It’s important to consider carefully who you want to be with you when you give birth. Regardless of where you choose to give birth, you should be able to have at least one support person with you when you are in labour or having a caesarean section. Some restrictions may apply during the current pandemic and the rules can change, so keep an eye on your hospital’s updates and speak to your midwife to find out more.
For some people, it is obvious who they would prefer to have as their birthing partner. Some people are sure they want their life partner or co-parent to be present at the birth and others choose to have a close friend or family member with them. Whoever you choose, it is important they know your wishes and you have discussed your birth plan with them. Whoever you choose, it’s important that you trust them, feel confident with them and that they are supportive of what you want. They should be able to stay calm and positive and be able to take control or speak on your behalf if needed.
When you’re in labour it is sometimes hard to remember everything, so make sure your birth partner has a copy of your birth plan or knows exactly what you want. That makes it easier for them to tell your birthing team what you want and what you don’t want when you’re birthing.
Some people choose to hire a birthing advocate, such as a doula if you want extra help on hand or someone experienced in helping with birth and the postnatal period. An experienced birth advocate can provide support and guidance to your birthing partner if they are less familiar with birthing. Sometimes a close friend or family member who is confident about birth from their own experiences can be supportive to you and your main birth partner.
Restrictions on birthing partners may apply when it comes to giving birth depending on where you choose to birth, so talk to your midwife about what to expect.
Your birth partner is the person who will help you get through labour, whatever it brings and welcome your newborn into the world. It’s a very special experience and they can help by comforting you, offering you refreshments and reminding you how to use your relaxation and breathing techniques. Some women find that it helps to use hypnobirthing techniques with their birthing partner during their pregnancy. Your birth partner will be a vital person to help explain to your birthing team what you need and can help you feel more in control of the situation, especially if things are not happening as you expected.