Towards the end of your partner’s pregnancy there are some practical steps you can take, including knowing how to get to the maternity unit and doing a trial run to know the route. It’s also worth looking into how busy the traffic is at different times of the day.
You can also pack a bag for yourself as your partner may be in labour for a long time so snacks can come in handy to keep your energy up.
During the labour your support can make a huge difference. If you are unsure what to do, being patient, supportive and encouraging is a good place to start. Other ways to help include:
- Keeping your partner company and helping pass the time during the early stages.
- Holding their hand, wiping their face and giving sips of water.
- Massaging their back and shoulders, and helping them to move about or change position.
- Comfort them as their labour progresses and their contractions get stronger.
- Remind them how to use relaxation and breathing techniques, perhaps breathing with them if it helps.
Meeting your baby for the first time can be a very emotional time, especially after seeing your partner go through labour. Enjoy these first few hours as a new family, usually your midwife will recommend the baby is in skin-to-skin with mum for at least the first hour whilst they have their first feed. After this, skin-to-skin with you is great and can help to calm your baby and help the two of you to bond.