Women move towards their due date with a range of emotions. Often those emotions vary depending on how Mom is feeling physically and the support that she perceives surrounding her. Whether this is her first pregnancy or her third, numerous other factors can influence her emotional state. Studies show us that moms who feel supported by the immediate relationships in their life do better emotionally, whatever the outcome of her labor ends up being.
Each pregnancy is a new journey, and as baby’s anticipated due date draws closer, Mom begins to turn her focus towards the delivery. Women want to feel safe during their delivery experience. Part of that “safe” feeling is if she feels her partner, practitioner and birth team are listening to her. This generation of moms want a voice in their birth process and the more educated they are about the birthing experience they then can be part of the decision making process as labor progresses. Moms are empowered when they actively participate in the decisions of of their labor and birth rather than being in a passive role during the process. With optimal labor support, women can birth with a sense of pride, confidence and fulfillment.
The role that Moms partner takes during her labor should be one that has been discussed and honestly communicated between them. Plans then can be made to build support for mom as needed. Some couples desire that only the two of them along with their practitioner is all they want in the labor process. Other couples may decide to build a team that might include partner, a parent, a Doula and practitioner. Usually a lot of thought goes into the team building. Relationship dynamics are considered. Most importantly, mom should build her team with those individuals that she knows will listen to her desires and advocate for her during labor.
When I teach my Labor class, I emphasize that the training is for moms’ partner. As her labor partner or “coach”, they will need to know the information to lead mom through her labor.
Birth story after birth story has been shared at Herself Moms and I can honestly say that whatever the labor and birth experience was, I see that the participation of moms partner in whatever role they agree to solidifies the relationship between them .