- Attending childbirth preparation classes with your partner will help with your understanding of what is going on and what she is talking about. There is also some new vocabulary you may wish to learn.
- Be available by phone, especially closer to the due day.
- Have your own hospital or homebirth bag including: change of clothes, swimming trunks to wear in the birthing pool, your own drinks and snacks (please don't drink/eat hers!) and maybe some comfortable shoes or slippers.
- Make sure you know how to fit the car seat and keep it in the car.
- Make sure you are familiar with the route to the hospital or birth unit and that your car is filled up with petrol regularly.
- Make sure you know where her maternity notes are.
- Discuss who to tell and when to tell them that your baby was born. Make a list of contact details.
- Make sure your camera is charged and the memory card is empty or a new film is in it – maybe have it ready in your bag!
- Support her where you can and try to take over some tasks like shopping, cooking, laundry, cleaning to give her some time to rest before and after the birth of you baby.
- Make sure that you know and understand your partner’s wishes in her birth plan and add your wishes, too. Or even better: write the birth plan together!
- If this is not your first baby or you have pets, make sure you know who will look after the older one(s) / pets and how to contact them.
- If it is not your first baby, wherever you can, take over looking after / entertaining the older one(s) to give mum a break before and after the birth.
- To practice for labour and birth offer a massage and / or slow dance twice a week before the birth of your baby. Use these techniques during labour to make her more comfortable.
- Practice some affirmations with her (see picture for some ideas).
Mum of four, NCT Antenatal Teacher and Birth & Beyond Practitioner, Breastfeeding Peer Supporter.
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