Each labour experience is unique. Knowledge, relaxation, a supportive partner and a positive attitude can help you manage the discomfort of labour and increase your sense of control.
For many people, the most valuable tool to help with the process of labour is their partner and/or labour support person.
- Your support person can help you find comfortable positions, breathe with you to keep you focused, rub your back or do stroke massage to help you relax.
- Many partners are experiencing childbirth for the first time too, so we recommend you prepare together. Attending childbirth education classes, reading books and going to prenatal checkups together can help your partner learn how to be an active labour support.
- You could choose to have a labour support companion or a doula in addition to (or instead of) your partner. Having a doula who is trained in methods to support you and your partner during labour has been found to reduce the need for pain medication, increased the likelihood of vaginal birth instead of caesarean birth, reduce the likelihood of needing forceps or vacuum, and may lead to a shorter labour.