Preparation for the birth

How to prepare for the birth and becoming a father

It is a very good idea to go with your partner to antenatal classes so that you can prepare for the birth experience together and get answers to your questions about the process and the birth.

Birth preparation can take many forms. For example, you can go to antenatal classes with a midwife or at the hospital, where you’ll learn a lot about the birth itself. Antenatal care also includes attending pregnancy consultations with your doctor and midwife or having a pregnancy visit from a health visitor. Last but not least, birth preparation is also your own preparation for how you want the birth process to be.

What you'll get out of attending antenatal classes

Even though it’s your partner and not you who is pregnant, you can get a lot out of attending a prenatal class. You can help keep track of everything that’s new, get information about the baby and the birth, and you can help make important decisions during the pregnancy.

The vast majority of dads who attend the antenatal classes say afterwards that it was a good thing that they attended. Sometimes it means making an effort to get involved, but it usually pays off. Attending antenatal classes helps you get used to the idea that you’re about to become a father to a new baby, and that there will be some enormous changes in your life.


As a father, you can naturally ask questions during birth preparation sessions and get answers to the things you want to know.

Things to consider before the birth

A big part of preparing for labour is thinking about how you and your partner want to manage the your pregnancy and birth. Here are some suggestions for you and your partner to consider.

On visits to the doctor, the midwife and the hospital

  • Do you want to come along to ultrasound scans, see the doctor and midwife and go to antenatal classes?
  • What do you want to know about at the different places?
  • Do you want to know the gender of your baby?

During labour

  • What will you be doing during labour (taking photos, receiving the baby, cutting the umbilical cord, etc.)?
  • What do you want the midwife to do and how much should she be there?
  • How will you manage when your partner is in severe pain?
  • Do you or your partner have any fears about giving birth?
  • Do you want to stay with your partner all through labour or is it OK to leave if you need to?
  • Do you want anyone else to be present at the birth?

After the birth

  • Would you like to stay in the hospital after the birth (if possible)?
  • What is your role as a father there?
  • If you can’t or don’t want to be there, what can you do at home while your partner and child are still in the hospital?
  • Would you like to be alone right after the birth or have visitors?
  • Who should you call first after the birth?

There are sure to be many more questions, and it might be a good idea to write down the questions you have after talking to your doctor, midwife or health visitor.