Birth Partners and What They Can Do To Help

While labour is trying for mothers, it can also be difficult for birth partners who can sometimes struggle to find a way to help. There are ways in which you can help your pregnant partner through labour and childbirth, and while this article details some of the steps you can take, your partner’s midwife and doctor will also be great sources of information on how to help during and after labour.

What you can do during labour and birth

As a birth partner there are actually a number of simple, practical things you can do to support a pregnant women through labour and childbirth. First and foremost, being there to offer support in the first place is a huge help as having company during labour is a big source of comfort for any pregnant lady.

The first stage of labour, when contractions are increasingly frequent and severe but labour isn’t considered ‘established’ (the point at which the opening of the womb has widened by 4cm and you can go to your hospital or contact your midwife), can be arduous without company to help pass the time. By providing company you can keep your partner’s mind off what’s to come, and help them get through the waiting stage of labour.

Small measures to help your partner feel more comfortable can also be extremely helpful. For example, bringing water, providing a relaxing back rub to ease backache, and performing relaxation or breathing exercises with your partner all go a long way towards making labour more bearable. Being supportive in the decisions your partner needs to make, for example, about pain relief, is also a good way of being helpful.

Some women like their partner to describe what’s going on during childbirth as she won’t be able to see the baby’s progress during the actual birthing process.

You can help in the preparation for labour by putting together a few things that might come in handy during childbirth and at the hospital. It is recommended that you put together essentials like towels, toiletries, sanitary pads, comfortable clothes for the hospital stay, and basic baby equipment like diapers and clothes for childbirth. During the last few weeks of labour the physical strain on your partner will be immense, and by taking over this aspect of things and letting her know that you are ready for childbirth you can offer a lot of comfort.

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