Labor team members
Medical care provider (doctor)
- Provides care during the pregnancy to keep you and your baby healthy.
- Answers questions about pregnancy labor and delivery.
- Follows your labor and birth and directs your care; makes decisions regarding emergency interventions.
- Works with the hospital team members to meet the needs of you and your baby.
- Answers questions about the
- Provides medical management if needed, as you deliver your baby.
Registered nurses and auxiliary personnel
- Monitors the well-being of you and your baby.
- Keeps the medical care provider informed of changes in you and your baby’s condition and progress of labor.
- Answers questions and provides information about what is happening during labor and about your plan of care.
- Seeks to understand and support your goals and plans for labor and birth.
- Offers comfort measures; suggests ways to help you cope with labor pain and to promote progress in your labor.
- Provides reassurance and encouragement to you and your support person(s) throughout the birth experience.
- Chosen by you; person(s) who will be your primary emotional support during labor and birth.
- Your support person:
- Responds to your needs to provide, as needed, things like encouragement, distraction, humor, comfort measure, praise etc.
General tips for the labor support person(s)
- You do not have to be an expert: just staying with mom means a lot. The nurse will assist and instruct you as needed.
- Feel free to ask questions, if needed.
- Stay relaxed, calm and positive.
- Taking care of yourself helps you take better care of the mom in labor. Be sure to eat something nutritious and take breaks as needed.
Friends and family
- Everyone is excited, but the safety of the mom and baby must come first.
- Your job should be to assist the support person; give him/her a break when needed or bring in food and beverages.
- Ask questions if you are not sure what is happening.
- Make positive comments talk quietly and allow mom to rest.
- Do not add tension; if you are nervous, leave and calm down, then return.
- Leave quietly if asked by the nurse, whose first responsibility is to care for the mom and baby.
Everyone wants the birth to be a positive experience. If we work together as a team and are sensitive to the needs of mom and baby, it will be a good experience for all of us.
|Visual of Emotions||Stages||How you may feel|
“I’m so excited to be in labor!”
“This is hard work!”
“I can’t do this!”
“This is hard work!”
Delivery of placenta
|Visual of Emotions||What you can do||What your support person can do|
What To If She Panics
There may be a time during labor when your partner hits an emotional low or panics. She may show this by weeping, stating she cannot go on, looing or sounding as if she is in a great deal of pain, or becoming tense and is unable to relax. A “take charge” routine may be helpful at this time. You need to do all you can until she regains her inner strength. Use any or all of the hints listed:
- Stand up. This action says without words that you are present and in charge.
- Remain calm. Your touch should be firm yet confident. Keep your voice calm and your words encouraging.
- Stay close to her and make eye contact. Instruct her to open her eyes and look at you.
- You can hold her head or shoulders, or hold her tightly in your arms.
- Try a different position or breathing pattern. Breathe with her to keep her focused.
- Encourage her with every breath and tell her she is doing a good job. You may have to speak louder to get her attention, but keep your tone calm and confident.
- Talk to her between contractions and make suggestions such as: “When your next contraction starts, I want you to look at me.”
- Repeat instructions frequently. She may not be able to follow what you are saying for more than a few seconds.
- Don’t give up on her. This will be a very difficult time, but you will not be helpful if you decide she cannot handle it.
- Ask for help. The nurse or doctor can measure for dilatation, give you advise and suggestions, do some of the coaching, advise another position, and reassure you that your partner is okay.
- Remind her of the baby. It is helpful to focus on the reason for the labor and remember it is pain with purpose.
- If your partner said before labor that she does not want pain medications and now changes the plan and asks for them, respect her wishes. However, a request for medication may also be a request for additional support.
- The important thing to remember is what you do is far more important than what you feel at the time. In other words, it’s okay if you feel anxious inside, your actions will show that you are helpful and in control!