The role of the partner
We know today that the partner's role and experience of childbirth is of great importance not only for the woman giving birth but also for the start of the new family and the love relationship.
This page contains information, tips and practical knowledge for you who are going to be a father or mother and who want to be involved before, during and after the birth of your child.
Oxytocin- the important hormone
Oxytocin is a hormone that plays a significant role during the birth of your baby. It is this hormone that the body has chosen as the birth hormone - a brilliant design to say the least . Oxytocin is released when we humans feel safe - from an evolutionary survival perspective, this means that the mother is guided by her body to "release" the baby when there is a high chance of survival for both of them. It is wise of the body to be able to pause a labor in case we feel threatened and need to take ourselves to a safer place (historically perhaps from the jungle to the cave). Today we do not have to worry about wild animals and other external threats, but the body does not differentiate between external and internal threats and will react in the same way no matter where the fear (or other negative emotions) come from.
If your woman giving birth feels anxious, insecure or even scared, the stress system is triggered by fight-or-flight, and this can lead to childbirth being made more difficult. Here you can with your presence, voice and touch contribute to your pregnant woman feeling safe again. You are the person the mother feels most secure with, she needs you! With security, the peace-and-quiet system is activated instead, where the oxytocin is allowed to flow again. High levels of oxytocin can mean that the birth is experienced as less painful and that it goes faster, which in turn can contribute to a more positive birth experience for the woman (Uvnäs Moberg 2015).
We usually talk about the "oxytocin tap" as there is more oxytocin the more you "screw". Talk to each other about what you think is important to start the oxytocin in the birthing body when it is time to give birth. Practice, explore and perform with advantage on these things already during pregnancy. Massage, words, touch, humor, music ... what are your keys? You can read more about this in our Guide to Writing a Birth Letter.
During our prophylaxis courses in Give birth without Fear , you get, in addition to a deep dive into the above theory about the physiology of childbirth, unique practical training and the opportunity to test what works for you.
Tips for partner
The doula role for the partner
As doulas, we work to strengthen the partners role before, during and after birth. We support you to be as involved as you and the birthing person wish and help to optimize your experience. Often it is about a few reassuring words, factual information or guidance in practical tools that fit the moment. It can also be nice to be reminded when its a good time to take a break, get something to eat, go to the bathroom - or get confirmation that it isn´t the time to leave. Partners often sacrifice their own selfcare to care for the birthing person. But to be a good support, it is important to also take care of yourself. It can be tough to carry these roles, to be both partner, a support person and a parent at the same time, on your own. There, support from a third person is invaluable. Think about whether you have someone in your environment that you can invite to your team - or hire a professional. As doulas, our goal is to optimize your experience by being a fixed point of safety; your continious support - the circle around your core.
Early in my partners pregnancy, she talked about having a doula with her during the birth. At first I was a little skeptical, why would someone else do my job as a support person. I later realized that the doula wasnt doing my job, she was helping me become a better support person.
What a strong and good team we became together.
-Emil, first time parent summer 2022
As a partner, I was initially skeptical as to why we should have a doula. I thought we can handle this on our own;. I didnt see the value in having a doula at first but in hindsight Im very glad we chose to hire our doula. As a partner, I received support, advice and relief during childbirth, which made me more involved and present.
- Frederick, 2022
Can highly recommend a doula from a partner's perspective. Good with support throughout the process that has tips and exercises that can facilitate childbirth.
- William, 2022
We hired a doula from Din Gravidcoach and had a very positive experience. The doula was calm herself in the delivery room. Before the birth, it was great to be able to talk through the whole thing and get help with planning. Highly recommended.
- Joel, 2021
Become a participating partner
Förlossning bli en delaktig partner is written by Anna Tallwe, founder of Din Gravidcoach. Anna has followed countless couples during preparations and births and has a little extra tenderness for all partners. She felt that there was a lack of a book written for partners and therefore took matters into her own hands and published this book last year.
This is a short and easy-to-read book that in a very concrete way goes through the various aspects of childbirth from a partner's perspective/..../ It is not always so easy to be a good support. Being there and making yourself emotionally involved in the process is easy for most people who have a loving relationship with their partner. But in order to be a really good support, a basic understanding of the dynamics of childbirth is also needed. How can you help the birth move forward through your support? Anna goes through how the partner or support person can concretely turn on the woman's own "oxytocin faucet" during childbirth. The book ends with tips and pictures of pain relief techniques/..../I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to learn more about the importance of support and its various components during childbirth."
Märta Cullhed Engblom, barnmorska och doula
Anna has appeared twice in the very popular podcast - The Childbirth Podcast. In the Childbirth podcast, Emma Philipsson lets the guests talk about their experiences of giving birth.
In this episode, Anna Tallwe talks about what it's like to be a partner and what she learned by being part of many births and through the interviews she did with partners during the work of writing the book just for you as a partner.
Click on the image below to listen to the episode on the role of partners.