Suggestions for Labor Partners
The experience of being a birth partner is truly a gratifying and amazing one. The role of giving labor support is unique. Whether you are her husband, partner, lover or friend, your presence at the baby's birth will be long remembered.
Providing Loving Support
You will want to give the mother reassurance and inspire confidence along the way. Your support will help to reduce fear and tension. Sharing this experience together, and being sensitive to her needs will positively impact the birth.
By taking childbirth classes together and practicing the techniques learned in the class, you will find your confidence increase in your role as the labor support person. You will become knowledgeable with what best soothes and relaxes her. You will soon have a clearer understanding of what her priorities or desires might be for the birth. Anticipating her needs and working with her throughout labor will help make this a most wonderful experience.
Many labor support persons find it difficult to think of things to say in labor without sounding repetitive. Time may pass more quickly if she hears continuous encouragement from you. The following are examples of supportive things to say while she is in labor. You can also work together to come up with some phrases you can use:
- You are doing fine - the baby is fine
- It's only a matter of seconds
- I love you
- Hang in there
- I'm so proud of you
- The contraction is building; stay focused and concentrate
- It's peaking; stick with it; it's almost over
- It's getting stronger, but you're in control
- The contraction is fading; coming down; almost over
- Keep going, you're doing great
- Picture the cervix stretching and opening
- Keep your breathing slow, relaxed and even
- It's hard, but you are doing fine
Suggestions for each stage of labor
Providing labor support can present many opportunities and challenges. You may also find it very helpful to have all factual information about birth readily available for immediate reference. The following list provides suggestions for ways a partner can help her through labor during each stage. If you have any particular concerns or questions about any stage of labor, ask your childbirth instructor.
Suggestions for partners at each stage of labor
Tips for helping a laboring woman