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Tips for your birthing partner or partners

Whoever you pick to be your birth partner (if you choose to have one), their job is to support, comfort and encourage you during labour and birth.

10 tips for birth partners

Here are some useful tips to share with your birth partner.

Familiarise yourself with the birth plan

You could help write the birth plan, but if not, make sure you know what it says so you can support your partner during labour.

Be aware that birth plans often change at the last minute.

Do your research

Read about what happens during labour and birth.

Going to the antenatal classes will really help - you'll learn about the signs of labour, contractions, pain relief options, what happens after birth, and lots more.

Plan ahead

Make sure you know the best route to the hospital or birth centre.

Check how long the journey will take, and bear in mind the traffic at different times of the day.

If possible, avoid roads with speed bumps or train tracks. Familiarise yourself with the car park, download the parking app, or have plenty of coins in the car.

Be ready

You need to be ready during the weeks leading up to the due date.

Make sure your mobile phone is always on, and have your own bag of essentials packed and ready (including toiletries, snacks, a phone charger, and a change of clothes).

Provide emotional support

Your comfort and reassurance matters, especially as the contractions get stronger.

Keep up the words of encouragement, but don't be offended if you get asked to stop talking!

Breathe together

Try to help your partner focus on something during the contractions - this could be on relaxation or breathing techniques, a spot on the wall, or the baby’s ultrasound picture.

Give physical support

Help your partner to move about, change positions, or lean on you if that's more comfortable.

Have drinks and snacks ready

Make sure your partner stays hydrated and keeps up their energy with snacks.

Speak up

You may need to help explain to the midwife or doctor what your partner needs or wants.

Look after yourself

You are doing a very important job, so have plenty of snacks and drinks to keep your own energy levels up.

Take a short break when you can.

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