©2019 Sacred Beginning, Sharon Gourlay

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Hints: How to help during labor?


I get asked often by birth partners "How can I help, really help,  during labor"?  It always makes me smile because I feel that intuitively couples reach for one another through labor.  They often "just know" what to do to help each other.  It has been my experience that the following ideas are helpful:


  • Take a childbirth education class that focuses on how you can understand and support your partner during birth.

  • Approach your partner with a positive mind set.  Keep it positive.

  • Help your partner navigate birth with BRAIN (Benefits, Risks, Alternative, Intuition/Instincts, Do Nothing).

  • Make sure you are taking care of yourself through labor (you need to eat, drink, and rest).  This is a very good reason to have a doula.  As doula ensures that you are cared for and then you can care for your beloved.

  • Use a cool cloth to wipe your partner's face.

  • After each surge offer a drink/ice chips.

  • Remain calm.

  • What normally helps your partner to relax (shower, tub, music)?

  • Have you tried brushing her hair?

  • How about light touch massage to increase endorphin flow?

  • Maintain eye contact if they are stressed, doubtful, or goes into a panic.

  • Let them know how great they are doing.

  • Encourage deep breaths which are even.

  • Massage, use counter pressure, acupressure, or double hip squeeze for back labor.

  • Place your hand on one anothers heart and talk to directly, slowly, passionately.

  • Move in the same way your partner is moving or the same rhythm.

  • Remember to move and change positions.

  • Have they gone to the bathroom recently?  Remember full bladders irritate the uterus.  Clearly, that is not helpful in labor.

The best thing that can be done to help families achieve their birth vision is to have a birth doula and care provider who match the family's values.  To learn more about how to support your partner during birth check out my childbirth education options on the website.  Wishing you a gentle and calm birthing journey.



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