The Men’s Guide to the Delivery Room – The Tools

Part One: Tools in the Delivery Room

It’s absolutely normal if you’re both apprehending and looking forward to the day where you get to drive to hospital and support your partner in the delivery room. As Birth Doula Liza Maltz notes, ‘Dads are usually super nervous’ when it comes to childbirth. Just like your partner, it helps to be prepared in the run-up to your baby’s birth. Time to wow the midwives with your thorough knowledge!

The gadgets

Rather than feeling overwhelmed with all the innocent-looking (yet possibly eerily scary) tools, it’s good to know what each is for as well as when in the birth process they might be used.

The speculum

Your partner will most probably be already well-accustomed to this tool; it is the same that is used in routine OB/GYN appointments to have a more thorough look of the cervix. This time it will be used to check cervix dilation in early labor.

Amniotic Hook

No, it has nothing to do with Captain Hook. Resembling a long crochet needle, this tool isn’t one to fear. If an Artificial Rupture of Membranes, that is breaking waters, is needed, then the amniotic hook is used to rupture the amniotic sac. The procedure is painless. Whilst your partner may feel a gush afterwards, this does not always happen as the water may simply trickle.


If an episiotomy is needed in the pushing stage, then scissors will be used. If not, you can utilize them yourself when cutting your newborn baby’s umbilical cord.

Fetal Monitoring

Your baby’s heart rate and your partner’s contractions will be monitored via a fetal monitor strapped around your partner’s abdomen. Whilst its very common to find women laboring with fetal monitors strapped to them, recommendations by the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) state that intermittent monitoring should be considered in cases where this allows.  Not being constantly hooked means that your partner can move around more easily, helping labor to progress more quickly.

Internal Fetal Monitor

In high-risk pregnancies, the baby’s heart rate is monitored via a tiny device placed directly onto the baby’s head whilst still in the womb. It can also be used in low-risk birth if an accurate reading is not being achieved via the fetal monitor.


Whilst their shape may remind you of salad tongs and the next BBQ, finding this tool in the delivery room refers to something else entirely. Forceps are used during the pushing stage to help guide the baby out of the birth canal if labor isn’t progressing or in case immediate delivery becomes a must. When an attempt at a forceps delivery is unsuccessful, a C-section might be needed.

Vacuum extractor

If assistance is needed during a vaginal delivery, suction may be used to help your baby out. This tool is basically a soft or rigid cup with a handle attached to a vacuum pump. It is used when the pushing stage is proving ineffective or when a need to have the baby born quickly arises. In the case that vacuum extraction fails, a C-section might be needed.


A Hemostat is a clamp used to contain bleeding and hold sutures. Once your baby is born, this is used to clamp the umbilical cord for cutting.

Now that you’re a pro on the tools, time to step here and get to know the people who will assist your partner with delivering your little bundle.

All content on Dreaming Of Baby is solely for informational purposes and should not be considered as a specific diagnosis or treatment plan.

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