Labour is one of the hardest yet greatest moments of any parent’s life. To be able to watch your partner bring a beautiful baby into the world is extraordinary.
However, watching your loved one endure hours’ worth of physical and emotional distress is difficult. Thankfully, there are many ways in which you can support your partner during this remarkable experience.
Here are our tips for supporting your partner in birth and after.
Nobody can prepare you for parenthood! But there are a few ways you can prepare for the birth.
Getting familiar with the hospital bag before the birth is a great idea. This way, when your partner goes into labour, you can ensure the essentials for both mum and baby are packed and ready to go.
Also, you should have the baby’s car seat ready, and if it comes with a car seat attachment, this should first be securely fitted in the car. This is an important point to remember because if you’re driving home from the hospital, you will not be able to leave unless you have a suitable car seat for your baby.
Similarly, have a stroller ready for your baby’s arrival. It’s important to have a stroller that’s suitable from birth, such as our luxurious J-Carbon Stroller.
Understand What She Wants
As the birthing partner, you should be aware of what your partner wants and doesn’t want during labour.
If your partner has a birth plan, read it beforehand and don’t forget to take it to the hospital with you. If your partner doesn’t have a birth plan, be sure to discuss what she wants, as the midwife may ask you.
In addition, it’s a good idea to have the phone numbers of close family members and friends close to hand. Not only will they be waiting excitedly for the new arrival, but they will be on hand if you need something.
Support Your Partner In Birth By Staying Calm
It can be easy to panic when your partner announces they are in labour, especially if this if your first baby. However, if you panic, your partner may panic, and that’s not good for the baby. Equally, birth can be a daunting experience, so try to be sympathetic. When your partner goes into labour, try to stay calm.
Reassure your partner that everything is going to be OK. Your partner may prefer to ring the midwife before heading straight to the hospital. Respect her wishes. She knows her own body and it’s essential that you support your partner’s decision.
Even though there’s a birthing plan in place, circumstances can change drastically during labour. So, when your partner is giving birth, expect the unexpected.
Your partner may decide to have an epidural or the midwives may have to use forceps during the birth. Whatever happens, remember to stay calm and reassure your partner that she’s doing well.
Support Your Partner In Birth By Being Patient
Every labour is different. Your partner may be in labour for hours or even days, so being patient is key. During the early stages of labour, you will be able to step out of the room for short breaks. Perhaps to get some fresh air (birthing suites tend to be very warm) or to call relatives.
Offer Reassurance & Help
If your partner has pain in her lower back, offer to massage it for her. If she’s too warm, hold cool compresses to her neck and face. Reassure your partner regularly and let her know she’s doing an amazing job.
Encourage your partner to drink plenty of fluids and to go to the bathroom regularly (a full bladder can stall labour). And help her change positions when she’s ready and listen to what she wants.
Don’t Forget To Look After Yourself!
You’ll be a much better support system for your partner if you look after yourself along the way. Take breaks when you can and when it works for your partner. Get some fresh air and take a walk. Also, don’t forget to eat and drink plenty of fluids. If your partner has a second birthing partner, you might even be able to have a quick nap.
Support Your Partner After Birth By Asking For Privacy
After the birth, your partner may want some privacy as she bonds with her baby and breastfeeds. Similarly, she will want to have a bath or shower and change her clothes. Instead of welcoming family members and friends into the delivery suite as soon as your baby is born, ask for an hour or so of privacy for yourself and your partner.
Support Your Partner After Birth By Encouraging Her To Relax
At home, take responsibility for the household tasks. Your partner needs time to recover physically and emotionally, so encourage her to relax and focus on herself. Take charge of the cooking, cleaning, shopping and other household chores.
Support Your Partner After Birth By Being Hands On
Taking care of a baby is a full-time job. When you’re at home, ensure you’re sharing the baby duties; from the feeds to the nappy changes. Ask your partner what they would like you to do to help.
Also, ensure your partner has some time for herself. For example, offer to take the baby out for a walk so that your partner can catch up on sleep.
Support Your Partner After Birth By Being There For Her
Hormones are often unbalanced after pregnancy and your partner may feel a whirlwind of emotions. She may get emotional regularly. Reassure her that it’s perfectly normal and to get upset when you have just had a baby.
If your partner is struggling with her emotions, encourage her to reach out to other mums. Having a strong support system will help your partner after birth.