There’s no doubt that the times that we are in are difficult and uncertain; especially for those of our One Love family getting ready to give birth. Whether it is for the first time or the fourth time, giving birth right now is different and challenging, to say the least. Most hospitals have made the difficult choice to limit visitors in the birth space to one support person. Resulting in many families going without their Doula or additional support person other than the birthing person’s partner. So, partner, this blog is for you!
What to expect in this post-
We are going to give you a few tips from us here at One Love as you prepare to support your pregnant partner through the birth experience. Pregnant people- we also want to take a moment and let you know that it is definitely okay to not be okay with the fact that your pregnancy and birth experience are not or possibly will not go as you planned or expected. It is okay to feel what you feel. But, if these feelings get overwhelming for you or your partner, please reach out to a Mental Health professional for some help so that you can take care of yourselves- because you matter. With that being said, let’s go!
How you can help as a source of labor/birth support during Covid-19-
First, be educated! Many Doula companies (including us) are offering some type of virtual Childbirth Education classes to help you be better prepared for the birth of your babe. Do yourselves a favor and take one!
Knowledge helps eliminate fear, and this will also give you a safe space and an educated professional to ask some lingering questions that you may have prior to giving birth. We also recommend ordering and reading the Birth Partner by Penny Simkin. This book is not a quick read, if time is running short, read through and get familiar with the parts that specifically go over how the husband/father/partner/support person can best help the birthing person.
Write down what you grasp and keep those tips close by or in your hospital bag for reminders if you feel stuck during the birth. If you cannot afford a Childbirth class right now, then this book will also go over some key elements and help you guys as far as understanding the birth process, comfort techniques and making a birth plan. As an extra resource to you, we offer a free downloadable PDF for support partners, and you can download that here.
Virtual Doula support
Another possible option is hiring a Doula for some virtual support! (Hint: We offer that, guys…)
We recognize you may be thinking:
“Why would this be helpful?”
“Won’t it just be weird not having our doula there to rub my partner’s back and whisper all her knowledge in my ear?”
I mean, yeah, it’ll be a little weird, okay… Way weird. WE will literally miss you. But, One Love fam, we are going to make the best of this! We will have a virtual prenatal meeting with you to make sure you feel educated and prepared, in addition to teaching and demonstrating some comforting and coping techniques that you guys can use during the labor and delivery process. And we’ll have ample time for Q & A. This way we can work out some answers, clear some doubts to the final few questions you may have.
Then, just like normal, you’ll have access to us 24/7 for support via phone, text or email. When you’re ready and in labor you can prop us up (on your phone, tablet, or laptop) and we will be visible and present. We will Doula you through the phone! We will work our magic, offer support and encouragement, answer questions and give recommendations for you (the partner) on how
to physically support your the birthing person since we cannot be there during this time to do so. We will still be right there with you every step of the way.
Things to do during the labor/birth-
During the birth experience, use the knowledge you have gained to stay calm, present, and supportive. A strong and steady rock for your partner to lean on, cry with, laugh with and hold on to during the
birth. There may be some intense or emotional moments, and that’s okay- do your best to stay present. If you are unsure of what to do during the birth experience, don’t be afraid to ask questions or to ask for some help from your care team. It is okay to ask for help! Remind your partner to alternate between resting, moving and hydrating. The good news is that as the partner, you honestly have the most important job as the one who knows her and loves her so deeply. You are the one she feels safest with, and a calm and supported birthing person is able to progress with a little more ease and release. You are the perfect person for the job!
One last tip-
The final thing we would recommend right now about how to support your birthing partner, is by taking care of yourself during these trying times. Your partner, the one giving birth, needs your whole mind and body to be there during the birth experience. So, maybe take some time to figure out what your needs are right now.
You know, the whole put your own oxygen mask on first illustration? Or maybe there are some things that you need or want to do for your partner that we do not have. Such as the ability to know
their favorite things and make them happen- as best you can right now.
You are the partner they chose, you are what she wants by her side as she births your child. Be you, and we believe that even amidst the challenges, your birth experience will be truly beautiful.
And as always, you know we have the whole team here cheering you on; all with One Love.
Learn more about the author, Mandy Casey here.