As you near the finale of the nine-month-long trek you’ve been waiting for, you may feel like going off grid altogether. The endless texts asking “Any news?”, combined with the Facebook updates telling you yet another prenatal class buddy has welcomed their little bundle of joy, are enough to convince you to throw your smart phone out of the nearest window. Add to this the abundance of phone calls from over excited soon-to-be-grandparents desperate to know when it all kicks off, and you’ll soon be reaching for the scissors to put your landline out of action too.
The only exception to this please-leave-me-alone-and-stop-contacting-me-to-ask-if-I’m-in-labour-yet rule, is your birth partner. You will want your birthing partner in front of their emails, next to the office phone, with their mobile waiting and ready in their hand, just in case it’s almost time. If your partner has a hectic work schedule, or can often be out of contact for hours at a time, what can you do to ensure you reach them when the big day comes?
1. Keep it mobile – while your grandma may remember the days of labouring women awaiting neighbours running across town to inform soon-to-be-fathers that labour had started, that’s not quite how it works today. In fact, your partner probably has a mobile phone that is taken with them everywhere, and this makes things much easier. Make sure your partner keeps their phone fully charged, and carries a phone charger at all times, just in case. Ask your birth partner to turn the volume up and keep the phone with them at all times. If your birth goes places without signal, he or she should try to call every few hours to make sure they haven’t missed any calls from you.
2. Call the office – make sure you have the office number, and that the receptionist knows you are due to have a baby so any calls from you will be considered urgent. Work lines can be busy, so it may take a while to get through. If you’re not having any luck on their mobile, try calling the office. Even if he or she is not there, the receptionist is likely to offer to take over ringing their mobile number so that you can concentrate on labour.
3. Get the digits – you have the mobile number and office number, but where else might they be when the first contraction hits? If your birth partner spends a lot of time at the gym, make sure you have the number for the reception in case they are working out when it starts. You don’t want to be googling sports venues during your early contractions. If they are going round to a friend’s house, ask them for the landline number in case you need to get in touch. This is going to be one the greatest events of their life, so you’ll want to make sure they doesn’t miss it.
4. Have a back up – not a back up birth partner, although that is always a good idea to have one in mind, just in case. Have a back up phone operator in case you struggle to get hold of your partner. You really don’t want to be breathing through contractions while listening to the electronic voice mail message for the millionth time. If you can’t get in touch with your partner, ask a friend to take over calling them while you focus on labour.
5. Send for your birth partner – if you know where they are but can’t get through because of bad signal, a dead battery or a power cut – send someone else to look for them. Ask a close friend or family member to go and find your birth partner and get them for you. It’s unlikely you’ll ever need to do this, chances are the phone will be picked up as soon as you ring the mobile, but it’s worth being prepared.
How is your partner staying accessible as your due date approaches?
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Written by Fiona (@Fiona_Peacock), mother, writer and lover of all things baby related.
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 2018. All rights reserved.