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.
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.
Remind her to maintain a slow, rhythmic
• 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
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