by Jill Gliha, BirthLink Board Member
Part Five of a Six Part Series – Empowering Hospital Birth
The only thing we can control in birth is the people we surround ourselves with. This means your support system. Hire a doula who will help you through the entire birthing process. A doula knows how to keep a woman comfortable and also knows different laboring positions to move a mal-positioned baby. She brings a sense of calm and comfort to both the laboring woman and her partner. Often times it has been said that having a doula enhances the experience for the couple as they felt safe enough to “give in” to the experience.
Make sure your partner is educated too. It’s important they know and understand the workings of natural birth so that they do not become fearful. For the partners, (most are usually men, but sometimes not) the man is the protector. His job is to protect and fix things. When he sees his partner in pain he naturally wants to just “fix” it. Knowing how to support her properly, and be involved in the birthing process, makes all the difference! Many men encourage their partners to take the epidural once labor has gotten intense. They are at a loss in how to support her. If your partner has a working understanding of what the body is doing and has a doula there who knows how to support, he can join in on how to support her best and help her to achieve her wants for a natural birth.