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Whether it’s your partner, daughter or friend due to give birth, it‘s an honour to be asked to be a birth partner. Yet this exciting role can also be daunting. Here we discuss some top tips to help you get ready.

You’ll find a whole number of ways you can help support the mum-to-be during labour. One place to start is by talking to them in advance about their expectations of you – ask them how they’d like you to support them. This will help you both feel more prepared ahead of the birth and confident in your role as birth partner.

Talk to your birth partner beforehand about the type of birth you’d like and the things you would prefer not to do so they can help support you in your decisions. It can help to go through your birth plan together.

There’s no way of knowing what your labour is going to be like or how each of you will cope, but there are many ways a partner can help.

Whatever kind of birth you’re planning for, your birth partner can:

  • keep you company and help pass the time during the early stages
  • hold your hand, wipe your face and give you sips of water
  • massage your back and shoulders, and help you move about or change position
  • comfort you as your labour progresses
  • remind you how to use relaxation and breathing techniques, perhaps breathing with you if it helps
  • support your decisions, such as the pain relief you choose, even if they’re different from what’s in your birth plan
  • help you explain to the midwife or doctor what you need – and the other way round – which can help you feel much more in control of the situation
  • tell you what’s happening as your baby is being born if you can’t see what’s going on

More information for Birth Partners can be accessed here.