6 Ways Your Partner Can Support You During Labor

Image adapted via Flickr/ Army Medicine

Labor and giving birth is a lot of work. It doesn't matter if you have a home birth, hospital birth, surprise birth, or c-section. Having the support of your partner can make a huge difference. Sure, it's on us to do most of the work getting our baby Earthside, but there are ways our significant others can help along the way.

My husband was great during all my labors, whether I started having contractions spontaneously, was induced in the hospital, or had a c-section, he was by my side supporting me every step of the way. I relied on him to keep me going and share in the moments with me, and he didn't disappoint. As we had more and more children, he got even better at understanding what I needed and knew better how to support me during labor.

{ MORE: How Parenthood Changes Your Friendships }

If you're not sure or your partner isn't sure how they can support you during your labor, there are a few ways they can make all the difference for you in your labor and birth.

Image via Flickr/ US Army Africa


Your partner should know your birth plan, what you want to try to avoid, and advocate for or against anything that goes on. You may not always be in the right frame of mind (hello, pain!), so having your partner take on the role of advocate will ensure you're closer to the birth you really want.

Image via Flickr/ tiswango

Be There For You and Hold Your Hand

“My partner let me dig my nails in his hand. This helped a lot because I was able to give him some pain, too.” – Jayne

Image via Flickr/ MammaLoves

Make You Laugh and Provide Distractions

They say laughter is the best medicine, and when you're in pain, laughter can help! Your partner can keep your mind occupied, even for a little bit, with some laughs and keep the air positive, even through all the pain.

{ MORE: What Do Men Really Think About Childbirth? }

Image via Flickr/ rabble

Help You with Your Relaxation Techniques

“Nate learned in our Bradley Method class to recognize where I was putting my stress and remind me to relax. I tended to scrunch my toes and scrunch between my forehead and eyes, and he would gently touch that area and gently say, ‘Relax.' It helped so much! He was hands-on doing hip compressions when I was in pain or sitting back being quiet when I needed him to be.” – Jen

Image via Flickr/ Inspired Photography CT

Document the Labor and Birth

So not everyone wants their labor and birth documented with videos or photographs, but if this is something that is important to you, it's a great way your partner can support you. Discuss the photos you want to try to get before labor and birth and which ones are a big NO! If your partner wants to be “present” and not be in charge of the photos, they can be the one talking to the photographer you hire to make sure all the right images are captured.

{ MORE: Life Didn’t Change at Birth, It Changed When We Left the Hospital }

Image via Flickr/ birthersage

Be Your Biggest Cheerleader

“Sobe kept telling me I was so strong, and he was bragging to the midwife about how proud he was of me. It was so encouraging.” – Kelly

What would you like your partner to do in labor to better help support you?

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6 Ways Your Partner Can Support You During Labor

Devan McGuinness is the founder of the online resource Unspoken Grief, which is dedicated to breaking the silence of perinatal grief for those directly and indirectly affected by miscarriage, stillbirth and neonatal death. Using her own experience of surviving 12 miscarriages, Devan has been actively supporting and encouraging others who are wading through the challenges associated with perinatal and neonatal loss. Winner of the 2012 Bloganthropy Award and named one of Babble's “25 bloggers wh ... More

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1 comment

  1. cassie says:

    My husband was mostly grossed out and kind of not supportive. Guess if he doesnt feel it emotionally or physically, it doesnt phase him :p


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