how to be a good birthing partner(9 Posts)
hi everyone my sister is due 2 give birth in 10 wks and has asked me 2 be her birthing partner and although I've done it twice myself I feel nervous about being on the other side and was wondering if any1 had sum advice on how 2 be there for her during the birth thanks
Tricky - but how lovely she's asked you
I think all you can do is try and talk to her before hand about what she thinks she might like - both wrt physical/emotional support during the birth and wrt taking on more of an advocacy role with the MWs.
Has she got any kind of a birth plan? Have you been through it with her so you understand why it goes the way it does? Is she happy with the care plan laid out by the maternity unit or are there aspects she'd prefer to do in a different way? What if things become more complicated - would she rather have forceps or ventouse, for example? I know when I was in labour I wanted to be very quiet and found talking a lot more effort than normal - and I was grateful that DH took on the role of asking questions so that I got the information without having to talk too much. DH being well versed in how I felt about birth meant he could fill that role very effectively (but then I wanted to be involved in the decisions and I know that isn't true for all women)
Ultimately, I'd try hard to remember that whatever I felt about birth, this was my sisters birth and do my best to support her in achieving the kind of birth she thinks she wants. And be prepared for what she wants on the day to be completely different to what she thought it would be! I'd also memorise the NCT's "TBRAINS" acronyms - and, whatever happened, try to stay calm enough to utilise it if appropriate and helpful:
Do we have Time* to talk about this?
What are the Benefits?
What are the Risks?
What are the Alternatives?
What does your sister's Intuition say about it?
What happens if we do Nothing for now?
There's some good stuff here hackneydoula.co.uk/.
I would think about what you would have wanted from a birth partner and ask what she wants from you.
Being a birth partner is an amazing experience and one that im sure you will remember forever! Get to know your sisters " do's and dont's" wishes for her birth plan so you can help be her voice if she is too focused to speak. keep her calm and controlled, you can remind her of breathing techniques, positions, maybe a gently massage but generally just having you there im sure will be a great comfort to her so dont stress too much and enjoy your neice/nephew coming into the world.x
Tell her you love her, that you're proud of her, that everything is going well, that she'll meet her baby soon, that it will all be worth it and that she is doing a great job.
Listen to her and what she wants at that moment of her labour and do your best to respond. that's what I wanted from my birth partner.
The best things my birth supporters did were, keeping a constant supply of water going for me (with a straw!), suggesting positions (you could read an active birth book for ideas) and being there to keep me upright in them!
Advocacy was great too, and reminding me of things I wanted, like feeling the head crowning which I had totally forgotten about, and taking photos.
lots of praise and reassurance and encouragement and love
keep her energy up offering snacks/water
be her advocate so she can get on with birthing (talk a lot about what she wants)
don't be afraid yourself, it's catching
offer massage if she wants it (can be as simple as running your fingers lightly up and down her back or look into other techniques that can help like pressure on sacrum)
remind her to relax her face, makes birthing easier
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