Preparing for Birth Australian Edition Partial Preview - Page 13

Support for Labour Every labouring woman benefits from a dedicated companion who has prepared with her, understands and respects her desires, is knowledgeable in ways to show support, and encourages her to labour and birth instinctively. This person may be your spouse, partner, doula, friend or family member. You may also want to consider additional people who can help and what their role(s) will be. Birth Partner The birth partner often has a large role in providing support for the labouring woman, although the specific role may vary depending on your situation and personal preferences. These are a few things (although not all) that the support person may be responsible for: • Help the labouring mother be comfortable. • Stay calm at all times and provide verbal praise, support and encouragement. • Preview Remind her to maintain a slow, rhythmic breathing pattern. • Provide massage or physical touch. • Be her advocate and communicate her birth Additional Support preferences with the medical team. Many parents benefit from having additional • Ensure that the environment is as relaxing support so that the partner is able to take as possible. Minimise or eliminate any breaks, get some sleep or eat a meal, while the distractions or elements creating tension. mother always has someone she trusts by her • Call the doctor/midwife/doula/family to relay side. A family member or friend can serve in this progress. additional support role, or you may consider • Bring bags from home to the birth location. hiring a doula. See page 47 for more information • Get her food, drink and care for other needs. on doulas. Some women find solitude comforting and relaxing, while others prefer companionship and will be comforted by the presence of several people. Consider your preferences ahead of time as you determine who you wish to have surrounding you during your labour and birth. As you assemble your labour support team, it is important that you only include people who make you feel comfortable and safe. Do not invite anyone to your birth who creates tension for you or does not support your desires. Comfort Measures 31