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Five Tools for Birth Partners: From "Helpless" to "Hero" During Labor and Delivery

Five Tools for Birth Partners: From "Helpless" to "Hero" During Labor and Delivery

Are you concerned that your birthing partner may be feeling anxious about your upcoming labor and delivery? Helping to ensure that your birthing partner is prepared is an important step in your labor and delivery process. 

There are various things to learn when it comes to the do’s and don'ts of caring for your laboring partner but do not let that overwhelm you. We are here to help provide the knowledge and encouragement you and your partner may need. 

Pregnancy, childbirth, and the postpartum period are one of the most vulnerable times a woman and her family will go through in their lifetimes. Let us ease your minds by giving you evidence-based support, growing your emotional connection further, and giving you a chance to approach the birthing environment with more joy rather than fear and apprehension by using our tools.

Five Tools for Your Birth Partner to Take Them from “Helpless” to “Hero” During Labor, Delivery, and Postpartum

1. Pick a Birthing Plan But Be Flexible to Change

A birth plan is a written document that outlines your preferences for labor and delivery, including those related to pain management, postpartum care, infant procedures, and even the environment of the delivery room (lights, aromatherapy, etc.), in order to make sure that you and your partner have the most comfortable experience possible. Here is a birth plan template as a guide to help you get started on your planning!

Locations for labor and delivery are available in a variety of settings. Birthing facilities, hospitals, and home births are all options. Select a birthing place that supports your birthing priorities and your aspirations for birthing.

It is very important to have a set birthing plan you and your partner both desire, however, be open to changes if need be. Your labor and delivery will follow an unpredictable course, so you will want to make sure you and your partner understand this tool by surrendering to the process and having an open mind about what is beyond your control by letting go of expectations and allowing a detour in your birth plan, if need be.

2. Create a Checklist of Things You Need for Your Labor, Delivery, and Postpartum

There are many resources out there to help you make sure you and your partner have everything you need for your labor, delivery, and postpartum. Depending on if you are having a home birth, delivering in a hospital, or delivering at a birthing center will determine what is needed for your labor, delivery, and postpartum. Be sure to talk with your provider for a checklist, but here are some suggestions:

  • Get rest
  • Filled gas tank in your car at all times
  • Birthing plan
  • Insurance card
  • Camera and charger
  • Cell phone and charger
  • Snacks and drinks for your partner and you, if allowed by the hospital/care provider
  • Yoga ball 
  • Comfortable, breathable clothing
  • Clothing for your partner
  • Hair ties
  • Essential oils safe for pregnancy 
  • Pads with witch hazel and aloe
  • Nipple butter
  • Hemorrhoid care 
  • Nursing bras
  • Toiletries 
  • Toiletries for your partner
  • Going home blanket for baby
  • Going home outfit for baby
  • Going home hat and socks for baby
  • Baby car seat 

3. Your Partner and Others Attending the Birth Need to Have Importance, Physically and Emotionally 

It is very crucial that anyone planning to attend the birth has a specific job they are willing to achieve and can also provide a healthy environment, including your partner. Most births go more smoothly when everyone is aware of their role and has a job to accomplish.

Before choosing who will be present, consider why you want them there, if they support your birth plan, what that person means to you, and what they can do for you physically and emotionally.

Consider the benefit to yourself. 

You might want to rethink having them if your only motivation is to satisfy or please them. The mother's needs should come first during labor and delivery. Presence should be restricted to those whose only objective is to support and safeguard the mother. It's important to put other people's feelings aside for this event.

The people you let into your space during this beautiful and vulnerable time will affect how you feel about giving birth. Be surrounded by supportive friends, family, and birth professionals.

4. Educate Your Partner 

It is vital that your partner attend birthing classes along with you. Help make sure they are educated on your emotional needs as well as your physical needs. Here is a list of things they will educate you on.

  • Breathing techniques 
  • Stretching techniques 
  • Partner needs rest just as much as laboring partner
  • Partner needs to stay well-fed and hydrated 
  • When is it okay to nurture the laboring partner with physical touch, and when is it not okay
  • Learn how the laboring partner desires care and comfort
  • What smells are wanted or not wanted near the laboring partner
  • What sounds are wanted or not wanted near the laboring partner
  • What kind of environment and energy is wanted or not wanted near the laboring partner

5. Your Partner Needs Care, Too

Your partner will not be able to be as helpful if they are exhausted, dehydrated, and overwhelmed. Your partner should rest, eat, and hydrate when possible, and they should stop and remember to breathe. Your partner can also exercise those breathing techniques; they are not just for the laboring partner. 

Kooshlie Care Doula Services

Our mission at Kooshlie Care Doula Services is as follows:

  • To empower families during the process of pregnancy, labor, birth, and parenthood.
  • To educate families with the most up-to-date information regarding all aspects of pregnancy through early childhood.
  • To bring comfort, joy, and lasting memories for the early years of child-rearing.

When you choose to work with Kooshlie Care, we are with you every step of the way. We are there to assist you with the discomforts, fears, concerns, and joys of pregnancy, labor, and birth. We provide continuous support that is needed to bring your whole care experience together.

All Doulas with Kooshlie Care Service are certified or in the process of certification. Collectively we have 25+ years of experience to offer the families who bring us into your journey. Our doulas hold a wide range of certifications, including DONA International, Lamaze, Hypno-Babies, Pro-Doula, and the Elite Doula Co.

We would love to talk to you about your birth journey. If you are interested in seeing if Kooshlie Care Doula Services is a good fit for you, please contact us for an interview. We look forward to supporting you in your pregnancy journey.