CHOOSE THE BEST BIRTH PART­NER

We asked moms who’ve ex­pe­ri­enced all sorts of births – from emer­gency C-sec­tions to planned hos­pi­tal and home births – to share the best thing their hus­bands, part­ners, sis­ters, mothers and doulas did as birth part­ners. Com­piled by Me­lany Bendix

Your Pregnancy - - Front Page -

1. DO EX­ACTLY AS SHE ASKS

“He took all my crazy re­quests se­ri­ously. I didn’t feel like I had to stress or fight for any­thing.”

MAVOUREEN STREET

“For me, the point of a home birth is for the mother to feel that she has as much con­trol over her birthing en­vi­ron­ment as pos­si­ble. He took my birthing list and fol­lowed it to a T. I wanted my spe­cial mu­sic played, my crys­tals placed just so, laven­der burned, only base oils used for mas­sage, cold water­melon on the ready. And that’s ex­actly what I got, no ques­tions asked.”

ERNESTINE DEANE 2. BE HER SPOKESPER­SON

“I was crowded by nurses ask­ing me ques­tions about stuff that I couldn’t think about. My hus­band dealt with them, sent them away and turned off the light. This was ex­cel­lent. He also man­aged to coax the nurses back in (they were sulk­ing) when I was ac­tu­ally giv­ing birth.” PAULA KINGWELL “My mom was my first birth part­ner and she de­fended me when the nurse didn’t be­lieve that I was ac­tu­ally in labour!”

NINA SARALINA 3. TAKE CARE OF ALL THE PRAC­TI­CAL­I­TIES

“Set­ting up the pool, get­ting me drinks, check­ing the heat­ing in the room, look­ing af­ter the mid­wives. My part­ner do­ing all th­ese things re­as­sured me that this was a nor­mal, nat­u­ral thing and that we were in it to­gether.”

DANIELLE BATIST 4. BE TUNED IN TO HER NEEDS

“My hus­band was com­pletely emo­tion­ally and phys­i­cally present through­out the birth. He was able to an­tic­i­pate all my needs and was in it with me. Ev­ery two min­utes I needed wa­ter, to be lifted out of the chair to the toi­let, to have a pad changed, and he didn’t com­plain once, but was just there for me: will­ing and able. I couldn’t have asked for any­thing bet­ter than that.” ALEX SMITH “My man made sure that my birth space was a calm, peace­ful and safe space. He didn’t flap or talk too much or ex­pect me to con­verse.”

JEN­NIFER JACK­SON-VEITCH 5. DIS­TRACT HER AT THE RIGHT TIME

“My sis­ter found some funny stuff on Face­book while I waited for six hours in the­atre for a cae­sarean sec­tion. It was a wel­come dis­trac­tion.”

LU­CILLE DAWKSHAS 6. MAS­SAGE HER

“My hus­band was my birth part­ner for my sec­ond baby and he mas­saged my hands and feet. Even though I felt sweaty and dis­gust­ing, it helped me to re­lax.”

NINA SARALINA 7. BE STRONG FOR HER

“When I thought I couldn’t do it any­more, he was there to guide me and say I can and I will.”

SIMONE CIL­LIERS

“Be­ing able to squeeze his hand through con­trac­tions and look into his eyes helped me through each one.”

AANIYAH OMARDIEN 8. MAKE HER FEEL SAFE

“What my doula brought to my birth was a sense of safety and con­tain­ing my fear. She was able to con­sole me in the dark­est hours with re­as­sur­ing af­fir­ma­tions; al­low­ing me to know that what I was feel­ing was good and nor­mal and didn’t mean I was dy­ing!”

ASHLEA DOLLER 9. THINK OF WHAT SHE’LL NEED AF­TER­WARDS

“My planned home birth ended in an emer­gency C-sec­tion. Af­ter it was all over he went home to clean ev­ery­thing up so that I came home to a clear space in­stead of a mess.”

AMY ROSEN­THAL

“Af­ter all three of my births, my favourite re­plen­ish­ment snack was cheese toasties. My part­ner would pre­pare a tray full for me to en­joy while I was cud­dling and breast­feed­ing our baby.”

ERNESTINE DEANE 10. BE WITH BABY WHEN SHE CAN’T

“I had an un­planned (and un­wanted) C-sec­tion and only saw our baby boy for a cou­ple of sec­onds be­fore he was whisked away to the nurs­ery while I re­mained in the­atre and then in post-op. I was so up­set that he would be alone and wor­ried that some­thing would hap­pen to him. My hus­band stayed with baby and didn’t leave his side un­til they both joined me more than an hour later. It made all the dif­fer­ence know­ing that one of his par­ents was look­ing af­ter him.”

KIRSTY HOLMES

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