Each person has different needs when giving birth to a baby. However, during my work in the maternity ward, I noted three needs that seemed to be universal for all couples during labour and delivery. These are the need for safety, the need for support and the need for intimacy.
In this article:
In this article, I am providing you with my personal observations that I made over the years. This doesn’t mean that there aren’t other needs felt during this period, on the contrary!
The Need for Safety
The need to feel safe is essential for a woman in labour. She needs to be in a calm state to concentrate on creating life.
During the prehistoric period, Cro-Magnon men would guard the cave entrance to allow the woman to give birth, safe from predators and enemies. This is an ancient practice, but women in labour have always had to feel confident and safe. It allows them to drop their barriers, to let go so that nature can take its course.
When first-time parents are at the hospital waiting for their baby to arrive, healthcare workers feel that they are comforted when they know that an experienced team will work with them, ensuring everything goes smoothly. Faced with so many unknowns, parents often feel scared. A woman in labour and her partner needs to feel safe and reassured.
Parents who have already had children know more about what to expect. But they too like feeling the safety of a hospital in case an emergency happens.
Childbirth is full of surprises, and no one can know in advance how it will end. Even experienced health professionals can’t predict how it will go. The best doctors can have to deal with complications. That’s why every couple going through labour and childbirth appreciates knowing that everything is in place in case of an emergency, wherever they give birth. They want to feel safe with the staff and safe with their surroundings.
Proper prenatal preparation is also an excellent way to increase the feeling of safety. It helps to know the vocabulary, care routines, service offers, etc. If parents know more about what to expect, it can significantly reduce stress when the big day arrives. They can relax and make informed choices. Personally, I firmly believe that knowledge minimizes the sense of the unknown, the feeling of tension and insecurity during labour and delivery.
If you want to continue reading, go to The Need for Support.