What does a Birth Partner do?

Birth Partners play a valuable role in childbirth, in making you comfortable and supporting you.  Here I share 6 things your Partner can do to nurture your birth experience.

1.   Protect your Privacy & Birth Space

Image by Paige Driscoll, Santa Cruz Birth Photography

Your birth space matters – it’s important you feel safe, comfortable and secure wherever you birth baby and that you’ve privacy.  Your Partner can help create your birth space in early labour, protect your privacy and ensure you’re comfortable and have all you need.  You may like electric candles, aromatherapy and soft music in the background.  Discuss how you’d like your birth space to be beforehand.

2.  Be your Advocate

By discussing your choices and birth preferences with your Partner during pregnancy, they can better understand and support your wishes in labour.  When you’re in labour, your Partner can answer simple questions on your behalf, enabling you to remain focused inwards, on your body, breath & baby – supporting the hormones that facilitate birth.  For example, when you go into labour, your Partner can time your contractions and telephone the midwife to let them know.

3.  Encourage you with Positive Words & Praise

Words are a powerful tool. Whilst your pregnant, prepare with your Partner a list of positive affirmations about childbirth that you relate to and resonate with your heart.  Your Partner can use this to verbally support and encourage you during birth.  Fear and anxiety, create tension which is often the root cause of pain and can also stall labour or slow its progress.  It’s important that you feel positive about birth and your body’s ability to birth your baby.  Surrounding yourself with positive people will support this.

4.  Support your Breathing, Posture and Movement

In our Birth Preparation Workshop with expecting parents, we work through this together, so that you’re both able to experience this in active role play before the big day. This supports your Partner to understand why we use the techniques shared, so they’re less memorised and easier to apply.  This includes preparing your birth space for active birth and movement and much more.

Moving with your body during labour helps reduce the intensity of sensations and enables you to work with your body and baby to create space and release – supporting baby’s journey earth-side.

5.  Making sure you’re comfortable

For example, if you’re on all fours on a yoga mat, you may like a blanket under your knees or a pillow on a birthing ball to rest your head on.  Offering you sips of water and snacks.  Perhaps you’d like a warm or cold compress?  Asking you if there’s anything they can do to make you more comfortable.

6.  Using Pressure holds & Massage techniques 

Whenever a labouring woman is touched during labour, this needs to be done mindfully and with permission.  These techniques are not used to do anything to baby but instead are used to help a labouring woman relax, enabling her muscles to soften & release – creating more space for baby.  These techniques and their mindful application are shared in our Birth Preparation Workshop.

Our Birth Preparation Workshop works to empower Partners to support women in labour.  This Workshop compliments our Pregnancy Yoga Classes.

Wishing expecting parents the very best !

Pregnancy Yoga & Birth Preparation Workshop: ‘Absolutely amazing service from Sky. Without the practice and encouragement in classes I don’t think I could have had a natural birth. She gave me tremendous encouragement and taught me countless techniques to prepare me for when my labour started. I would also make the couples workshop a priority for all, but especially for the birthing partners. My husband was my calm strong partner that I needed and he was prepared because the parenting class prepared him and he knew what techniques I would be doing.’ Safiya, December 2018,  shared here