A Message to the Birth Partner
When I am teaching class, I have moments when I want to talk to my moms labor support person. I think it is important that he feels included in the birth and that he is an integral part of the birth. We, as Childbirth Educators, must help our mothers feel comfortable to express to their support person the kind of help she will need during labor. My idea to help is to create a message to the birth partner. The birth partner is the mother's main support person during pregnancy, labor, and after birth.
**This post is continually palgiriazed by Brio Birth, LLC. This posting is the original.
All birth partners must read this:
Labor can be a scary, lonely place for you and for the mother. You have taken the steps in learning about the process of labor, the process of birth, and the emotions that will come with both. I applaud you and know that you will be the best person to help the mother. With your gentle guidance and support, the mother will feel a peace and calmness.
You, like the mother, have an important job in this process. Above all, your biggest job is to love her without limits and without judging. Your gentle reminders of "I love you" and "I'm still here" mean more than you will ever know.
If she decides she wants no touching, take this comment lightly meaning; do not be offended. Try feather touches and placing your hand on areas you notice that are tense. These touches are meant to tell her to let all the tension go. Remind her to open up her jaw and let it go loose.
If she decides she desire no one talking, do not be offended. She desires a quiet environment, low lights, and without discussions. Talking and carrying on a lengthly discussion will take away from her labor. She will not be able to turn into labor. Allow her to remain quiet and make her own noises.
Pack your necessary items well before labor begins. Lay out your clothes and toiletries you will be taking to the hospital with you. In early labor, gather your power snacks and drinks. Change into comfortable clothing and relax with mother.
During labor, your job becomes dynamic. You become the person she relies on to remind of things she would never do outside of labor.
- offer a drink between contractions
- offer her light snacks during early labor
- encourage her to empty her bladder often
- change her position if she is in the same one for too long
- offer the warmth of a shower or bath in later stages
- rub her back, as low as you can go
- use soft touches to help relax
- walking for some moms feels great
- so does swaying and rocking
- tell her this contraction will be over soon
- use a birth ball position that is comfortable for mom
- remind her to open the jaw, drop it, let it go
- watch her breath; make it a low deep abdominal breath to avoid tension
- allow her to moan in labor
- tell her you love her
- protect her privacy
- give her space to move
Labor is an important beginning for the both of you. Enjoy the moment. Bring peace and harmony to the labor, and the mother will feel safe and secure to birth in her manner on her time.
Stacy Lewis, B.A. Ed., AAHCC, LE
childbirth educator and lactation educator