Excited for Labor but don’t know what role your partner will play?
Keep reading and find out about the 10 Ways Your Partner Can Support You During Labor.
Your husband, wife, or partner plays a huge role during, before, and after your pregnancy. But we often forget that they also play a big role during Labor & Delivery. Sometimes we just don’t think about their part during this process and get frustrated once our labor starts and our partners are not prepared enough.
With this post, I really want to encourage you to get your partner on board and both prepare for this very important part of pregnancy.
Without further due, let’s begin with the things your partner can do to help you during labor and delivery.
Get your partner on board by either sending this to them or talking openly about it!
1. Timing Contractions
After arriving at the hospital, you are probably going to be put on a monitor so the midwives can observe your contractions.
However, in case you are staying at home to wait for the stronger contractions, your husband should be timing them. When my contractions started getting stronger, there was no way for me to get my phone, open the app, and click „start“ and „stop“ for every contraction. I was in so much pain I even forgot to breathe or move.
You should tell your husband in advance that he should track them and also explain how to do it. Sometimes, especially when they get all excited and nervous, they don’t know what to do and therefore don’t function right. So just give them some time to practice before the real deal starts and they should be fine.
It is super convenient to track your contractions. The frequency and duration are big indicators for when you should drive to the hospital and the first thing a nurse will ask you once you get there.
2. Taking Care Of The Hospital Bag(s)
I said it before: Once my contractions started getting stronger, I was not able to move or function. I fully relied on my husband to do most of the work. All I wanted to do was get in the car and drive to the hospital ASAP.
You are most likely going to feel the same way. No woman in active labor will be able to think about their hospital bags or to grab the last-minute things they may need.
One piece of advice: Around week 36 of my pregnancy, our hospital bags were all packed and stored in our car. I even bought a new set of makeup and small travel-sized hygiene articles. All we had to grab before leaving were our wallets, phones, and keys. They are always in the same spot right next to our door so we didn’t even have to find them. It only took us 10 minutes to get dressed, grab our stuff, and leave for the hospital.
3. Knowing What Is Happening
During my pregnancy, my husband and I took a Birthing Class. Our instructor was a midwife at the hospital our class took place and she was amazing.
She really tried to make the class as interesting for all the husbands/partners as possible. Cause let’s be honest, men are not the ones known for their great listening skills. Of course, there are exceptions and I really don’t want to offend anyone… However, in my experience, they are not. Especially if someone talks about placentas and hemorrhoids…
My husband truly enjoyed the class, at least most of the time, and he learned so many things about pregnancy, birth, and postpartum that he was just as well informed as I was. So during labor, I really appreciated that he knew what was going on and I didn’t have to explain every detail to him. Especially whenever a contraction hit, he knew how to help me cope with the pain and made the whole experience less horrible.
In case you are not able to attend an in-person or online birth class, you can also check out some of these books I found:
I didn’t read any of these books myself since I attended a birthing class, but they have pretty good reviews on Amazon and are very affordable.
4. Helping With The Pain Management
During our class, the midwife explained how we can manage pain caused by contractions. Of course, we practiced breathing and she also showed us some positions and moves that we can do whenever a contraction is rolling around.
However, she also showed our partners some massage techniques that felt really good in class. So once I was in labor, my husband started rubbing my shoulders and gave me a quick back massage whenever I needed one. It was so nice and I didn’t even have to tell him what to do. He also reminded me to use the breathing techniques we learned.
5. Staying Calm, Positive And Flexible
Whenever I had a contraction, I suddenly got super mad and stressed and sometimes even yelled at my husband. I just didn’t know how to deal with the pain. So I really appreciated my husband staying calm the entire time and saying all these positive and empowering things to me. I can’t recall what he said exactly, but I know it really helped me in the situation. He even made me laugh sometimes, which didn’t necessarily stop the pain, but at least it helped light up my mood.
At the hospital, I tried all these different methods we learned during our birthing class. I walked around, breathed, sat on the birthing ball, laid down, and came on all fours. Nothing seemed to help and I got so frustrated and panicked the entire time. No matter what, my husband always stayed calm and flexible. Whatever I wanted to try, he helped me do it. He never complained and even came up with new things to try.
6. Doing All The Paperwork
After the nurses hooked me up on the monitor and gave me some painkillers, my husband took care of all the necessary paperwork. He also made sure we were assigned to a family room and took our bags there right away.
It was such a relief knowing that he is taking care of all these things and I could fully focus on my contractions without any distractions.
7. Keeping You Hydrated And Fed
Once we were officially admitted to the hospital and I was all checked and set up, I finally got my epidural. It was such a relief, I forgot all about the stress and the pain and could fully relax. Unfortunately, I also forgot all about drinking and eating.
Because my husband is the sweet and caring soul he is, and because he learned all about that in our birth class, he made sure to let me drink some water after every contraction he saw on the monitor and gave me a snack every hour.
8. Distracting You
After a while, a midwife came in to check me and I was dilated to 8 cm. She said it will take around two more hours until we can start pushing. All of a sudden, I got super excited but also very nervous.
My husband realized how nervous I got and started distracting me by asking me things about my past and future. We also started watching some YouTube videos, scrolled through my Instagram, and pinned some recipes on Pinterest that we would try out once we got home. All these little things helped me so much and I completely stopped thinking about the upcoming birth.
So when the midwife came in again and announced I am ready to push, I was actually surprised how fast the time went by.
9. Playing The Cheerleader
Once the pushing part started, my husband suddenly transformed into my personal cheerleader. He took my hand and every time a contraction would start, he firmly pressed my hand and cheered me on like never before.
Once our daughter’s head was showing, he started crying. His reaction gave me the last strength I needed to push as hard as I could to finally give birth to our beautiful baby girl.
My husband was on fire the entire time and without his encouragement, I would have never been able to do it. At least not in under 30 minutes.
10. Taking Pictures
Luckily, we took some pictures the morning I went into labor, and once we got to the hospital. We even took some right before I gave birth and of course some selfies once our daughter was born.
Whenever we are trying to remember that day, we just look at the pictures and are always so happy we have them. It is such a precious memory and I can’t wait to show them to our daughter one day.
In case you are in a lot of pain or can’t move because of your epidural, make sure to remind your husband to take some pictures for you. Even if it seems like a stupid or unnecessary idea at that moment, you will be thankful later.
I hope I was able to give you an idea about your partner’s responsibilities during Labor & Delivery. Of course, a family member or good friend can also do all these things for you. Whoever you feel the most comfortable around, should be the one by your side during that time.
Want to know more about Labor? Make sure to read these:
If you want to prepare yourself for the time after birth, especially for postpartum and taking care of your newborn, you should take a look at these posts as well:
- Postpartum Facts You Must Know About
- Newborn Facts You Must Know About
- Newborn Mistakes You Need To Avoid