Updated: Apr 9, 2019
So often, as we support women through the preparation stages of birth, we find that their partner is often asking the question 'what can I do to help?'.
It's a tricky thing, because partners in birth can very easily feel helpless and as though there isn't really much they can do to ease the pain or support mum through the process.
It's even trickier when we consider that most of the time, our support people have no birthing or medical expertise and therefore only expect what they've been taught by society to expect... which can be all sorts of incorrect.
So this post is all about you. The support people who can sometimes feel lost, overwhelmed and unsure of what they should or shouldn't be doing to make things as easy as possible.
So what are our top tips??
Don't skip out on the prenatal education. It's so much easier to be useful and feel a part of it when you actually have even the most BASIC idea of what's going on.
Have a 'job'.
We've seen this work many a time for couples as they go through the birthing process. Giving the support person a specific role so that they have somewhere to focus their attention and give their support.
Some things that work well are;
- Making sure mum has water/ice chips etc. on hand whenever she might need them.
- Ensuring the temperature of the room is okay.
- Chief shoulder masseuse.
- Being in charge of the music.
Have a sub.
You know how the flight attendant always instructs us to put the oxygen mask on ourselves before helping others?? This is important during birth too.
Making sure you have a 'sub' to step in incase of a long labour can be REALLY helpful in allowing you to actually be of assistance when you get tired.
Learn how to help ease the pain.
Most prenatal classes teach some techniques on how to help mum manage the pain of contractions as she progresses through labour. These can be HUGE help during labour and birth so if you haven't got around to it, check out your local birth education classes or have a look at our online workshops.
Talk to your community.
There are lots of other ways that you can be helpful and engage with mum during the labour and birth process. One of our fav tips is to TALK to other parents, dads, grandparents, birth workers etc. They will have other invaluable experience and information for you.
We hope these tips have been helpful & remember to start the conversation with your partner to make sure you're on the same page.
- BBB xx