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Labor and Delivery: 10 Ways Your Partner Can Support You

February 25, 2013

mailAs the end of your term nears, you may be thinking about your birth plan and how to prepare for the hospital. But email this article to your support person, whether that is your husband, partner, a family member, or a close friend, because there are ways for your partner to support you that are important to think about in advance.

  1. Attend classes. Childbirth education classes will help your partner to support you through the pain and exhaustion of birth, as well as help him to understand the procedures and protocols that are key to your hospital stay.
  2. Pack it up. Your partner should prepare his own hospital bag to ensure he has what he needs to spend nights with you, stay entertained while you rest, or take pictures. We’ve put together a handy guide to essentials here:
  3. Get to know hospital staff. The doctors, nurses, reception staff, and everyone else working on the maternity floor want you to have the best labor and delivery experience possible. The more your partner thanks them, listens to them, and asks them questions, the more he’ll understand their roles and how to get the support you both need.
  4. Speak up. There may be moments when you have questions or need something from your doctor or the nursing staff, but are not at your most articulate. The more your partner can communicate your needs, the better.
  5. Crowd control. While your entire family may be on stand-by, waiting for news, you may not want all of them to pile into the labor and delivery room with you. Your partner is the right person to allow entrance only to the people you want in the room, and for only the amount of time you prefer.
  6. Updates. Your extended family and close friends are all waiting to hear news about your healthy baby once she is born. Whether you want to email a select group of people with the news, or post pictures on Facebook, tell your partner in advance what you’d like him to communicate and to whom.
  7. Don’t be squeamish. From sweaty skin to needles to blood and other fluids, your partner will be witness to quite a bit in the labor and delivery room. If he is at all squeamish, get him prepared. Ask him to watch birth videos, read about what he’ll see and hear, and if he feels queasy or weak in the knees while you’re giving birth, he needs to be able to get ahold of himself and be strong for you!
  8. Documentation. Do you want a video of the entire labor process? Or would you rather a few pictures be taken after the baby is born and you’ve had a chance to wipe the sweat from your hairline? Either way, let him know what’s appropriate and what’s not.
  9. Clean up! After you’ve given birth, you’ll be relocated to a different room for the rest of your stay. Ask your partner to make sure all of your personal items come with you, as you may not have the presence of mind to do a visual sweep of the area.
  10. Remain calm. Your partner will be experiencing a lot of emotions while in the room with you, ranging from fear and nervousness to elation. While he is entitled to all of these emotions, he may want to practice putting on a brave, calm face for you.

So print this out or email it to your partner. Having a support person who is prepared, calm, and on your side will prove invaluable when the time comes for you to head into the hospital!

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