Labour: Partners and your support

(…yes, that’s you – partner, parent, grandparent, friend…)

  1. 1 Contribute to pregnancy and parenting education classes

    Around 30-38 weeks, you’ll get lots of practical info like how baby’s developing, the birth process and breastfeeding. Check out www.parentscentre.org.nz or a District Health Board funded class in your area.

  2. 2 Keep talking!

    Good communication about the impending birth is key to playing an active role – learn some technical terms (like cervix, transition, perineum) so you’re not baffled by science on the day.

  3. 3 100% committment

    Once you’ve committed to support her, make sure you’re providing unwavering support, encouragement and practical help.

  4. 4 Have I got my car keys…?

    Does the hospital have parking arrangements? Do you have your cell phone (and charger)? Or money for the hospital pay phone. Who will look after the kids during labour? It’s worth planning ahead!

  5. 5 How do I know?

    Is she in labour? If she starts to get considerable pain in her lower tummy, even it is not coming and going… talk to your LMC about when to call for labour support. They’ll often advise to try and stay put at home for the early stages of labour.

  6. 6 Back rub time

    Use firm circular motions over the lower back, use the heel of the hand, add a little oil or talcum powder and you’ll be providing much needed relief during labour.

  7. 7 Lip service

    Encourage sipping a little water or sucking some ice between every contraction.

  8. 8 Visit the ladies

    Encourage visits to the toilet at least every hour, and be a chaperone!

  9. 9 Trying different positions in labour

    Encourage moving around as much as she can, helping her get into different positions – but don’t be surprised if she wants to change again.

  10. 10 Exhale…

    Breathing through the contractions with her as they get stronger will help slow the pace. Remember what you’ve both practised.