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.
- LED candles, keeping lights low, aromatherapy
- 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