other first-time parents out there, you can make this life-changing moment as safe, successful, and joyful as possible. Prepare well, keep calm, and cherish the journey of your baby’s arrival to the world.
Guest post: Cynthia Garcia is a content champion for a variety of online publications. She often covers topics that cater to business owners and entrepreneurs with a strong focus on finance for startups, lifestyle, family, productivity, management, and a few other topics.
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