Birth Partners listen up! Teamwork makes the dream work.
Let’s face it. It’s never easy seeing someone you love in any kind of pain or discomfort and the process of having a baby is no different. It isn’t called “labour” for nothing after all! But you papas and birth partners-to-be may or may not be aware of the huge impact you can have in helping your mamas through this challenging (but wonderful!) experience. Swipe through and get one step closer to being the best birth partner ever!
Familiarising yourself with your partner’s birth plan can help hugely during labour – particularly when it comes to setting up the kind of environment you know your partner would wish to birth in. For example, asking the midwife or caregiver to dim the lights in the delivery room or making a playlist of her favourite relaxing music.
Fairy lights, battery-operated tealights (no naked flames!), essential oils to help relaxation – these may seem like small gestures in the grand scheme of things,but they really can make all the difference in making your partner feel as comfortable as possible.
Having a baby is thirsty work and staying hydrated is not likely to be at the forefront of your partner’s mind in the throes of labour…there’s your cue! Having chilled water, coconut water or your mama’s soft drink of choice to hand for occasional sips will go a long way to help avoid dehydration.
The same about keeping hydrated can be said for eating, as it’s unlikely to be on the top of your partner’s to-do list during labour. However, even a bite of a granola bar, a square of chocolate or a piece of fruit can provide a much-needed boost of energy. So preparing assorted drinks and snacks for labour will be very useful – she’ll thank you later!
Massage during labour can be used as a great natural form of pain relief. Since the lower back usually bears the brunt of the contractions especially in early labour, massages are a welcome respite from the pain.
Birth partners can massage the pressure points in this area to help relieve tension and promote relaxation during labour. That being said, some mamas will prefer not to be touched – particularly during contractions – and in this case, a heat pack placed on the lower back can also provide a huge amount of relief.
This goes entirely without saying but the person your partner will trust the most in the delivery room is you. A simple “you’re doing so well” will go such a long way. Just knowing that you are there supporting her will make all the difference…even if she may not show it at that particular moment in time!
Every woman will have her own preferences as to what she does and doesn’t(!) want to remember from the delivery room. However, capturing those first few precious bonding moments between mum and baby on camera will likely never go amiss. So make sure your phone or camera of choice is charged and at the ready for that perfect moment: pending mama approval!