Tuesday, February 19, 2013

partner support during birth.

a big part of what we do as doulas is to help dads/partners help mom stay as comfortable as possible during her birthing time.  here are some tips about what partners can do to help mom during labor:
touch:  dad’s/ partner's touch can be a huge source of relaxation and safety for mom during labor,  as it is familiar and loving.  this touch can stimulate oxytocin production to progress labor and ease discomfort.
  • massage mom
    • back (low back and shoulders), scalp/ playing with mom’s hair, legs/ glutes
    • using lotions and aromas that mom finds relaxing (ie. lavender) can be great to relax mom during birth.
    • practicing massaging mom to sleep before baby comes so you know what relaxes her and what type of touch she likes.
  • positions/pressure: dad's/ partner's strength can be a great help in labor positions and counter pressure.
    • slow dancing with dad’s/ partner's support and eye contact
    • hanging squat- mom squats with full support from dad/ partner
    • counter pressure with fist
    • Double hip squeeze/ hip pressure with or without help of doula
    • pouring water on mom’s back in water birth
environment:  the birthing process tends to run much smoother when we feel safe and relaxed in our environment.  dad/ partner can easily control this.
  • ambiance
    • LED candles, keeping lights low, aromatherapy
  • music
    • playing music mom enjoys and responds to.  soft music when it’s a relaxing time, encouraging music when mom needs energy.
  • temperature control
    • room temperature
    • mom’s body temp.  warm blankets when cold, iced wash clothes when hot (maybe with essential oils).
voice:  most important of all is that dad/ partner is being attentive and present
  • kind and loving words of encouragement and gratitude
  • talking about your baby
  • visualizations and mantras- “open” and “down”
  • breathing with mom or guiding mom through breathing exercises

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