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Keeping your cool during delivery
Q: My best friend told me how angry and awful she was to her husband while she was in the delivery room. She said it is nothing like you see in those birthing tapes that show you both lovingly, patiently waiting for your baby to be born.

I’m due in July and want to make sure I don’t lose it on my husband, who has been wonderful to me this whole time. Are there any things I can do to make sure I keep my cool and we bond at this most special time in our lives?
A: The best solution to your concern involves a four-pronged attack. First, go to prepared childbirth classes and become educated about what is ahead. Second, ignore the horror stories about labor from your friends and acquaintances. Their story is just that … their story. It is not yours. My third suggestion is to have a frank and open conversation with your partner. It’s okay to express your fears and concerns. And by the way, he has worries, too! Lastly, speak with your doctor about your concerns.

I find that exhaustion and pain are the two reasons my patients lose their cool during labor. Sleep deprivation and labor pain can make anyone a bit irritable. But you can deal with both of these situations by choosing the proper type of anesthesia, if it becomes necessary.

I warn the partners to be empathetic to you’re my patients’ needs. No taunts or bad jokes during labor. I also introduce the concept of the “no-fly zone,” and further explain with a demonstration. I ask my patient to reach out as far as possible with her arm. I point to a spot another six inches away and tell her partner that if he wants to make a wise-crack, he better be at least this far away from her. That way, she can’t grab his fly…hence the name, “no-fly zone.” Thank you, President Bush!

And one more thing…once the baby is nestled in your arms, the bond is there forever!