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Professional Birth & Postpartum Doula
Cindy lou Burgess C.D. & C.B.E.

Specializing in all birth options and covering all of Connecticut

Benefits of using a Doula
Advice for dad's

Andrea Seabrook, host: Parenting books are full of advice for new mothers: what to eat, what to expect, what to avoid. Commentator Gwen Macsai has advice for new dads on this Father's Day.

Gwen Macsai: Your wife is in labor, the head is emerging, the baby is born. You have a child! The world stands still. It's the miracle of life. Miracle, shmiracle. Time to strategize. You'll thank me later.

The follow are words to the wise, or in this case, not so wise, but try to follow along anyway. Rule number one: You may never, ever complain about being tired again. Not just for now or until the baby sleeps through the night; I'm talking the F-word, as in 'forever.' You will never again be as tired as your wife. If you must complain, call your mother. That's what mothers are for.

Rule number one and half: When the "Who's more tired?" argument starts, throw in the towel immediately. Don't go down that road. Not one block, not one step, not one inch. It's an argument that you will never win, and will only add to the heap of resentment that—I have to break it to you—is starting to build up right about now already.

Rule number two: Never, ever read the newspaper in front of your wife. This implies leisure time; she doesn't have any. She wants you to know that you don't either. In fact, just cancel your subscription now. It may save your marriage.

Rule number three: Be prepared to catch that baby the second you walk in the door. Why? Because your wife will have timed it perfectly so that as you open the door, the baby is already in the air, spiraling like the pigskin at the Super Bowl. Don't even bother to take off your coat or put down the paper that you weren't suppose to be reading in the first place. And for God's sake, don't tell her, 'Oh, wait, wait. I have to go to the bathroom.' If she can go to the bathroom one-handed, so can you.

Rule number five: Don't offer; just do it. Offering help to a new mother is just so many more words eating up the oxygen that could have been hers. Don't offer to make dinner or clean up or go grocery shopping or writing a thank you note—that's a good one—just do it. This will go over big—very big. It will definitely improve your chances of getting into her pants or, more likely, washing them.

Rule number six: Do not use your wife as a reference encyclopedia. She has undoubtedly exhausted the Library of Congress on every topic from colic to Coxsackie. Nevertheless, this does not excuse you from doing your own fair share of research. Do not ask her what to do at every turn. Look it up, figure it out, talk to other fathers—Right—and then surprise her by telling her something she doesn't know. Good luck on that one.

Rule number seven: By the same token, stop asking her where everything is. Just look for it. Not until just enough time has passed for you to reasonably ask her again, look until you actually, I don't know, find it!

Rule number eight: Whatever you do—whatever you do, do not call your wife from the airport complaining because your plane boarded two hours late, sat on the runway for three hours, took off and had to return for repairs. Did you have a book? Then it was a bleeping vacation.

Rule number nine: Don't go for long runs, bike rides or, God forbid, a trip to the gym. If you don't get this one, you're in worse shape that I thought.

Rule number 10: Don't ask this new mother 'So what are you doing today, dear?' as you head out the door to work where you'll enjoy a half-hour's commute with the luxurious newspaper, mingle with colleagues, exercise your mind and advance your career, unless, of course, you're prepared for a tirade about nursing, burping, diapering, rocking, cleaning, feeding, shopping, washing, more nursing, burping, diapering, rocking, cleaning, feeding, shopping and washing. That will make you very, very late for work to say nothing of celibate.

Lastly, for God's sake, learn how to wring out a sponge. Oh, by the way, happy Father's Day. And don't say I didn't warn you.

Searbrook: Essayist Gwen Macsai lives and works in Chicago.