Labor can be a challenging and intense experience for both the woman giving birth and her partner. The role of the husband/partner during labor is crucial in providing emotional and physical support, advocacy, and encouragement.
Here are 10 ways that the husband/partner can help during labor –
- Attend prenatal appointments – By attending prenatal appointments with the woman, the husband/partner can learn about the labor and delivery process, ask questions, and get to know the healthcare team. This can help them feel more prepared and confident during labor. It will also your partner understand your needs. You can join other fathers in getting birthing lessons.
- Create a birth plan – The husband/partner can work with the woman to create a birth plan that outlines the woman’s preferences for labor and delivery. This can include details such as pain management options, positions for labor and delivery, and who will be present during labor. Save all required contact numbers on your phone. Knowing what to expect can make the experience more comfortable for both of you.
- Provide emotional support – Labor can be a stressful and emotional experience for the woman, and the husband/partner can provide emotional support by staying calm, offering words of encouragement, and providing reassurance. You can also show affection, hold hands and give hugs. Stay calm, confident and supportive.
- Be prepared to wait – Labor may be exciting, but it can also be tedious. In fact, you may spend hours doing nothing more than waiting. Take your partner’s mind off their discomfort by keeping them busy. Be ready to keep her occupied with music and conversations.
- Help with pain management – The husband/partner can assist you with easy pain management techniques such as massage, counter pressure, and breathing techniques. Getting your partner to massage your arms, legs or back during labour can help you relax and decrease tension and pain. Additionally, the husband/partner can advocate for the woman’s pain management preferences with the doctor and the attending team.
- Encourage breathing exercises – Breathing exercises with deep inhalation and exhalation are effective in reducing the perception of labor pain. It can also help relax both the muscles and the mind.
- Stay informed – The husband/partner can stay informed about the progress of labor, the status of the baby, and any interventions that may be necessary. This can help the husband/partner be an active participant in the labor and delivery process. It is also one of the best ways to keep your partner calm during delivery.
- Advocate for the woman – The husband/partner can communicate the woman’s preferences to the healthcare team and help ensure that the woman’s birth plan is followed. Your partner may need your help advocating for what they really want, even if they are having trouble communicating. You know them better than anyone else in the room. Your job is to support your partner, no matter what they choose.
- Assist with practical tasks – The husband/partner can assist with practical tasks such as packing and unpacking bags, getting snacks and drinks, and helping the woman change positions or move around during labor.
- Be present after delivery – After the baby is born, the husband/partner can assist with skin-to-skin contact, help with breastfeeding, and provide emotional support to the new mother.
It’s important to note that the role of the husband/partner during labor is personal and can vary depending on the couple’s preferences and circumstances. Communication between the couple is key in determining how the husband/partner can best provide support during labor.