DP or DH's role during childbirth?(45 Posts)
I assume that most expectant women prefer to have their DP/DH to be present during the birth. What sort of things would you expect your partner to do for you during the event? Did you find that having them there was helpful? Also is there anything they shouldn't do?
Different things at different stages. But most importantly, to really listen to their partner and do whatever it is that your partner needs at that point in time.
It's also useful if they've read any birth plan/preferences so they can be a useful advocate for what the woman wants.
My DH and my mum were present at the birth of my first child. It was a long labour n my DH and midwives knew the plan was no drugs unless needed. I was focusing on labour and had been in intense pain for hours when I turned to look at him. He had tears in his eyes and asked me if I wanted pain relief. I had been so focused I hadn't thought to ask and couldn't believe how relieved I was to say yes. Your partner at birth needs to be your advocate, the voice of your common sense. To me it's unfair to expect that during labour you can say what you need, that's where a good partner comes in, never loved him more than that moment. The midwives won't suggest anything unless you ask, for me that's the point of a good partner.
For me personally, when having DD his job was to rub my back when needed and to stay out of my way the rest of the time until I was at the pushing stage. He quickly learnt that the sound of the gas and air tube meant rub my back, then when I stopped he could leave me in peace.
When having DS I had my mum there. She was my voice after a very long difficult labour. If not for her I would have ended up with interventions that I wanted to avoid.
This time babies dad will be there again. Not sure what he will do this time, but he will need to be my voice regarding movement in my hips/pelvis and help me to mobilise during labour.
It's interesting, isn't it, how different women want different things? I would have been furious if my DP had suggested pain relief mid labour, as he knew that wasn't what I wanted. To suggest it would have annoyed me greatly.
My DP had to be my advocate after my DS was delivered, as we were both ill. He went with my DS to SCBU and took all the decisions that were needed as I was incoherent.
My DH's key role was to make executive decisions if required (if I was incapacitated, if something hideous happened to me etc) and to stay with the baby if something happened to me. Then it was the whole supporting me through labour thing.
I'm a 'head down, get the job done' kind of person in labour so all my DH really did was pass me minty sweets, get me water, cut the cord and dress the babies when they arrived
My labour wasn't too bad. DP made sure I had small bites of food and lucozade to keep me going. During the pushing stage it was his voice I heard telling me to stop pushing as DD was crowning, to prevent tearing. He was really helpful post birth. I need a couple stitches in a tricky spot, so he did skin to skin with DD. I just didn't feel safe holding her while getting stitched up with G&A!
My DH's role was to sit quietly, say as little as possible and not touch me! Couldn't bear to be spoken to or touched in either labour, I was in my own world. I also wouldn't have wanted him suggesting pain relief mid labour, I was still capable of making my own decisions and asking for what I wanted.
I'm with grotbag, I had quite a medically managed first birth due to my health. I had several midwives and doctors. I had blood taken from both arms, heart monitor for me and baby, cardiologist on hand. For me hubby was there for moral support. I wanted to know he was there but I would have gone mental had he tried to do anything, I just wanted to be left alone with my gas and air! At one stage he said he was tired and was trying not to doze, I told him to damn well stand up then. The only other time he talked was to encourage me, I told him to be quiet (politely and calmly, just couldn't take any more instructions). Glad he was there but really didn't want him to do anything!
In any hospital situation, it's difficult to take everything in, so one of my husband's roles was to act as a second set of ears, listening to what was being said and to ask questions etc.
I think,my husband supported me by being there, rather than doing anything active. He held both babies before I did.
My first was epidural and forceps. His job at the end was holding one of my legs and hollering push! It worked - I was exhausted but managed to push her out in the end.
My second was a waterbirth. His job was to pour a jug of water over my back during cx. That really helped distract from the pain.
I advise any DHs/DPs doing the same to make sure they don't comment, soon after baby arrives, on how sore their arm is after all that pouring. My DH got pretty short shrift for that!
Really my oh did not do much when I was in labour. Not because he was unwilling, there just was not much for him to do. I did most of the labour at home so he only put some music on for me and ran a bath. At the hospital I don't even remember speaking to him, he was rubbing my back but that is about it. I did not want or need anyone for support really. I was very much in my own bubble and got on with it because that is what worked for me.
I did say to him beforehand though that if something went wrong, he would have to be my voice and be there for me.
I think I counted more on his support afterwards. I suffered bad from pnd so I counted on him to take ds so I could sleep and support me.
I've had two home births with only one mw each time
DH's job was to sort the sheets, towels, cushions, run bath... (not disappear to sort some washing ) bring me cold cold water and catch the baby if necessary
I'm also a "head down, get the job done" kinda person so his job is to bring me stuff and otherwise pipe down
My birth was very straight forward in a pool at a MLU. Dh just repeatedly filled my water bottle. Kept out the way. But I knew he was there. If anything had gone wrong I'd have looked to him to help make any decisions. It was great after to have had him there as he helped me go through it all and process it all and remember everything (I may have been quite high on g&a). It also helped to have him around after saying how great id been and his proud he was
i had a very long labour, the last 18 hours or so in hospital. during that time the pain was mostly managable, so dh's job was to keep me occupied, keep my spirits up etc and generally distract me. and to not touch me!
and when I ended up with an emcs, his job was to be with dd. he did skin to skin and looked after her while I got sorted out. I felt so much calmer knowing she was with him.
To be my advocate. We had discussed what I wanted so he knew, and he was great at reassuring me and encouraging me. He would also have gone with baby if it turned out it needed to go to nicu or scbu. He also cut the cord and gave ds lots of cuddles whilst they sorted me out (I had a pph).
I told my dh that he was to be my filter during labour. I planned on taking pain relief a stage at a time (so not going from paracetomol to an epidural iyswim) so if I asked for that he was the one who said yes or no.
As it was he slept through most of it,nearly passed out at one point once he was awake then when DD arrived so fast there wasnt time for a second midwife to come assist he assisted the midwife!
My plan for him to stay away from the business end didnt happen!
My Dh was essential for me. He's hold/rub me during contractions in the earlier stages, and later when near pushing held the gas and air and said encouraging things! He also helped me with the toilet when I needed a wee and reassured me when I cried a bit. He was excellent both times
I wanted mine to keep a low profile and do only what expressly told to by me or mw. His main role was keeping my mum updated - long labour and she was at our house looking after our dogs. Other than that, his only job was to make sure I could always reach the gas and air and that no-one tried to take it away from me. I was fairly calm, quiet and focussed in labour but removing my gas and air would almost certainly have unleashed hell.
My DH was wonderful at my home births, I trust and love him, so just having him there helped me be calm and confident. He mainly kept rubbing my back as I asked during contractions and just being a steadfast rock proving a secure anchor through the waves of contractions.
My DH was next to useless in labour. It was very long and he was bored shitless and spent hours posting stuff on Facebook - even when I asked him not to. I have told him his phone is banned this time.
He is quite highly strung and very anxious about the whole thing and I think me being worried about him meant I didn't relax and that's one of the reasons it took so bloody long.
In fact, I would prefer him not to be there at all and do it by myself this time but he would be heartbroken if I even suggested it.
I should say - he's a brilliant dad in every other way and does more than his fair share, but during labour he was a liability.
My husband wasn't even there for the birth of my first child, not on purpose, he missed it. It was a bit of a shame, but as it was so awful (instrumental birth, looked like out of a horror film) I was kind of glad he didn't have to see that.
DH was there for DD1s birth in hospital. I didn't really need him and he was sat in corner having cups of tea. I was fine with midwives. DD2s birth was quicker - 4 hour labour and only just got to hospital in time. He was parking the car properly while I gave birth with help of midwives and again was fine without him. DS1 was a homebirth and DH looked after our other two while I gave birth in the bedroom with two lovely midwives. Again a short labour - 3 hours. I have never felt the need for DH there or any birthing partner as I do not want anyone patting me on the head/talking nonsense to me when in labour. I prefer to deal with it myself but of course want the medical staff there for a safe delivery.
This is just how I feel - everyone is different and some women find their partners/Mums/friends a great support during labour.
4th hospital birth. Normal delivery. Hospital was my preferred option.
All 4 times just felt reassured he was there, got me water to drink (was fasted), I'd hate someone "cheering me on".
Last baby born 2 weeks ago, sometimes I'd look across and see him reading the paper! he also had 2 sets of tea and toast from midwifes (whilst I wasn't allowed to eat - slightly annoying).
If there had been any complications or decisions I'd have wanted him there but the main reason for him being there (imo) was so he was there when his children were born, it's a big day! I'd have been fine with just midwives.
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