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Dear Fathers/Partners



YOU play an important pivotal role in supporting your partner and this newborn. You bear witness to a body that is going through a pregnancy, you observe how your partner changes in many ways than one. You observe their tummy growing and yet you can’t feel what they are feeling but you are with them throughout cheering them on. 

 

Sometimes you may feel helpful and helpless, but you are there for your partner silently in the background doing your thing. Sometimes your partner can be sensitive and things become hairy as the pregnancy develops and you may be at the receiving end of the brunt of it all or you be at the receiving end of the ups and downs. That’s all part of the package. One is the carrier whilst the other is the bystander ready to be there when needed.

 

The birth is an important part of your day too even though it’s not your body going through it. Your involvement is an important role too just by being there. If both have had communication channels open, then you are also prepared for this newborn too. You would if you could be part of the birth but somehow, it’s not always possible. However, everything you do, is everything if the bond between the three (or four+) of you is there.

 

How can you assist?

 

During the pregnancy be involved where you can, be there when you can. Hormones can play havoc anytime of the day/night and they certainly can impact in a pregnancy.

 

Labour or birthing is a different story, and we often focus on that one day. It is the finale when there is more to come than just that one judgment day. I’ve observed over the years that the labour and birth is very much focused upon, and we have heard so many disaster stories of things going wrong and yet around the world there are millions of babies being born with either the infrastructure or not and they are not always disastrous.

 

Birth naturally is the body expelling something out of the body. I know this might sound gross, but we push poo out, and yes, I know it doesn’t weigh kilos as such, well I hope not anyways. but there is an expelling required. So, it is the same for a uterus or a womb to do the same thing. It is designed this way as it is a large muscle when it is housing a baby. If we consider when we are working out with weights, that muscle is working out and of course it feels tight and so forth. it contracts and relaxes; well the uterus does the same thing.

So how can you as the support person or partner support the woman who is going to give birth? Have those discussions beforehand. What would the birthing woman prefer once labour has established or even prior to this. Have these discussions before so they are not being had when all systems go.

 

There are many things that you can do such as rubbing her back, applying cool compresses, offering sips of water or ice for her to munch on; speaking to her with gentle loving voice even though she at times be losing it and you happen to be in the firing range.

Ensure that you are also hydrating and have nourishment to keep you going too. 

 

Encouraging her as she progresses throughout the labour. But also, if things don’t go according to anyone’s plan, then be there to support her. We make many plans and there are times when we need to adapt or adjust, and we have to go with the flow of whatever life throws at us. Be there no matter what is going around. Most of the time doctors/midwives are supper informative when things change during labour. Yes, there could be emergencies, but they are emergencies for a reason and need attending to as emergencies. We will be faced with this throughout our lives.

 

Once the baby is born, then this support continues. Being practically involved but also participating in the cares for the baby. Changing the nappy, changing the baby’s clothes, keeping the area tidy so you can manoeuvre around the bedside. Offering to bring home made food when she’s in the hospital, and if cooking is not your thing, ask the family or friends. Don’t always rely on take outs. There’s nothing like home cooked food.

 

Encouragement goes a long way so no pushing or bullying either.  

 

Everything matters and everything that you as a support person/partner do, matters. WE as women can be control freaks (I’m not exempted either), but when women are at a vulnerable time whether it be pregnancy, birth or afterwards, we need to learn to appreciate everything a partner brings through instead of it being a certain way.

 

Remember focus and appreciate on the small things, not just the big things as when we add it all up, it far outweighs the big bang things.

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