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Partner - 8 tips for you

The role of the partner during childbirth


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 relationship.


Here we have collected eight solid tips for you who are going to be a father or mother and who want to be involved in the birth of your child.


If you have any questions, you are welcome to contact us at Din Gravidcoach. And hey - congratulations on the upcoming parenthood!





1. Prophylaxis course


Taking a childbirth preparation course, a so-called prophylaxis course, is often a well-worthwhile investment. It can be tricky to navigate the enormous flow of information that exists around childbirth - not least to find in all this knowledge that is also, or specifically, aimed at you as a partner.


Taking a course that addresses both of you, where you gain concrete knowledge about both childbirth and your specific role as a partner can make a big difference to your upcoming birth experience. Choose a concept that suits you - prophylaxis course in group or private, in a physical room or online. Remember that prophylaxis courses are deductible!


2. Oxytocin-keys


If the birthing person feels anxious, insecure or even scared, the stress system in the body is triggered, which can lead to a more difficult birth. With feelings of safety, our bodies peace and calm system is activated instead, and oxytocin, the birth hormone, is released.


You are the person the birthing person feels most safe with, she needs you! Talk to your partner about what they need to get the oxytocin going in their body. Practice, explore and perform these things with advantage already during pregnancy. Massage, words, touch, humor, music ... what are your keys?


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).



3. Birth letter


Sitting down together and formulate thoughts, needs, expectations and possible feelings of anxiety can in itself constitute a valuable preparation for the birth. Asking yourself, and each other, questions about the upcoming birth can lead to important conversations and insights. Through the process, you can thus gain knowledge about what is important to you, but also insight into what opportunities, choices and alternatives there are ("If you don´t know your opitions, you don´t have any").


Sorting in what you can affect, and what you can not affect, and based on this make conscious, informed choices, can create positive control and thus a sense of calm and safety.





4. Prepare the room


What do you see in front of you when you think of the "delivery room"? Many visualize a hospital room. And for the majority, this is also where the baby will be born. But the fact is that no matter where you plan to give birth, most births take place at home as well.


It is often in the home that the labor begins and where you are during the hours or days of the early labour. Therefore, it can be a good idea to walk around your home with the "birth glasses" and explore what you can use at home. What does the bathroom look like, is there room for a Pilates ball in the shower - or a nice stool to put in? Can the birthing person stand up and "hang" on any piece of furniture? Do you have an armchair or sofa that can be comfortable to kneel in? Which place can be most comfortable to rest on? Sound, light, atmosphere - what opportunities do you have in your particular home to create a wonderful oxytocin bubble?



5. Prepare the room - part II


In the hospital then? With small means, you can make a big difference to the atmosphere of the room. During these hours, when your child is on its way out into the world, these square meters are yours to take ownership of. Bring things to the birth that remind you of safety, preferably something that has the scent of home - a blanket, a pillowcase or why not the bathrobe. Hang out the baby's first pajamas as a visual reminder of what to expect. Music that you usually listen to, or that you have chosen for this particular occasion, can also be an effective way to create positive associations -the same goes for "cozy lighting" in the form of light loops or battery-powered heat lights.


Putting your touch on the room is a way to create distance from the feeling of being a guest, to making the room just yours for this unique moment in life. Even at planned caesarean births, you can influence the atmosphere with, for example, your own playlist!



6. Toolbox


Start collecting tools for your handy "toolbox". Write a list of things you can use when it's time to give birth. It could be something that you brought with you from a prophylaxis course, maybe there were some parts here that you liked extra much? In the list you can also write down your "Oxytocin keys" as a tool to use.


It can also be about learning some pain-relieving techniques, such as massage or counter pressure. There are lots of tricks, but you do not need all of them - choose a handful that appeals to you and practice these in advance. For example, search for "double hip squeeze"; one of many appreciated techniques for managing and relieving pain during labor.


7. Your own needs


The conditions for supporting the birthing mother are optimized if you as a partner feel safe - therefore, make sure to find out what you need for this. What role do you want in the room, what does your wishes look like? Do you carry any fears?


Remember to include your perspective as a partner and becoming parent when formulating the birth letter. For example, you can think about what you think you might need if you find yourself in feelings of stress - perhaps in such a situation you want clear information, that someone is distracting you or that you are assigned a specific task? The birth letter can be considered a tool for the delivery staff. The better they have an understanding of your needs, the easier it will be for them to support you based on these.


8. Your support person


Also think about who you can get support from during the hours or days of the birth. The person you usually share thoughts and feelings with may not be present or receptive to this during birth. Do you have a good friend, colleague or family member that you can call if you need to talk? It is a good idea to plan this in advance.


An extra accompanying support person (friend, siblings, parent or a hired doula) is also an option you can choose to ensure support, relief and increased security.


Your experience of birth is important to cherish - remember yourself, get support, and prepare in the way that works best for you!



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