As a doula and midwifery student i see a lot of dads and other partners at a birth who are standing around awkwardly, just lost, and not knowing what to do. And thats okay, i know how hard it is! I started out that way too, but now im deep in this process of supporting women during birth here in the Greater Cincinnati area and have learned some things. I want to prepare you, as partners to a pregnant woman, to be your very best self, one who is prepared, willing to work hard and will meet the mom right where she is.
So there are a couple things I want to talk about…
First: If you get nothing else from this post, I want you to remember that during a birth, you should be calm, grounded, peaceful and know without a shadow of a doubt that she can birth her baby. Everything else after your grounded energy comes second. And for those of you who are list people, here are the top things i think you should have under your belt.
Before the birth, its incredibly valuable if you, as the partner…
- have met the care provider and established a relationship of trust and respect
- are friendly, grounded and aware of others in the birth space
- know the mothers birth plan and a little about each aspect
- share the mothers expectations of you during the birth experience
- have practiced different positions and ways to touch her during her labor
- are familiar with the stages of labor
- have 2-3 encouraging phrases that you know she will like to hear during her labor
- know that its inappropriate to be on your phone in her line of vision during the labor
- are able to establish boundaries around the mom if she needs a it
- be open to having an experience too
Luckily for you… I have midwifery classes, which means i have to make client handouts, and then want to share them with all of you! So here is mine on supporting moms as partners during her labor and birth : ) PS: its a trifold incase you want to print it out and enjoy. Partners at Birth.pdf