Thursday, January 19, 2012

make sure your birth partner knows ...

One of my favorite parts of being a doula is helping your significant other to help you.  I promise every single one of them really truly wants to ... its just that most of them have no idea what to do.  Of course they know you better than anyone and love you to pieces, but that love often generates all sorts of worry and frustration as they witness what you are going through. 

(Which, might I add, is a great reason to have a doula:  bring someone to the party who has only your interests in mind -- not the hospital's -- without stressing over every little discomfort you may feel.  Doulas make a fantastic team with your birth partner!)

The basic things I tell these loved ones to do while you are laboring alone include the following:
  • Distract, distract, distract.  While you still can.  I promise labor will get to a point where you can't ignore it any more.  Until then, relax.  Have some fun.  Go for walk.
  • Move her!  At least every hour.  If you're trying to catch up on some rest, then just rotate from side to side.  It'll help that little one find the easiest way out.
  • Keep her hydrated.  Don't forget to drink.  Juice will add some energy and calories to get her through it.  Let her eat what she wants as well.
  • Use the bathroom.  Every couple of hours.  That baby is sitting on top of her bladder, and if it is full, it will keep the head off of the cervix and slow down dilation.
And of course, make sure this person knows how much you love them, and not to take anything you say in the next few hours too harshly.
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