How a Dad Can Create a Smooth Birth Admissions Process

By Mathew Miller, Sharon Perkins

As you consider what a Dad can do to create a smooth admission process, think back to the last time you arrived at a crowded shopping mall with a parking lot packed to the gills with cars and you ended up walking ten minutes just to get to your store of choice.

Now imagine that you drive right in and, miracle of miracles, the parking spot closest to the door is waiting for you.

If you want that experience upon arriving at the hospital when your partner is in labor — and believe us, you do — you need to make sure you fill out all the preadmissions paperwork at your hospital or birthing center. Doing so keeps you from having to fill out forms and answer an endless array of questions when you should be focused on the woman in pain.

A good time to make sure everything is in order is during your prenatal visit to the birthing center. The visit is not only a chance to get to know a few of the faces you may be seeing but also the perfect firsthand opportunity to make sure your partner is in the system.

Also, you want to make sure you contact your delivery doctor or midwife prior to going to the hospital. Some want a call as soon as labor begins; others just want a 30- to 60-minute heads-up before you head to the hospital.

Many practitioners request that you call when your contractions are regularly occurring every 5 to 6 minutes and lasting 60 seconds for at least an hour, but follow your own practitioner’s instructions. And because many labors begin (and end!) in the middle of the night, you want to give your doctor or midwife ample time to wake up before heading out the door.

At some point during the admissions process, you may be asked to leave the room so the nurse can talk to your partner alone. Although it may seem off-putting at first, this procedure is very important.

Unfortunately, domestic violence is far too common, and one of the nurse’s duties is to ensure that the woman in labor and the baby she’s bringing into the world are in a safe environment during labor and delivery. Don’t take it personally.