The role of the birthing partner at a birth is that of support and encouragement. This can range from being a quiet presence in the background to actively cheerleading and supporting as necessary
Birth partners are generally put in charge of the environmental things, So setting up the birthing pool. Sorting out the lighting, connecting the music and mp3s to the bluetooth speak. Sorting out the floor covering and making their partners a nest to birth in. Making sure that the Camera is charged. This is not the time to find out that there is no storage left on your phone or no petrol in the car!
When at the hospital you’ll need to be carrying the bags so make sure that they are not too heavy and that you have used wheeled bags if possible. You might like to put some battery candles around and/or use room sprays to make the room smell more like at home. These little touches will help to help make the environment feel like it is more personally yours. This feeling of being comfortable really helps get the oxytocin hormone flowing.
Hypnobirthing tuition provides partners with a set of tools that will help them support their partners in the birth room. Just by being there, the partner fulfils the role as advocate, entertainer and chief support person.
Being a quiet presence is one of those things that is hard to teach, when there is oxytocin flowing it is easy but when there is adrenaline, then the fight, flight, freeze reaction can kick in. A partner may be able to change the situation and put the birth journey back on track. A little light touch massage may really help her, but also she may wish you not to speak, not to touch, whilst at the same time still wanting you to be present.
Breathing techniques, if practiced regularly, will come naturally. And a gentle reminder to your partner is all that is necessary. Just breathing with her is often enough to remind her to slow down. Encouraging her to change position regularly and empty her bladder regularly. Providing snacks that are easy to eat and digest can be useful. Think Jelly babies and biscuits! Oaty Snackbars are good for a more sustained effect.
Reminding her to empty her bladder regularly is important as it can impede the baby’s journey through the pelvis. I like to suggest an hourly reminder.
If you are going in for induction of labour or for elective surgery then take some things to amuse you. A wound up, hot and irritated partner is not what is needed for birth to happen and as there can be long expanses of time when not a lot is happening taking a good book or some films to watch can make all the difference. Remember you need to be calm and have the love for your partner flowing for labour and birth to work effectively.
Just being there is the most important thing.