Top partner preparation tips for labour and birth
Congratulations, you’re becoming a parent. Birth partners often experience a big range of emotions as they navigate this big time of change with their partner. You may be wondering how to best prepare for birth and life as a parent. The modern day birth partner is showing up, stepping up and getting into the action. They want to be at their best to advocate, support and help their partner have a positive and empowering birth experience. I am here as your guide to do just that.
From personal stories and scientific research we know “Fathers provide emotional, psychological and practical help during labour which promotes a more positive childbirth experience for both parents. (Fatherhood Institute, 2014) (Eggermont et. al, 2016). You make a positive difference to the health and wellbeing of your family. Yes there is a lot to learn, but you’ve got this.
Here are some pro tips to help you help your partner. You can make the birth quicker, easier and safer by trying out these ideas and talking with your partner about what she wants. Remember, most importantly, you know how to love her. You’ve got the magic ingredient that builds trust and teamwork to make a great birth team.
Skills for birth and life – use this list as a springboard for your own ideas:
- Express your love, trust, confidence, patience and strength for her and for yourself
- Aim to keep the labour space calm, feeling safe, warm, undisturbed and private
- Time distortion is helpful – avoid focus on time
- Eat, drink and pee regularly and encourage your partner to that also.
- Be an example of a relaxed body, calm mind and rhythmic breath. Practice this in every day life, especially if you notice yourself feeling stressed or anxious.
- Raise your awareness and intuition to non-verbal communication and respond.
- Comfort her with massage, encouraging words, heat, water, music, aromatherapy.
- Get involved with active birth positions, massage her and bring her pleasure.
- Keep her in trance: Calm voice, tone, speed, affirming words and visualizations.
- Anchor her to times you have shared that are special, or to times she has felt her power, confidence, courage, softness, openness etc.
- If unsure of what to do in labour, ask “how can I help”?
- Speak up if decisions need to be faced. Remember ‘Use your B.R.A.I.N” when facing a choice. (Ask..what are the Benefits, Risks, Alternative, your Intuition, saying No, Now or Not yet).
- Have emotional and practical support for you too.
- Protect your new family space by keeping mother and baby together and being close to them. Avoid phone calls and visitors until you both feel ready.
- Talk with your partner about her birthing intentions and explore what expectations she has of you and you of her. Discus how she would appreciate your help. Learn together about how you both can be best prepared and supported in labour. Practice techniques or skills so they are easy to repeay.
I wish you well and if you want more education, guidance, support or advocacy contact Erika at www.birthready.com.au or call 0407 685 933 for classes and consultations:
• Beer and Bubs class – birth education for men at the pub.
• Pregnancy to parenting coaching and counselling
• Know your birth options and create your birth and parenting plan
• Hypno/mindful birthing program
• Active birth and parenting preparation classes
• Peer group learning and support sessions
• Birth debrief and newborn family care
• Relationship wellbeing and intimacy with your partner