Every labour and birth is a unique and special experience. How you support your partner in labour will depend upon her individual needs. However the common need for every labouring woman is support. As a birth partner your presence alone will help your partner to stay calm and relaxed and feel a sense of security.
- During the early or latent phase of labour you can become involved by distracting your partner from her contractions, running a bath or watching a funny DVD together to help to keep calm and relaxed and release feel good hormones.
- During labour your partner may experience the transition phase just before her cervix is fully dilated. At this time she may become distressed or want to go home. Extra support is needed at this time with lots of encouragement. Changing positions often helps, but she will need lots of encouragement to do this.
- Watching your baby emerge is a wonderful experience. However you or your partner may decide that you are to stay at the top of the bed for support. Having the discussion before labour can help you both decide what is best.