Support Your Partner Before & After Her Natural Birth
So often tv, film, and popular culture make labor and birth look like something a woman must do alone. While in some ways that is the case and sometimes a necessity because of a mother’s situation, there are ways partners can make this journey a little easier for mothers. Missouri Midwifery focuses on a family oriented natural birth. If a partner is in the picture, we believe they should help the mother in any way possible. She is, after all, doing the hard part.
Understanding When Labor Starts
Many of us have a tendency to overlook things that don’t directly concern us, but your partner’s situation is an extension of your own. She has probably spent time thinking about what natural birth will feel like. Maybe she has researched how to know when she is entering labor and when her natural birth process has begun. But when the time comes, it might be difficult for her to gauge or she might need your help. You should know, too.
We encourage partners of natural birth mothers to use a timer to gauge her contractions. If painful contractions last more than 45 seconds and occur every 5 minutes for an hour, she is most likely beginning the labor and birth process. You can call your Missouri Midwifery certified nurse midwife to be sure, but you could also come on over.
Support and Representation
Your certified nurse midwife wants your partner to be as comfortable as possible, but her main concern is that no complications occur. Your midwife doesn’t know your partner in the way that you do, and depending on the circumstances, you might be the best one to share your partner’s wishes. Do what you can to communicate exactly what your partner needs in order for her to get comfortable during her natural birth. Then, settle into your role as supporter.
Really, you are there to support her during her labor and birth. She will have times of pain, and there might be things you can do to help. Be ready to give her a massage or stroke her hair, but don’t rush to do these things either. Some women find this comforting, but not all mothers react in the same way. Make yourself available but don’t move for contact unless you’re sure she wants it and will find it soothing or helpful.
Nothing compounds pain and impatience like the tick-tock of a clock. Do your best to make Mom forget how slow time is moving. Natural birth, like all birth, can take a long time. Early labor can feel frustrating for first-time mothers because it feels endless. Do what you can to make her comfortable and take her mind off of what will happen.
Take Your Partner to Missouri Midwifery for Her Natural Birth
Want to be a great partner? Take your soon-to-be-mother to Missouri Midwifery. Support her and listen as she talks to her certified nurse midwife her visits prior to her natural birth. Take ownership of your part to play in this beautiful experience. If you have further questions or want to talk to a midwife about what we do, contact Missouri Midwifery.