Who should I have as my birth partner?
Choosing who is going to be with you when you give birth to your baby is a very personal decision to make. For many women, it will be the baby's father, but some mums-to-be might decide their own mum, sister or a close friend is actually the best person to provide the emotional and practical support they need throughout labour.
At a glance
- Birth partners need to be calm and respect your wishes
- Ensure they are not squeamish as there may be a lot of blood It is an important job as they will be witnessing a monumental moment in your life
If your baby's father is not able to be at the birth, or you do not want him to be present, or indeed, he feels unable, for what ever reason, to be there, you might find yourself facing a barrage of questions from other people. Remember, your birth choices are yours and your partner’s to make, so don't allow yourself to feel pressured or swayed by the opinions of others.
Picking the right person
The person you choose to be your birth partner needs to be someone you have utmost confidence in. They need to keep calm (and keep you calm!), respect your wishes and know what you want from your labour and delivery (hopefully they will have seen, and have a copy of, your birth plan), and obviously, they must not be squeamish (there will be blood, it can be messy!) or uncomfortable in hospital environments, or seeing someone in pain. And most importantly, they need to be ultra reliable and able to get to you quickly when your labour starts.
Being a birth partner is a very important job, and one that someone should feel honoured and privileged to take on. They will be witnessing not only an amazing event (and being the first person to see your baby), but they will also be part of the monumental moment when your life changes for ever. It will be an emotional time for them, and one which will no doubt change your relationship, too, so whoever you pick, pick wisely!