instructions for my husband during birth

Accept and appreciate that in this process there are shifts in consciousness and body chemistry that manifest in many ways. Be understanding when my priorities change to reflect this, and stand by my side while I am in it -- slow down, quiet yourself, listen.

Take over more than your usual share of the care and maintenance of our lives, because I will be in recovery from a major change and exertion in emotional and physical energy.

Be affectionate, loving, and passionate. Remember that I am still in need of these things, even if I do not have the energy to reciprocate, and that the oxytocin that results is good for both of us and our relationship.

During labor, do not encourage, cajol, guide, or ask questions unless absolutely necessary. Simply be there to affirm and support. Look to see that conditions are clean and warm and comfortable, and set food and water within my reach. Lovingly tend to the children if they are present; take care of their needs first. Rest when you are tired, but be ready to wake and come to my side if I need you. Stay close so that I can choose to go to you or not, and if I do, wrap your arms around me and murmur lovingly to me. Be calm, and above all be loving. If you feel stress or fear, leave and return only when you feel strong and positive again. When the baby is born be still and quiet. Be watchful for my cues. When I am ready help me move to a comfortable place and clean up.

Postpartum, let me sleep. Bring me food and drink. Do the laundry. Take care of our children; engage them and attend to them. Check in with me often (I will not want to yell for you.) Protect our space; do not let anyone in that I have not previously approved. Let me know, often, how much you love me and what a wonderful baby it is that we have made together. ♥