Checklist for the one who isn’t giving birth

It can feel awkward being a bystander at the delivery, not really knowing what’s expected of you.

3 min read

Checklist for the one who isn’t giving birthPhoto:Preggers

Prepare a checklist. It can be useful to have clear tasks listed in order to know what to focus on if things get heated, or if the delivery is prolonged. It is certainly not you who will give birth, but the delivery process can be draining nevertheless. Charge yourself with lots of sleep, nutrition and rest. Be mindful of your own needs, it will be to the benefit of both of you. Bring some sandwiches, crackers and cookies and fruit and make sure to eat enough at the beginning of the labour process. You will need a lot of energy. Remember to download a couple of movies or TV shows if it turns out to be a prolonged labour process. This is when the checklist is useful!

Guide her through the contractions

Time the contractions. You can either just write it down, or use a contraction timer, a tool available in various apps. Check what’s available in advance and pick one that seems good and easy to use. Help her through the contractions and say: “You’re almost at the peak of the contraction. Keep going, it will ease soon. Hang in there. Awesome. You’re doing a great job”.

Offer drinks and something to nibble on

Have water, energy drinks, sandwiches, fruit, chocolate and more nearby and offer it to your partner, all the time. She will need 200 ml of fluids each hour. Make sure she is peeing regularly.

Be aware of her tension

Wipe away any tension she may have, such as raised shoulders, fists, tense lips as soon as you observe those. Remind her by saying “shoulders, eyebrows… forehead…” and so on.

Don’t take it personally

You will be rejected, but don’t take it personally. Instead, always be there and ask how she is feeling, offer her massages etc. Her needs and emotions will change throughout labour and she may express these very strongly. Remember that it’s not directed at you or the midwife. It’s not uncommon that you will get to hear some rather harsh words…!

Be a communication channel

Be your partner’s communicator when she is not able to communicate herself. Make requests to the midwife and ask questions. A worried mother needs constant reassurance that everything is alright. Try to be patient.

Remember to enjoy the moment

Don’t forget that you are celebrating an amazing birthday. Put on some nice music specifically chosen for this day and enjoy what’s going on.

Pep talk

When it gets really gruelling, remind her why you are here: “It’s not long until we’ll meet our baby!” Be positive and keep on updating her on the process: “Now you’ve opened another centimetre!”. Make her visualise that it’s soon over: “I can’t wait to call your mum and give her the news!”

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