THE ROLE OF
The Birth Partner
Partner, Support & Advocate
Surrounding yourself with support from your birth partner is an integral part of hypnobirthing. You're birth partner is someone who you choose to attend your birth with you. They should be a person you trust and who knows you well. They are the person you feel will best support you during your labour and birth.This could be your spouse, mother, doula, sister, friend etc.
Your birthing partner will be by your side throughout your hypnobirthing journey. They will be an active participant through each class and assist you in learning and practicing the techniques that are taught during classes.
During your labour, they are your support helping to keep you hydrated while assisting with various positive suggestions, hypnosis prompts and birthing techniques.
They are your voice through labour, helping you to communicate your birthing intentions. They also provide comfort measures within the birthing suite and can join in on the celebrations of welcoming the new bundle of joy.
Below are some examples of how your birth partner can support you during labour. In my classes we go into detail on how they can achieve this with strategies, suggestions and tips & tricks to help them along the way. Ensuring they feel happy and confident in the support they can offer you on the big day!
The importance of a birthing mother receiving encouragement and reassurance from their trusted and supportive birth partners can not be underestimated. In a time when a woman's mind is so focused on everything going smoothly, comments such as "you're going so well", "baby will be here soon", and "everything is good and the baby is happy" can be so helpful in keeping the birthing mother relaxed, allowing her body to birth calmly. It's also important to note that the type of reassurance requried can be different for every woman. Sometimes a gentle back rub or sympathetic smile (instead of words) is all some birthing mothers want or need.
Setting the scene
Bright lights, lots of talking and a constant reminder of time passed are all things that work against a birthing mother and the job she needs to do. Asking for the lights to be dimmed (or off), some peace and quiet and removing the clock from the wall are ways in which your birth partner can assist in setting the perfect space for a calm birth.
All women birth differently based on their preferences and what makes them feel comfortable. Light touch massage, a cold face cloth and strong shoulders to lean on are all physical ways your partner can help in keeping labour moving a long while also ensuring the birth mother is comfortable during the process.
A crisis of confidence
At one point or another, almost all birthing mothers reach a point in labour when they truly believe they can not go on. This is what we refer to as a crisis of confidence and it usually happens shortly before the baby arrives. Being reminded of this at the time can give a woman the reassurance she needs to push through and reestablish a 'rhythm' to see labour through to the approaching 'finish line'.
Being an advocate for your birth preference
When labouring and trying to remain relaxed, its not always possible for the birthing mother to communicate or remember the birthing preferences she established prior to labour. A birthing partner is usually the person who is closest to the mother and knows her better than anyone else. When suggestions are put forward from your carers or a special circumstance arises, asking for time to discuss your options privately is something simple your birth partner can do. This ensures the birthing mother is happy in the direction her labour is going. Whether she wants to stick to her written preferences or take another path in the moment.