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5 Simple Ways Your Birthing Partner Can Help You Manage Pain and Stay Calm During Birth

Birthing Partner
Picture of Bere Horthy

Bere Horthy

Doula & Registered Nurse

Congratulations on getting through the first nine months of the pregnancy journey! 

You’ve supported mumma this far. Now it’s time to get out the big guns. 

From swollen feet to midnight cravings, it’s all part of the adventure. 

But when it comes to giving birth, you’re going to play a major role in helping mumma manage pain and stay calm.

But, how does the birthing partner support the mother through labour and birth?

Well, we’re going to tell you. Get ready to put on your superhero cape and be the ultimate support person!

We’ve put together 5 simple tips that will help both of you have a blissful birth experience. 

breathing
Source: Erin Heuser Photography

#1 Practice Breathing Techniques

The power of the breath is not to be underestimated.

The right breathing technique can make all the difference in the world when it comes to managing pain during labour and birth. 

Have you heard of “breathing your baby out?” This technique involves letting your contractions control your breathing rather than actively pushing your baby out. 

It can help keep your partner calm and focused during what’s called “the second stage of labour” and “transition.”

By actively relaxing her jaw and going with the flow, your partner can reduce tearing and even avoid feeling the dreaded “ring of fire” or those overwhelming feelings of “I can’t do this.” 

Breathing your baby out and relaxing your jaw can help the muscles of your birth canal relax, allowing the passage of your baby to be quicker and less painful.

Or as Emma, better known as The Naked Doula, says, “floppy face, floppy fanny”. We couldn’t have said it better ourselves

Using breathing techniques during labour and birth has been shown to decrease the length of labour and reduce pain significantly. 

Plus, deep breathing has other benefits, like lowering anxiety and stress levels, increasing oxygen flow to the baby, and helping her stay focused and calm.

Your role as the birthing partner is crucial in helping your partner practice different breathing techniques that will help manage pain during labour. 

You can remind her to take deep breaths or try out different techniques like “belly breathing,” “up breathing,” or “down breathing.”

If you’re unsure where to start, prenatal yoga classes are a great option for learning some of the best breathing techniques for labour and birth.

And studies have found that women who use breathing techniques during labour report a greater sense of control, and a more positive overall experience. 

Another great way you can support mumma during her labour and birth is through physical support.

physical support
Source: Hanna Hill Photography

#2 Physical Support

Get ready to put those hands to work because physical support can do wonders for both mumma and baby.

First off, physical support feels amazing!

Who doesn’t want a good back rub during childbirth? 

But it’s not just about feeling good. 

Physical touch can actually lower stress levels by releasing endorphins and oxytocin. 

And as we all know, a happy mumma equals a happy baby.

But that’s not all – there’s science behind it too! 

Pain and pleasure run along the same neural pathways, which means that when you provide physical support to your partner, you’re helping to block those pesky pain messages from reaching her brain. 

From massages and counter pressure to holding her hand and having a good smooch, there are quite a few ways you can help relieve her pain and keep her calm during labour.

And let’s be real; when she’s pushing a human out of her body, she could use all the support she can get. 

So, don’t be afraid to get hands-on during labour. 

It’s not only good for her but good for you too. 

Being a supportive partner during childbirth can lead to increased feelings of closeness and satisfaction in the relationship.

So, get ready to be the ultimate hands-on support superhero! 

With your physical support, you can help make the birthing experience more comfortable and enjoyable for your partner and help welcome your new little one into the world.

encouragement

#3 Encouragement and Positivity

Alright, let’s talk about the power of positivity and how you, as the birthing partner, can be the ultimate cheerleader for your partner during labour and birth. 

Believe it or not, studies have found that women who maintain a positive mindset during labour and birth have a better bonding with their babies postpartum, a lower rate of medical intervention, and an overall better birth experience

So, don’t be afraid to be the one to remind her of her strength, her courage and her ability to bring this baby into the world. 

Your partner may have moments of doubt, but with your support and positivity, she will feel empowered to keep going.

When you’ve working hard for many hours, and you’re starting to doubt yourself, it’s so easy to just give in to the intervention and stray from the birth plan you made.

While it’s ok to be flexible in what you planned, it’s important to make sure she’s just giving in because of the pain and self-doubt.

Words of encouragement and positivity can go a long way. 

Tell her how amazing she is doing, how proud you are of her, and how much you love her. 

You can even throw in some affirmations like “You were made for this” or “You are doing an incredible job.”

Another way to bring positivity into the birthing room is through humour. 

Don’t be afraid to crack a joke or two to lighten the mood and ease tension. 

And finally, be a source of calmness and support. 

Hold her hand, rub her back, and be present with her through every contraction. 

You are her rock; your support will help her stay positive and focused throughout the birthing process.

So, remember, your positive attitude and support can make all the difference in you and your partner’s birth experience.

Bring on the positive vibes, and let’s welcome that baby into the world with open arms!

distraction
Source: Click Love Grow

#4 Distractions

Are you ready to be the ultimate distraction master during labour and birth? 

Trust us; distractions can be a game-changer when it comes to managing pain and discomfort during childbirth.

Believe it or not, distraction can be an even more effective pain reliever than medication! 

So, how can you distract your partner during labour and birth? 

Well, the possibilities are endless, and it’s time to get creative!

Turn up the music and have a dance party right there in the delivery room. 

Movin’ and groovin’ helps the baby get into the best position for birth and move down into the birth canal.

You can even make a playlist with all your partner’s favourite tunes and have a sing-along. 

Or, you can tell silly jokes and make her laugh until she forgets about the pain. 

You know what they say  – Laughter is the best medicine!

If movies are more your thing, pop on your favourite rom-com or binge-worthy series to take your partner’s mind off the pain. 

And if you’re feeling adventurous, why not play board games or cards to pass the time?

Remember, your goal is to distract your partner from the pain and help her relax. 

So, don’t be afraid to try out new things. 

You might just find that a good distraction is the perfect prescription for managing pain during childbirth.

So, birthing partner, get ready to bring your A-game. 

With your help, Mumma will be laughing her way through labour and birth in no time.

doula support

#5 Hire a Doula

Are you feeling a little overwhelmed by the thought of helping your partner through labour and birth by yourself? 

Or just thinking it would be great to have an extra set of hands so you can relax and enjoy the journey a bit more?

Hiring a doula can be a game-changer for both you and your partner.

Doulas are like the ultimate non-medical birthing wingman – they bring the knowledge, skills, and support needed to make the birthing experience more comfortable and enjoyable. 

Think of them as the Swiss army knife of the birth world. 

They offer physical, emotional, and informational support to both the mother and the birthing partner, making everyone’s life easier.

Now, you might be thinking, “But wait, won’t a doula take my place as the support person?” 

Absolutely not! 

Doulas work alongside the birthing partner, providing an extra set of hands and helping advocate when needed.

They’re like your partner’s personal cheerleader but with a wealth of experience and knowledge and a bag full of goodies!

Studies have shown that having a doula present during labour and birth can significantly reduce the number of unnecessary interventions and shorten labour time. 

They also strengthen the bond between the mother, baby, and birthing partner. 

Doulas can even provide support throughout different times throughout pregnancy, birth and the postpartum period, both in-person and virtually.

So, don’t hesitate to find the perfect doula to support you and your partner’s needs. 

With a doula by your side, you can relax and enjoy the birth experience, knowing that you have all the support you need to make it a positive and memorable journey.

You are Now Ready to Become a Birthing Partner Superhero!

Now that you’re armed with these 5 simple ways to help your partner manage pain and stay calm during birth, it’s time to put them into action! 

Practice those breathing techniques, offer physical support (don’t forget those back rubs), provide plenty of encouragement and positivity, and distract her with some good old-fashioned fun. 

And if you feel like you need extra support, don’t hesitate to hire a doula. 

With these tools in your birthing toolbox, you and your partner will be well on your way to a blissful birth experience. 

So, go forth and be the ultimate birthing partner superhero!

berenice-horthy-author
Bere Horthy

As a doula and nurse, Bere's mission is to empower and educate women, families, and fellow doulas to make informed decisions throughout their pregnancy, birth, and postpartum journey.

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