The majority of partner’s during labor want to be helpful, loving, focused and intentional about the comfort measures they use and the words that they say. That doesn’t mean that they feel totally comfortable. For the most part, partners have only witnessed one or two births if any at all! It’s not necessarily a comfortable arena for them.
One of the biggest fears that I hear from most of my clients partners is “I don’t want to say something stupid!” and honestly, you probably will say something stupid. Thankfully it’s not the end of the world in labor! Here’s three things to remember when encouraging, talking to and supporting a laboring women.
Your partner loves you!: Is it possible that you will say something stupid during labor? Tell an off color joke or bring something up that isn’t conducive with the atmosphere. Probably! We all cope with stressful situation’s differently and thats a good thing. Just remember that your partner loves you! She knows you and she knows how you handle stress. If you are trying your best to support and comfort her, she won’t hold you to the dumb things you may say. Don’t forget that this is your experience too and you’re allowed to have the many emotions of a life changing experience! Communicate before hand and remember that love is the key here!
Laboring women aren’t themselves during labor: Labor is a huge undertaking no matter how your partner chooses to give birth. Un-medicated, epidural or cesarean section doesn’t mean the support and oxytocin need to stop. Love on her and care for her while she is going through one of the hardest things she will go through. She may be so focused on what she is dealing with that she doesn’t even notice you said something dumb.
Focus on her: Pay attention to her and her attitude. If she is solemn, you are solemn. If she is laughing, you can laugh! If she cries, she needs you close. Listening to these little hints from her will go a long way in how she remembers and processes the birth. It’s key that we follow her lead with emotions. If she’s crying, we aren’t laughing about something with the nurse in the corner. If she’s watching the game, you can watch the game and if she’s not, you’re not! It’s a simple and surefire way to enjoy your babies introduction into the world!
It’s not rocket science but it’s an important thing to remember. You’re laboring partner will most likely give you grace for some of the dumb things you may say during labor so do your best, communicate, plan and you’re going to do great! Oh, and don’t forget to hire My KC Doula, we’ll help you know what to do!