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Helping at the birth

Helping at the birth


Supporting your partner during birth

Being present when your baby comes into the world is an incredible experience. But there’s more to labour than standing back and watching. As a birthing partner, you’ll be there to offer all the support your partner needs, too.

Getting prepared

The best way to prepare for your partner’s labour is to attend antenatal classes. Not only will you learn ways to help your partner relax, such as breathing techniques and massage, but you’ll also get to know about all the different stages of labour and what to expect.

Antenatal classes are the best way to prepare for labour.

How to help during the birth

There are lots of ways you can play a part in helping your partner during labour. First off, make sure you’re familiar with her birth plan, so that when she’s busy concentrating on pushing and breathing, you can ensure her wishes are being met. Other than that, keep food and drink to hand for when she needs them and try putting what you learnt at antenatal classes into action. You could also ask if your partner would like you to:

  • Massage her feet and lower back
  • Document the event with photos
  • Help her change positions to stay comfortable
  • Cut the umbilical chord
  • Cool her down with a flannel or water spray
  • Help her stay mobile by walking around with her
  • Give her encouraging words (e.g. when you can see the baby’s head)

One of the most helpful things you can do is to remain calm for your partner – this will help her stay relaxed and calm too.

Next Steps

  • Find out about local antenatal classes
  • Take a look at our Preparing and Planning for Birth page for more tips
  • Get to know your partner’s birth plan if she has one
Last reviewed: 19th November 2015

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