The delivery room can be both a wonderful place and a horrible place. Before hitting the labor and delivery ward, make a list of rules that everyone needs to follow.
- Keep food out of the delivery room. The smell of food will either make mom sick or make her hungry for something she can't have.
- Don't be a water cooler messenger. If you're allowed in the delivery room, what you see there needs to stay there.
- Get out of the way. The hospital staff needs to tend to mom and you need to stay out of the way. If there are too many people in the room, be the thoughtful one and move to the waiting room until others have left.
- Bow out if things get heated. If there is a complication or mom appears to be agitated or in pain – bow out of the room and wait with the others.
- Watch the lens. Ask permission to take pictures and keep the pictures within her comfort zone.
- Don't tell anyone unless you have permission. When the baby is finally born don't run off to the waiting room to tell everyone unless mom and dad have given you permission. Some dads want the glory of walking into the waiting room to make the announcement, so don't take that from him.
- Don't bring small children to the birth unless you have permission. The laboring parents understand you want to be a part of the birthing process, but don't overstep their personal preferences. Some expecting parents are okay with small children being in attendance and others are vehemently against it. Check first and plan according to the families wishes.
There may be many more rules you want others to follow. Don't be afraid to set the rules and nominate someone to enforce the rules during labor. The enforcer can also work with your partner and other family members to share the information you want to be shared and fetch small things like water, ice, or snacks for dad and other guests.