Supporting your partner begins with pregnancy. Communicating with your partner about her needs allows you to better understand what you can do to be there for. Just some ideas are to be there to help with errands or tasks, attend doctors’ appointments, attend prenatal and baby education classes. Talk together about what you both would like to experience during the labor and delivery experience.
Labor and Delivery
Once the time has come to go to Labor and Delivery supporting your partner can have many different roles. Many times, the support person does not know what to do when labor starts. Listening to your partners needs as this may change through labor. Some ideas to help are offering water and Ice chips, be supportive for position changes and movement, and providing massage (Lower back massage is often helpful.) Support your partner’s wishes and needs that you have previously talked about. Know what your comfort level with visitors is and help to reinforce this if needed. Offer positive words and affirmations to your partner.
Once the baby is here, help share infant care. This helps to increase bonding for everyone and allows mom time to rest and recover. Be supportive of either method of feeding. Breastfeeding can be a bit of a struggle in the beginning and gets easier with time and practice. Be aware of your partner’s
emotions. Many Women experience baby blues, anxiety, crying, and restlessness. This usually resolves in 2 weeks. Postpartum depression affects 1 in 5 moms. If by 2 weeks, the baby blues do not get better or worsen at any time please contact the doctor. She may be too tired to see these changes in
herself. Be supportive and help your partner seek the follow up care they need whether those are postpartum appointments, baby appointments, or lactation support.
Being involved and supportive helps bring you closer together and no one feels alone or left out and allows you to experience this wonderful time together.