This is the eighth and last in a series of posts about things a birth partner should plan ahead for.
- Plan Ahead – The Drive
- Plan Ahead – Birth Plan
- Plan Ahead – Setting up at Home
- Plan Ahead – Take Birthing Classes
- Plan Ahead – Packing
- Plan Ahead – Know Her Situation
- Plan Ahead – Be Ready to Comfort
- Plan Ahead – Series Wrap-Up
This series has been all about planning ahead. In this series, on this blog in general, and in the Field Guide to Being an Awesome Birth Partner (the book), planning ahead is a major theme. You can’t be an effective, awesome birth partner if you’re reacting and learning as you go. The woman that you’re going to go through labor with deserves a birth partner that’s fully prepared to be awesome.
So, quickly, let’s recap what you need to plan for, according to this series.
From “The Drive“
- Know which door at the hospital you’ll need to go to.
- Plan your route.
- Plan weather, traffic, and possibly construction alternate routes.
- Stay calm.
From “Birth Plan“
- Plans change.
- Making a birth plan is important.
- Planning with mother-to-be helps you understand her preferences.
- Review the birth plan with her doctor.
- Plans change.
From “Setting Up at Home“
- Cheerfully help set up the nursery.
- Install the car seat (and consider having it checked).
- Get (and test) a contraction timer app.
- Do your at-home set-up tasks well before baby’s due date.
From “Take Birthing Classes“
- Take the “Labor and Birth” class.
- Take the “Comfort Techniques” class.
- Take the “Baby Basics” class.
- Have parents/in-laws take the “Grandparents” class.
- The classes have more benefit than just gaining knowledge.
- Pack as much as you can ahead of time.
- Make a checklist for the things you’ll need to pack at the last minute.
- Do your last-minute packing when you suspect labor has started, not really at the very last minute.
From “Know Her Situation“
- The birth partner must understand the mother-to-be’s pregnancy situation and concerns about birthing.
- Listen and learn without dismissing or trying to fix.
- Be prepared to hear concerns about you, without getting defensive.
- Having the conversation(s) is worth it.
From “Be Ready to Comfort“
- A “Comfort Techniques” class is worth the time.
- Discuss comfort techniques preferences with the mother-to-be.
- During labor, her preferences may change. You will need to help find new effective comfort techniques.
- Being prepared to physically comfort can help you be more prepared to emotionally comfort.
So that’s the series. I hope you will apply at least one bit of knowledge from each post so that you can be a more effective birth partner when the time comes.
For more information about planning ahead, checklists to help you plan ahead, and everything else you need to be an awesome birth partner (but without a lot of things you don’t need), buy a copy of the ebook Field Guide to Being an Awesome Birth Partner. It’s much more concise than blog posts.