In this six-part series, we are sharing 10 tips for each of the Lamaze six Healthy Birth Practices that help guide women toward a safe and healthy birth. The Lamaze Healthy Birth Practices are supported by research studies that examine the benefits and risks of maternity care practices. Learn more about each practice, including short, informative videos at Lamaze.com. To read the rest of the 60 tips, check out the other posts in this series.
10 Ways to Have the Best Continuous Support During Labor and Birth
1. Learn why bringing a loved one, friend, or doula for continuous support is important for you and your baby.
2. Encourage your designated labor support person(s) to read The Birth Partner by Penny Simkin.
3. Curious about professional labor support? Find out why a doula can be a wonderful asset to your support team.
4. Learn about the many ways you can find comfort in labor by taking a good childbirth class.
5. Choose a care provider and place of birth that encourages bringing a doula to your birth.
6. Create a birth plan/preferences sheet and share it with your birth support person to make sure that she knows your wishes.
7. Spend time connecting with your birth support person prior to going into labor -- get to know each other (if you don't already), share your feelings about the upcoming birth, and talk about what you envision as the best labor support.
8. Pack a hospital or birth center bag with items you imagine will be useful to the person who supports you during labor -- nourishment, scents, favorite lotion, focal point, etc.
9. Be sure that your support team -- all of the members present with you during labor and those actively supporting you -- are people you actually want by your side. You only get to birth this baby once!
10. If your spouse, family member, or friend is the one who will be your labor support person, be sure they know it is not their job to "save" you from the hard work of labor, but rather to support and comfort throughout your labor, as best as they possibly can.