Being a support person in labour is a HUGE role.
Think of yourself as the Sherpa helping her climb Mt.Everest, the fans at the MCG cheering on their sporting heros, the cheer squad running along side her as she crosses that marathon finish line.
You can make ALL the difference by knowing how to be an incredible support: Here’s 50 tips to guide you.
- Know what she wants. Have discussions in pregnancy around what she might need in labour.
- Support her with her wishes.
- Pack the labour and birth bag – as you’ll be the one pulling things out of it in labour.
- Set up her space – create an environment similar to what you both need for intimacy.
5. Put on music that you both love.
6. Be fully present – by her side every step of the way.
7. Encourage rest in early labour, if that feels right for her.
8. Encourage her to fuel her body. Remember she’s running a marathon.
9. If using a TENs machine – remind her to get it on early.
10.Make her laugh.
11. Get in touch with your caregivers in early labour.
12. If it’s night time – encourage rest.
13. Hold her.
14. Dance with her.
15. Make eye contact.
16. Kiss her.
17. Breathe with her.
18. Encourage her to use her visualisaton techniques.
19. Offer he frequent sips of fluid (water, along with electrolyte drinks).
20. If she’s nauseated or vomiting – give her ice chips.
21. Remind her to empty her bladder every few hours.
22. Once labour is established – keep chit chat to a minimum.
23. Whisper words of encouragement in her ear.
24. Give her combs to squeeze.
25. Stomp, walk, pace, rock, sway with her.
26. Hold her hands.
27. Encourage her to “let go” between each surge.
28. Remind her to relax her face and jaw.
29. Offer ice cold face washers to her head and neck once she’s working hard.
30.Offer different comfort measures;
35. Sacral pressure.
36. Hip squeeze.
37. Acupressure points.
40. The shower or bath can be a game changer.
41. If it’s working – don’t change it.
42. Only change strategies if she tires of a particular action.
43. Be her cheer squad. Lift her.
45. Remind her you’re meeting her baby.
46. Encourage her to stay upright and open.
47. Once you notice a regular consistent pattern of her waves – do a timing.
47. Touch base with your caregivers again once labour is established.
48. Always come back to the breath.
49. Advocate for her – you are the protector of her space.
50. Remember to look after yourself too. Fuel and hydrate your body and have rests when/if you are able to.