How to support your partner during labour

One of the best contributions you can make as a partner – both for yourself and your woman – is to be present and be prepared. To help you, we have put together a three-step plan for supporting your partner during labour.

1. Read up about labour
There are countless books about pregnancy, labour and child rearing. You can also read about it in our app The Pregnancy Book, which can be downloaded from AppStore to iPad. When you know the facts, you'll feel part of the process and can make your partner feel loved and supported. Talk to each other and share your knowledge.

It's a good idea to take part in a birth preparation course to learn everything you need to know about the labour process from beginning to end. It's also useful to prepare for the big day by looking at pictures. Ask your midwife for advice.

2. Prepare for your role as a labour companion
Your midwife's job is to make sure your partner and baby get through labour and delivery in the best possible way. But your important role is to help your partner feel secure and communicate her requests and preferences.

Speak to your partner about the birth plan and make sure you know her preferences, for instance regarding pain management and touch. It's also good to maintain a dialogue with the midwife, because you may need to explain your partner's preferences during labour if she is unable to do it for herself.

3. Be prepared for the days after the birth
After the birth, you will embark on a new exciting challenge with a new little person in the family. Some partners feel unconfident. Maybe you both do. But with time you will grow into your new roles and find the right way.

This time will not last for ever, so the secret of enjoying your experience as new parents is to continue supporting your partner. She needs to recover after the delivery and is probably also establishing a breastfeeding routine. Talk to each other about all the new things going on and how it feels to have a little child to love and care for. ´.

Further reading: Tone up after childbirth

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