25 Powerful Photos of Dads in the Delivery Room

It may be true that women do all the heavy lifting when it comes to child birth. However, we can’t forget the incredibly important role of dads in the delivery room. While mom is laboring, she needs to be supported and encouraged. She needs ice! And needs back rubs! Also someone to scream and curse at! For many women, that role is filled by her husband or boyfriend or partner. Dad can’t exactly get on the bed and push the baby out. But being a part of the miracle of bringing a child into the world is an unforgettable experience for him, too.

These powerful photos of dads in the delivery room show how partners can be supportive from beginning to end. Whether it’s a gentle hand on her back, or a pair of hands to guide the baby out, these dads were part of the process. And judging by the looks on some of their faces when they see their new baby for the first time, we think it’s pretty safe to say that it was a life-changing experience for them.

That smile could light a thousand dark rooms.


His face says, holy crap you’re here and I love you and omg, you’re here! Here’s the thing: you wait 10 looooong months for this baby to arrive. Logically, you know they’re coming! It’s what you’ve been preparing for, and what mama did all that work to make happen. But nothing, and we mean nothing, can prepare you for that first look at your new little one’s face. That’s a moment that will stick with you forever, and you’ll never forget looking into those eyes and realizing that you’re a dad now. It’s such a special moment, and capturing it forever in a photograph is perfect.

Sometimes, all she needs is to know you’re there.


Just the pressure of dad’s hands on her back can help. Mama is doing the most in labor and delivery. OK, let’s be honest: mama has been doing the most for the last 40 weeks! But that doesn’t mean that dad doesn’t play a huge role in what’s going on. Sometimes, the best thing a dad can do in the delivery room is just place a gentle, supportive hand on mom while she’s in the midst of a contraction or catching her breath. There’s something about the warmth of that hand that can have such a calming effect. It might not seem like much, but this is something that dads do well.

Hold on tight!


Goodness, but they are slippery coming down the chute, right? Being there to “catch” the baby is something that most dads and partners cherish. Just knowing that theirs are the first hands that new little baby will feel, and that they’ll feel love and security and comfort in their first moments earth side is such an amazing moment. Plus, it gives dad a super important job, right? And for mama to be able to look down and see her partner guiding their child into the world is priceless. This little girl will forever treasure a picture of her dad guiding her into the world.

Find a job that needs to be done, and do it.


A supportive partner is there to help mom and docs or midwives focus. This can mean doing a bunch of different stuff! Holding her hand, being her support when she needs to change positions, and coaching her through tough moments. This can also mean holding an oxygen mask in place while the docs and nurses and midwives are attending to other matters. Again, it’s a small, simple gesture, but it just shows that dad is there and involved and doing what he needs to do in that moment. Plus, sitting there at face-level gives mama a familiar, comforting face to focus on while she’s laboring.

Practice makes perfect!


Newborn babies are just to small and fragile! It can feel like handling a grenade with a loose pin, right? You want to be gentle and try to do things like dress them and change their diaper. But also, maybe you’re just not sure if you’re doing it right! While mama is resting in bed, dads can get their hands dirty and start practicing their skills. This dad is jumping right in, and we just love it. Sure, it’s just a picture, but you can tell by the position of his hands that he’s being so gentle and trying to do this the right way. Don’t worry dad: this is just the first of MANY of those diaper changes, and you’ll be a pro in no time.

When there’s nothing to do, just be there.


Just knowing her partner was there was probably so comforting for this mom. Labor and delivery is hard, and there’s so much going on. It can be incredibly overwhelming, and yes, even scary at times. Her body is doing some pretty heavy stuff, and her mind is trying to make sense of it all. A lot of women don’t want a lot of talking or verbal coaching, as it can be distracting during the breathing process. So what’s a dad to do? Exactly what this dad is doing. Just be there, near her, with a hand on her back or neck or arm. Oftentimes, that’s all the reassurance she needs to be able to get through those really hard parts.

One hand on mom, one hand reaching out to baby.


We can’t imagine what he was thinking in that moment! OK, so maybe we can imagine it. “OH MY GOD, WHAT JUST HAPPENED, I AM MARRIED TO A ROCKSTAR AND SHE JUST DELIVERED MY CHILD!” The end of labor can be frenetic and chaotic. He’s watched his partner labor for probably hours, coaching and supporting and waiting for the big moment. And then all of the sudden, things go from 0-60 really fast, and in the blink of eye, there’s a baby. It’s a lot to process! But we love this photo so much because you can see papa will supporting mom, while undoubtedly freaking out over what just happened.

Absolutely gorgeous!


The emotion on his face has us feeling things. Society tells boys and men that it’s not OK to cry and show emotion and be vulnerable. But it is 100% OK, and we should actually encourage it! What man wouldn’t be brought to tears witnessing the birth of their child? It’s a monumentally emotional moment, and trying to hold all of those emotions in is pointless! Everyone in the delivery room will laugh and cry and be shocked by what just happened. And we just love that you can pretty much see all of those emotions on this dads face, and more.

When she catches a break, he steals a kiss.


The quiet in-between moments are some of the best moments during labor and delivery. And there will be some quiet in-between moments! At least early on in the process. Towards the end … not so much. So it’s so important for mom and dad to make the most of those moments, and we love how this dad decided to steal a kiss. Showing your partner love and affection while they’re birthing an actual human child for you is the least you can do, really. Just a quick moment to say, “hey, thanks for doing this, I love you so much, tell me when you want me to stop touching you and talking to you”.

No better place to be than daddy’s arms.


So tiny in his hands! This picture is one of the reasons we need to capture more dads in the delivery room. There’s just something so damn precious about the juxtaposition of those big hands against such a small and new little person. And don’t even get us started on those baby feets resting against his chest! There’s so much to love about this photo, but seriously, the expression on that baby’s face is absolutely priceless. This is definitely one of those photos that mom and dad will cherish forever, and smile when they see. Squishy baby and strong hands and arms is always a winning combo.

And he makes the catch!


We love the calm, ready look on his face. Like, this dad is READY. He’s been prepping for this for so long! Maybe he had a game plan, or gave himself a pep talk. Aside from being mom’s support system during labor and delivery, catching the baby is pretty much dad’s biggest job. There really is nothing like being able to gently welcome your child into the world, after waiting for so long. Of course, that little baby is wondering what the hell is actually happening. But we’re sure the feeling of those hands around that little chest was comforting.

While mom rests, dad takes over.


So we’ve all heard how important skin-to-skin is for newborns, right? Typically, right after the baby is born, they’re placed right on mama’s chest. It’s such a huge bonding moment, and lots of hospitals are now facilitating skin-to-skin even after a c-section. But you know what? It’s not just for moms! Mama is going to need some rest soon after all the work she just did. So dads shouldn’t be afraid to whip off their shirts and bond with their babies. This photo is seriously one of the most beautiful photo of dads in the delivery room we’ve seen. The skin-to-skin, the eye contact, everything about it is just perfection.

Partner, support person, entertainment!


Sometimes labor and delivery can be a family affair! Lots of people want to involve their older children in the birth of their new brother and sister. It’s an amazing experience for everyone, and makes for some pretty unbeatable memories. But kids are going to be kids, right? And having a baby can take a long time! So when mom is busy laboring, it’s time for dad to step up and keep the little ones occupied for a bit. This is such a sweet picture, and honestly, such a dad thing to do, LOL. They have plenty of those gloves, they can spare one for an impromptu balloon hand.

Just a gentle kiss to say, you are awesome.


Can’t you just feel the love radiating off of this picture? It’s so serene and perfect. Once the baby is born and the pace slows, there are so many of these quiet bonding moments. Mom getting used to nursing the baby. And dad getting used to being there to support his partner and child on that important journey. There’s not a whole lot a dad can do to help with breastfeeding, but being there by her side and placing a gentle kiss on her forehead is pretty much the perfect decision. A quiet moment between this new family captured forever.

Be the one she needs to lean on.


It can be hard to watch your partner labor, knowing there’s nothing tangible you can do. You can’t take their pain away, and you can’t make it go faster. You can’t have the baby for them! But what dads can do it be there and hold her up when she needs to be supported. Dads and partners can be the rock, the strength, and the love during those tough moments. We wonder if there were words exchanged in this moment, but if we had to venture a guess, we’d say probably not. Sometimes you can say so much more with your silence.

After the storm, comes the calm.


Labor and delivery is GO, GO, GO and then suddenly – it’s quiet. The baby is here, the nurses and doctors have left the room, and all that’s left is the time you have to bond as a new family. There should be three things after delivery: food, snuggles, and naps. Not necessarily in that order! (But food first, always food first.) Having a baby is emotionally and physically draining, especially if you’ve been up all night. Baby is exhausted from, you know, being born. Mom is exhausted from, oh we don’t know, HAVING A BABY. And dad is exhausted from the emotional roller coaster he just went on. So naps are needed.

Daddy’s little girl!


That first moment between a new dad and his baby is really something special. It’s sort of like a dance, really. These two people who’ve known each other in theory for ten months are finally meeting face-to-face. And oh goodness, what a face that is up there! The word for this picture has to be “awestruck”. Dad taking it all in, memorizing tiny features, feeling downy hair and wrinkly skin. Baby also taking it all in, maybe recognizing one of the voices that’s been talking to them for ten months, trying to figure out what happens next. This is just such a sweet photo.

It’s an emotionally exhausting experience for everyone.


Her caption is just so lovely: “He worked so hard that morning, comforting me through his strength during a short and intense labor. Finally, he was able to hold and comfort his son with all the tenderness he had left, and then some.” That seriously made us cry! While we know that women do the really hard stuff during pregnancy and delivery, dads play such a huge role in the whole thing, too. And we love how this mama acknowledged how important and supportive he was during the process. And we love how dad and baby stole a little catnap together.

This dad has his hand’s full!


Helping big brother meet little brother is a perfect job for dad. Here’s the thing: a lot of parents worry that they might not have room in their hearts for a second or third child. But you know what? Your heart just grows! Your arms and lap, however, stay the same size. This dad is already nailing the father of two game. Baby in one arm, other arm around big brother, and that hand ever-so-gently cradling kiddo’s head while he meets the new baby. That is a huge moment for kids, and this picture captures it perfectly. Good job, dad!

The waiting can be so hard for dads in the delivery room.


Oh boy, isn’t this an amazing picture? It looks like dad is waiting to be taken into the operating room, where doctors will deliver his new baby. People forget sometimes that there is so much beauty and emotion in all forms of childbirth, even c-sections. You can feel his nerves through this picture. There must have been so much going through his mind! Hoping that the baby is healthy, praying that mama does well during surgery, wondering what it will be like under those lights and behind that curtain. There’s no baby or mom in this photo, but it still says so much about what dads in the delivery room go through.

That first time dad holds the baby…ugh!


These are the moments you don’t want to miss. You don’t necessarily have to have a professional birth photographer in the room with you, but these are the moments that they capture. So much happens that mom probably isn’t even aware of, and you don’t want to miss a bonding moment like this. That baby’s face, that dad’s face, the whole thing! Holding your baby for the first time will absolutely take your breath away, and we just love the emotion in this photo. And to be honest, we’re a little distracted by the full head of hair on that sweet new babe – amazing!

New baby is already leaving their mark on dad!


OK, now THIS is a really cool idea! We all have those little cards with the baby’s footprints. But thinking outside the box for that extra special birth photo is sometimes the way to go. First of all, the look on dad’s face is just too much. A mixture of excitement, pride, and bewilderment. Also, it’s sort of amazing to see how tiny their feet are in comparison, right? Sure, we know newborn babies are tiny. But it’s sort of relative from the perspective of the mom who carried that baby for ten months and then birthed it. But that tiny foot sort of puts it all in perspective, right?

More skin-to-skin with dad.


Once again, we really can’t say enough about how important skin-to-skin is for bonding. And again, we can’t emphasis this enough: it’s not just for babies and mamas! Placing that fresh new baby on dad’s chest, snuggling under a warm blanket, and just sitting in the quiet and listening to their hearts beat together. These types of photos are exactly why dads in the delivery room are so important. Moms and dads need to be able to bond with their new babies, and the quiet aftermath of delivery (while mom is resting) is the perfect opportunity for dad to strip down and step up.

Two dads and the start of a beautiful family.


Wow, who’s cutting onions in here? These eyes, they are leaking! Families some in all shapes and sizes. And babies being born into love is all that really matters. Gay couples often rely on the use of a surrogate to start a family, but that doesn’t mean that they can’t be involved in the entire process. The caption on this picture says, “‘We did it guys. We did it’ -Surrogate mom to Intended Fathers.” Annnnnd now we’re crying again! Being able to be a part of your child being born is a joy that all parents should experience. What an amazing story this will be for dad and dad to share with their kids one day.

Well, hello there, dad!


That little face, we seriously CANNOT. The baby seems to be looking up at dad and saying, “Hi there! I am your baby, and you are my dad!” Those big clear eyes staring up are just too much. But also, can we take a moment to appreciate those teeny tiny crossed ankles? The photographer who captured this image probably looked at the back of her camera and was like, “YEP, THAT’S THE ONE!”. This is a framer, for sure. Just another of the amazing examples of dads in the delivery room that are seriously melting our hearts. So much love in that picture.

Do you have any favorite images of dads in the delivery room? Drop them in the comments, we’d love to see them!

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(Image: iStoxk / chameleonseye)

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