Your partner is about to give birth. You have been preparing for this for nine months now, but all of a sudden you are nervous that you won’t be the birthing partner you think she needs. Don’t stress! We’ve got some real-world advice that will make you the best partner you can be.
Review The Birthing Plan – Many women take to writing a “Birth Plan.” This is essentially a list of preferences she will have while giving birth if everything is going well. Options usually include pain medication or not, the number of people in the room, photography allowances, etc. It’s good to review the plan with your partner so you’re not in the dark if the OB asks you a question. Here is an example of an easy one-page birth plan. (Also a great starting point if your partner feels a little overwhelmed in the beginning.)
Keep Cold Compresses Close By – Giving birth is a hot, sweaty mess! Try to keep a few cold compresses on hand to switch out occasionally. If the labor room does not have a small fridge for rotating compresses, ask for a large cup and fill it with ice and water; just make sure to mark it so that you don’t take a big gulp in the heat of the moment.
Learn Prenatal and Scalp Massaging Techniques – As labor progresses, the time between contractions gets shorter, leaving less time for the woman to relax. Using resources like YouTube and Pinterest to learn relaxing massage techniques will help your partner get the most out of her contraction “down time.” As a warning, always ask for your partner’s permission before you begin massaging. Many times the invite will be most welcomed, but sometimes, she might not want to be touched at all. Also, remember to be aware of your surroundings. Usually, there are monitors, wires, IVs, and other medical equipment in very close proximity, so make sure to stay in an area where you won’t accidentally dislodge something important.
Keep Your Strength Up – As a birthing partner, you are constantly thinking of the needs of the one in labor, but you should also remember to take care of yourself as well. Eat when you have a chance, stay hydrated, and take little naps during the down times. If you run out of energy half way through the birthing process, you lose the ability to be a helpful partner.
Stay Positive and Stay Calm – The birthing process is full of ups and downs. Never comment on moments that could be embarrassing or awkward. Also, sometimes, during times of distress, the medical professionals will tell the birthing partner what’s going on first. It’s important to always remain calm and deliver any uncomfortable news with sensitivity and support. Most importantly, be encouraging, upbeat, and optimistic, no matter what’s going on.Leave a reply →