Choosing a Birth Partner

Choosing a Birth Partner

Research shows that women who receive continuous emotional and physical encouragement during labor are less likely to need pain relief, medical intervention, assisted delivery, or cesarean surgery, and generally experience shorter labors. Additionally, after the fact, women who had supportive birth partners tend to view their birth experience in a more positive light, and some research even shows that they have less post-partum depression, and breastfeed easier.

Wow, right? That all sounds great. So how do you choose? Choosing a birth partner is not as easy as it may sound. Is your partner automatically the right choice? Would a female friend or family member, or someone who has been through labor and delivery before be a better choice? What about your mom? Are you worried about offending someone by not inviting them into the room with you?

The truth is that labor and delivery is typically a long event. Your partner, who may be just as nervous and anxious as you – and may not do very well in the face of blood and guts – may not be the best person to have at your side. This doesn’t mean that he shouldn’t be allowed or invited in the room, but perhaps having a good friend or trusted loved one by your side AS WELL, is a good option. In fact, there are many people who hire a doula for just this purpose – to help keep them calm, talk them through the labor and make the experience as beautiful as possible.

The last person you want to choose as your birth partner is someone who is overly anxious, or worried, or who would react badly in rough situations. And yet, you also want someone who knows what YOU want, and who will advocate for you. You want someone who is not afraid to ask questions of the medical staff, who isn’t afraid to intervene, and who pays attention to everything that goes on around you. Remember, you will have enough going on and you will need someone else there to help with the minor details. You should also choose a birth partner who is not afraid to baby you a little bit, and who is truly and earnestly concerned with your wellbeing. No woman wants a birth partner to stand beside her and tell her to ‘suck it up,’ or ‘calm down.’ You need compassion and assistance that is positive during this time in your life.

Many women prefer to have another female, especially one who has already had a baby, by their side when they give birth. Having someone who will make you laugh and will help you pass the time is a good way to stay distracted (or at least as distracted as possible during this difficult time).

If you are really lucky, your partner will be the perfect match. But if not, don’t fret. And don’t be afraid to ask a friend, loved one or family member to sit by your side and literally and metaphorically hold your hand. Do this ahead of time, and make sure that they are aware of your birth plan, and anything that you do or don’t want during pregnancy. Chances are, they will be delighted that you chose them. And, they may be of great help to the baby’s father as well.

Essentially, having someone with you who can remain calm and supportive is one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself. This is your birth, and you want to be able to look back on it and remember how special it was.  The perfect birth partner can help you do just that. If you don’t know anyone, consider talking with doulas in your area.

Written By Stef, Mom of 4 @Momspirational

This information is not intended to replace the advice of a trained medical doctor. Health & Parenting Ltd disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information, which is provided to you on a general information basis only and not as a substitute for personalized medical advice. All contents copyright © Health & Parenting Ltd 2017. All rights reserved.