How to be a useful birth partner
Send this post to your birth partner and help them prepare for the big event. If you need even more help, booking into an independent birthing workshop will empower both of you.
If you cannot make the birthing workshop with your parter at The elbowroom, these are some tips to help whilst at home. Getting into hospital too early can be problematic and the advice for midwives is to stay at home as long as you are happy doing so.
Try not to panic, stay calm. Don’t jump up and down at the first contraction and ring the
hospital in the hope they will say please come in and your part is now over and you can relax!
Assess the situation. Assume it is pre-labour, unless you notice surges getting stronger and more frequent and lasting longer. Create a warm, dark, private comfortable space, free from interruptions.[sc:clear ]
- Turn off the phones.
- Make sure there are plenty of pillows, a chair, birthing ball if you have one, blankets, hot water bottles. Shut the curtains.
- Get drinks with bendy straws ready. Make sure she drinks regularly and pee’s every hour or so.
- Get mother to rest. See if you can get her back to bed. This can be the hardest thing to do, as most labouring women don’t or won’t lie down and rest. Excited by the onset of contractions, most women will try and get into labour mode; after all they have been waiting for months on end. The reluctance to lie down is huge. But do persevere. Lying down propped up on their left hand side in bed for long periods of time can be extremely beneficial. Even go as far as moving all the cushions into place as they leave the room for a pee and then suggesting they try it. Be assertive here. (Left hand lying will promote the babies head to engage in the correct position).
- Get mother into a nice warm bath or hot shower, this will often ease or stop the sensation of contractions feeling so strong whilst the cervix continues to thin.
- Allowing much needed rest can make the difference between an exhausted mother and one with energy to give birth under her own steam.
- And please don’t keep asking her how she is feeling, just tell her she is wonderful.
- Prepare her food regularly. Make sure there is something in the house she loves that is easy to digest. It can be really hard to get mothers to eat, so you might have to be even more assertive here. Explain that food is necessary to keep her strong for what lies ahead and if she runs out of energy it will be far harder to get the baby out and probably take much longer.
- Use hot water bottles on aching backs and tummies – it’s good to have two handy.
- Place a hot water bottle between the top of her thighs and against her back.
- Do normal things every once in a while as pre labour can get a bit boring. Go for a walk. Have a cuddle!
Have fun! Laughter really helps!!!