What Partners Can Do in Labor and Birth

Sep 10, 2015 |

By Abby Bordner

Many partners wonder what they will do during labor and birth to home-water-birth-husband-support-460x306make a difference for your loved one. She will be going through a transformative event, birthing your baby and birthing your family. This is a big responsibility! Remember, your biggest job is to offer her protection, connection and compassion.

Here are some things that can help your partner get through labor:

  • Rituals: Repeating the same comforting actions during each contraction; rocking, breathing, massaging, moaning.
  • Movement and position changes: Gravity and movement help the normal progression of labor and changing positions frequently help keep mom comfortable.
  • Counter pressure: Steady pressure on the low back during a contraction.
  • Baths, showers: Hot water has the effect of relaxing Mom and helping the cervix dilate.
  • Heat and cold: Mom’s body temperature changes frequently in labor. If she’s too hot, a cool washcloth on the face and neck, something to drink or ice can help. If she’s shivering a warm blanket or heat pack on the back helps.
  • Touch and massage: Touch is very reassuring and can help manage pain. Massaging the shoulders and back can help promote relaxation.
  • Relaxation: Starting with steadying the breathing, moms can visualize, listen to music, hum or talk to help with relaxation.
  • Vocalizing: Moms sometimes recite words, count or moan during contractions. The vocalization can help focus her energy and create a distraction.

You can offer protection by taking care of the things that don’t require her immediate attention. Make decisions, make plans and communicate with others so she doesn’t have to. This is a huge relief to her so she can focus her thoughts and energy on the intuitive process of birth. Know her birthing preferences ahead of time so you can communicate with the care providers for her. Give her the feeling that you’ve got it covered. She doesn’t need to worry and you’re taking care of her.

You can offer connection through affection, words and actions. Women are vulnerable in labor; stay close and connected with her. Don’t take things too personally. Stay strong and steady for her as she rides the waves of labor and emotions. This avoids the feelings of loneliness that some women feel in labor.

And offer compassion. This is important so that she feels your love and reverence for her. She’s amazing, right!? Show her you feel that way. Say kind things to her. Run your fingers through her hair. Treat her like a precious gift that you’re fortunate to have. And be grateful that she is bringing your baby into the family.


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