Whoever you choose to be with you during labour and birth is there to give you both practical and emotional support. Whether this is your partner, or you have decided on having your mum or a close friend as your birth partner, it’s important that they know what to expect.
Although most women choose to have their husband with them during labour, this is something that you both need to feel comfortable about.
If you are concerned about your husband seeing you in pain or you are worried about how they’ll cope, it may better to get your mum or a close friend to support you – either in addition to your partner or in their place
The most important thing is that you feel comfortable with the person you choose and that you trust them to act on your behalf if the going gets tough.
The most important thing that your birth partner does is to be there for you. They will need to be able to reassure you and offer support in any way that helps and to speak on your behalf if the need arises.
It helps if they have attended antenatal classes with you, as this will give them a better understanding of the birth process.
They also need to be familiar with your birth plan so that they know how you would like your labour and birth to be managed.
This will allow them to explain your wishes to the doctor or nurse if you are in the middle of intense contractions.
Of course, no one knows how your labour and birth will go so your birth partner, while looking after your interests, needs to be aware that there are times when medical intervention has to take place, even if it’s not what you had hoped for in your birth plan.