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Who's Your Daddy? 13 Father Figures in Every Maternity Ward

So much of preparing for childbirth focuses on the mom — but what about Dad? Depending on the situation — and his character — many soon-to-be fathers fall under one of these 10 dad archetypes, from the one who’s about to pass out, to the one who has donned his scrubs and is ready to catch the baby. Take it from this labor and delivery nurse and learn about the most common types of dads that you’ll meet during delivery.

Click through for the 13 most common delivery room dads after the jump!


  • Doting Dad 1 of 13
    Doting Dad
    As one woman described, this type of dad treats his partner like she is "the only woman who has ever given birth." Doting Dad is like gold during labor and delivery — calm, cool, and collected, he offers loving encouragement to his partner, while avoiding the delicate line of crossing into the territory of …
    Photo credit: Veer
  • Overbearing Dad 2 of 13
    Overbearing Dad
    This Dad stands in extreme danger to be verbally, if not physically, assaulted by his partner during childbirth with his extreme "support" tactics. Overbearing Dad rubs his wife's back when she is trying to breathe through a contraction, or offers Olympic coach-quality, in-her-face pep talks when all she wants is to be left alone. He may carry on all the way through birth. If you're partner's acting like this, be prepared to nip it in the bud early on.
    Photo credit: Veer
  • Danger Dad 3 of 13
    Danger Dad
    Danger Dad is pale and nauseous, teetering on the edge of unconsciousness. Danger Dad reminds us all of the good ol' days when dads were huddled together in waiting rooms until presented with a swaddled bundle of joy. When asked if he is okay, Danger Dad always replies in the affirmative, but a smart nurse will keep an eye (and a chair) out. Tip: Ask for a bottle of orange juice early on to replenish dropping blood sugars if Danger Dad looms on your baby's birthday.
    Photo credit: Veer
  • Macho Dad 4 of 13
    Macho Dad
    A direct cousin of Danger Dad, Macho Dad is usually a former Navy Seal, a world-class bodybuilder, or involved in some other type of muscle-ridden occupation. Waving off any attempts at education and protesting any warnings of what lies ahead, Macho Dad is sure his manly ways will allow him to coast through delivery. You have a labor and delivery nurse's guarantee — Macho Dad is always first to hit the floor.
    Photo credit: Shutterstock
  • Disappearing Dad 5 of 13
    Disappearing Dad
    If you are having trouble locating your partner for more than five-minute stretches, you may have a case of Disappearing Dad on your hands. Disappearing Dad is a bundle of nerves and can't stand the confines of the hospital room while he watches as a helpless observer. Look for excuses ranging from "I'm going to just go get a quick drink" to "I have to check on the car seat. Again."
    Photo credit: Veer
  • Strong and Silent Dad 6 of 13
    Strong and Silent Dad
    While I have to admit I am partial to this style of delivery room dad, it is simply because my own man displayed it so perfectly. Holding off until he is aware of his partner's needs, the Strong and Silent Dad stays quiet until he realizes how he can best help ... whether that means simply letting Mom labor her way, or stepping up to the plate at the last minute to do some baby-catching.
    Photo credit: Veer
  • Dim-Witted Dad 7 of 13
    Dim-Witted Dad
    If you are one of the unfortunate women to be subjected to Dim-Witted Dad, fear not. Those of us in the healthcare world know that more often than not, Dim-Witted Dad is just a fleeting phenomenon. From playing with the placenta (um, really?) to jokes about knocking you up again, Dim-Witted Dad is often just a result of too much nerves and too little sleep … most of the time. If Dim-Witted Dad appears to be a persistent phenomenon, may I offer my condolences and assure you it's not genetic. Usually.
    Photo credit: Veer
  • Doctor Dad 8 of 13
    Doctor Dad
    Bouncing and prancing around the room like a proud peacock, this Dad challenges all medical assumptions with his vast Internet knowledge and even attempts to speak for his partner's pain management needs with statements such as: "Well, I read about this one lady whose back got messed up from an epidural …"
    Photo credit: Veer
  • No Dad 9 of 13
    No Dad
    Whoever your support person may be, know that your new family is what you make of it, whether it's going to be you and a partner or you're flying solo.
    Photo credit: Veer
  • Catcher Dad 10 of 13
    Catcher Dad
    All that's missing with this dad is a catcher's mitt. Overeager to get a firsthand look at all the action down there, Catcher Dad can be a little tricky to handle. While his enthusiasm is admirable, a gentle reminder to stay clear of the path of nature may be in order. Because let's be honest — birth is not always a neat 'n' tidy process.
    Photo credit: Veer
  • No-Way-Can-I-Look-Down-There Dad 11 of 13
    No-Way-Can-I-Look-Down-There Dad
    Simply put, this first-time Dad is afraid. Very afraid. While I am of the school that birth is an incredible miracle to witness, I have found that sometimes, it's best to just let these Dads do their thing. I do, however, draw a line if their fear crosses over to cutting the cord. I'm sorry, but there comes a time when he simply has to man up.
    Photo credit: Veer
  • Diva Dad 12 of 13
    Diva Dad
    I recently encountered Diva Dad in an overnight delivery. Ignoring his panting, in-pain girlfriend, Diva Dad interrupted my care to inquire about the status of his pillow … then a toothbrush … then a comb. Why he was so worried about the state of his hair at 2 in the morning, I'll never know; but trust that Diva Dad will give you a run for your money in the attention department.
    Photo credit: Veer
  • Insta-Dad 13 of 13
    Insta-Dad
    Perhaps one of the most common types of delivery room dads, the Insta-Dad is a fascinating phenomenon to behold. Uneasy and unsure throughout labor, Insta-Dad is a mere spectator until he is transformed as Cinderella at the ball. The moment he lays eyes on his newborn, Insta-Dad stands a little straighter, wipes away the tears he tries to hide, and instantly steps into his new role of parenthood. And all we can say is — welcome.
    Photo credit: Veer

Chaunie Brusie became a mother unexpectedly during her senior year of college and graduated with her Bachelors of Science in Nursing exactly one week before delivering her daughter, Ada Marie. As a speaker, writer, and advocate for young mothers, Chaunie hopes to empower women facing unplanned pregnancies. She blogs at www.tinybluelines.com.

 

 

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