Knowledgeable Pregnancy Partners Instrumental in Safe and Healthy Births
Lamaze International spotlights roles of dads, pregnancy partners
Washington, D.C. – Men are often portrayed as panicked and flustered when a woman goes into labor and birth – leaving the mom-to-be in charge of the situation. But, dads or pregnancy partners can actually be a great source of support during pregnancy and on their baby’s birthday if armed with the right information and tips.
Today’s maternal and pre-natal care landscape is muddled with challenges for moms and babies. Dads or partners who have a solid knowledge about these challenges and choices have an opportunity to take part in facilitating a safe and healthy birth. Even more, they can act as a liaison between mom and providers to alleviate pressures moms may receive from their care team for unnecessary medical interventions.
“Hospitals and care providers do not always stick to evidence-based practices for labor and birth, and unfortunately, the result can be detrimental for both a mother and baby,” says Tara Owens Shuler, president of Lamaze International. “Partners have a chance to play a huge role in counteracting care that’s ‘routine,’ and ensure the care mom and baby receive is shown to be safest and healthiest for them.”
These gaps in care – “routine” practices versus evidence-based practices – can expose mothers and babies to care that may harm or doesn’t help support mom through labor and birth. Common practices like continuous IV drips, restricted movement, or limited access to food and water during labor all hinder the birth process, and are sometimes a result of existing “routine” practices and financial incentives for the provider or facility.
But, by taking an active role in the labor and birth process, dads or birth partners can use these interventions as a signal to push for better, safer care. They know moms better than anyone else, and can provide critical support in navigating common situations – like a slow labor or being unnecessarily confined to bed.
“At the end of the day, none of the OBs, doulas or midwives in the room know mom better than the partner,” says Shuler. “This means partners have a chance to optimize labor and birth by making sure her needs are met, even if conveyed only with gestures or looks. Nothing can replace this kind of connection, comfort and support.”
An informed and supportive pregnancy partner allows for better decision-making and a chance for a safer, healthier labor and birth for mom and baby. Reviewing evidence-based birth practices, speaking to providers and maximizing support are all simple steps to becoming a top-notch pregnancy partner.
Lamaze International’s free parent webinars can provide dads or birth partners with the tools and information they need to become optimal pregnancy partners. To view the latest parent webinar, “Become a Top-Notch Pregnancy Partner: What You Need to Know,” along with a printable tip sheet, visit here. Additionally, childbirth education classes, like the evidence-based Lamaze classes offered by Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educators, equip partners with relevant research and evidence that will help guide them through birth. To learn more about improving the labor and birth experience and register for the free webinar, visit www.lamaze.org.
About Push for Your Baby
Push for Your Baby was created by Lamaze International to provide expectant parents with the support and information needed to push for the safest, healthiest birth possible. Knowing how to spot good maternity care is the key to getting it, and through Lamaze childbirth education classes, parents-to-be can get the tools needed to have the best birth day. For more information visit: www.PushForYourBaby.com.
About Lamaze International
Lamaze International promotes a natural, healthy and safe approach to pregnancy, childbirth and early parenting practices. Knowing that pregnancy and childbirth can be demanding on a woman’s body and mind, Lamaze serves as a resource for information about what to expect and what choices are available during the childbearing years. Lamaze education and practices are based on the best and most current medical evidence available. Working closely with their families, health care providers and Lamaze educators, millions of pregnant women have achieved their desired childbirth outcomes using Lamaze practices. The best way to learn about Lamaze’s steps to a safe and healthy birth is to take a class with a Lamaze certified instructor. To find classes in your area, or for more information visit www.lamaze.org.