Companions Please

Often we find women in labor bring along a companion. It may be the traditional companion of her partner. But it could be a companion of her best friend or her mother. Women need loving support at their labors and birth. I want to help offset some areas that I wish companions would remember when being at a birth…

  • Please don’t carry your birth fears into the labor room. The woman in labor feels your fears and it permeates her resolve to be fearless.
  • Please don’t remind her of the time she has been in labor or awake or without sleep, etc. The woman in labor does not need to be focused on time- only one contraction at a time.
  • Please don’t project your birth ideals onto her. This is her body, her birth. Even if you share some biologicals with this baby- remember it is her body. She knows what she is feeling and how she wants to proceed in her labor.
  • Please don’t try to rescue her. She is able to speak for herself and make good decisions for her. She does not need rescuing. On the rare occasion when she is unable to speak, remember what she has told you she wants and speak that.
  • Please don’t try to fix her. She is not broken. She is in labor. This is normal and natural. She was built for this. So don’t intervene on her behalf to fix that which does not need fixing.
  • Please don’t use words like “suffering”  “agony” “trauma” and such to describe the hard work she is doing. Words like this disable her from moving forward in the work she is doing and instead are paralyzing.
  • Please don’t use your fatigue or impatience to cloud her ability to continue the work she has prepared to do.
  • Please don’t take her comments or actions personally. She is making her way through her unknown journey and may act differently than she may otherwise act.

sq coupleInstead:

  • Love her.
  • Support her.
  • Encourage her.
  • Remind her of how strong she is.
  • Tell her how proud you are of her.
  • Help her to listen to her instinctive voice.
  • Hold the space, lovingly giving her the space she needs to birth.
  • Get out of the way if she needs you to. Step away if you need to, even for only a while to regroup if you need to do so.

Remember:

  • This is her birth, not yours.
  • This is her body, and how she chooses to labor and birth is hers to decide.
  • She loves you and wants you to be a part of this experience, not create your experience at the price of her own.
  • You can be a huge part of the journey or you can derail her. Please choose the best for her.
  • She wants to look back and remember you as being her supporter.