It's no secret that moms experience anxiety and nervousness over their upcoming birth. Less talked about -- but just as common -- is the experience that partners go through leading up to the big day. Concerns like passing out, not knowing what to do or how to help, having a baby on the side of the highway, and fear of safety for mom and baby are all very typical things for birth partners to worry about. Thankfully, there are simple, sure-fire ways to increase confidence and calm nerves before birth.
4 Tips for Increasing Confidence in Partners for Birth
1. Attend a childbirth class! This is number one on the list not just because this is the Lamaze blog, but because it truly is one of the best and most simple ways for partners to learn about birth, and work together with mom to come up with a plan for solid support. Don't know how to help mom in labor? A childbirth class will help with that. Don't know if you'll be comfortable watching birth? A childbirth class will help you come up with options and alternatives. Don't know how to tell if she's really in labor? A childbirth class will help you identify sure signs. Does birth seem scary? A childbirth class will help alleviate your fears.
2. Open up. To your partner, that is. If you're experiencing fears about birth, be sure to tell your partner what you're feeling. Talking openly with each other can help strengthen your relationship and better understand each other's point of view when it comes to the birth experience.
3. Read a great book on birth. For partners, you can't get any better than The Birth Partner by Penny Simkin. This book will guide you through what good support for moms in labor looks like, including illustrations on different positions to try for comfort, information about pain relief, and what to expect during the normal course of labor and birth, as well as unexpected outcomes.
4. Hire a doula. Doulas work wonders to inspire confidence in moms AND partners. A doula's role is not to replace the partner, but to act as a bridge of support for moms and partners to work together. If there was a Dumbo's magic feather for birthing families, a doula would be that feather.