Wednesday, June 1, 2011

How Can Birth Partners Be Supportive?

I recently asked this question on the Mamas and Babies Facebook fan page:

What is the best thing your partner did or could have done for you during labor?

Here are the responses, good and bad:

"just being by my side I love my husband!"

"he could have had the baby for me lol"

"Supported me 100% -- to elaborate some; positive affirmations, reminders to breathe, acting as my voice when mine simply couldn't escape my lips, rocking and swaying with the rhythm of the *waves* ♥ and the list goes on."

"kept me laughing :)"

"The best thing my husband did was fall asleep. Seriously. I wanted to be completely left alone and I didn't want anyone touching me, lol."

"He didn't do anything,he was playing games on my phone. My mom had to yell at him to come help me. Guess it was the early signs of him not caring cuz 18 months later my son has no idea who he is."

"Spoke up."

"He read my mind pretty much the whole time. It was just him, my sister, 5 year old and me. And without asking me what he could do, he knew to tell my sister to get me more chlorophyll or asked our daughter to get chux pads. He knew the exact spots to give me counter pressure too. He was fantastic!"

"The hip squeeze and keeping my rice sock warm. And just being there and holding my hand."

"The best thing my husband did during labour and delivery was stay quiet so I could focus and concentrate on having a quiet, peaceful birth. Between contractions he told me I was beautiful and doing a great job."

"Let me do my thing :) He knew when to keep everyone away...even him - then he knew when to step in and let me hold him when I started pushing. He was my strength and made my HBA3C magical"

"Mine kept telling me how awesome I was. He wrote up a birth story afterwards telling everyone how amazing I was and that he was in awe. That has stuck with me ever since."

"What he did: Didn't say anything dumb. What he could have done: Spoke up for me!"

"He could've actually been available to me and put my needs first for once and not laughed at me...."

"Made me a fruit smoothie! ♥"

"I had a planned c-section due to fibroids, so never labored, but I have always appreciated my husband "the day after" when I was trying to get a shower. I felt all nasty, ugly, and really didn't want to be seen by anyone, let alone my husband. He was persistent, though, and said he didn't care, he just wanted to help. I really did need the help because I was so anemic and could hardly stand on my own, so I'm glad he insisted on helping. I've always considered that a true manifestation of love and a true marriage relationship, that he could see me at my worst, physically, and still have compassion."

"My husband was amazing at my recent (4 months ago) home birth! He rubbed my back and prayed ♥ After he prayed I got a sense of strength! God gave us the strength! Thanks Wooby (what I call my husband lol)!! ♥"

"If he could have done it for me, that would have been really great. As it was though, just being present was sufficient. This last time, the only thing he did besides sitting with me, talking to me and making me laugh was support my back while I was delivering."

"took lots of photos of the whole thing! that's what i really wanted and so glad he did it!"

"I think that I have the only husband who installed a shower during my labor and it was greatly appreciated. He was there when I needed him, but occupied when I didn't. After 8 kids, we finally have a nice balance."


"Vocalized with me the entire time and was just there. It's all I needed to get through and having him vocalize with me made me feel safe and not self conscious. I didn't even ask him to, he just did it."

I think it's interesting to see the different ways that birth partners can be supportive or unsupportive. I also think that each couple should discuss their wishes beforehand and develop an idea of how the partner can be supportive and helpful during labor and birth.

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