Your Birth Partner
Your partner is an important part of your birth. This blog post is about how your partner can best support you during labor so don’t keep this information to yourself! Be sure to share.
Your partner is the person that knows you better than anyone else and is the best person to support you. The problem is that your partner probably doesn’t have a clue about what to do!This birthing thing is all very new. For many partners the go-to mode is to fix it. The problem with birth is that there’s nothing to fix. Everything just moves along until the baby arrives. This can make your partner feel helpless. Communication is the key. Be sure to say what you want and what you need. Maybe it’s a foot rub or food or something entirely different. The better you communicate in the early part of your labor the more your partner will be able to support you throughout your labor.
Hopefully your partner was involved in your pregnancy from the beginning. You’ve shared ultrasounds, felt the first flutter and been through birthing classes together. When labor begins you’ll probably be at home. You’ll feel excited and your partner will share in your excitement. It’s a great time to connect.
Take a walk together
Get your feet rubbed
Take a shower
Get something to eat
Start timing your contractions but don’t get obsessed with this. You’ve got time.
As labor progresses, whether you are at the hospital or giving birth at home, you may start to feel a little anxious. Contractions are coming closer together. You may start to feel like things are out of your control. This is when encouragement from your partner is super helpful. Your partner is your advocate and is there for you, anticipating your needs. Words of encouragement go a long way to making you feel more in control.
You can do this.
You’ve got this.
I’m so proud of you
You’re doing great
Besides using words of encouragement, your partner should breathe with you. Breathing is so very important especially if you can’t walk or talk through your contractions. It keeps you focused and in the moment.
And speaking of focus, your partner should be 100% focused on you. No cellphone. No email. No checking in with the office. It’s all about you and anticipating what you may want and giving you what you need.
If you are sweating, you may need a cool wash cloth on your brow.
If you are licking your lips, that probably means you’re thirsty. Water or ice chips are needed.
If you are mid contraction and can’t talk you want eye contact.
You are creating a family and you are in this together. Having your partner with you during this time can strengthen the bond you already have.
I hope this was helpful. If you have any other suggestions on how your partner might help you during labor, please let me know in the comments below. I know other expectant moms would love any tips you can share.